The average age of childbirth has risen in all the Nordic countries. The proportion of mothers over the age of 35 has grown significantly in all the Nordic countries for decades.
According to the THL press release, in all the Nordic countries, the proportion of first-time mothers over the age of 35 was above 20% in 2018. The proportion was highest in Finland (23.6%) and lowest in Iceland (20.3%).
Mika Gissler, THL's research professor said, "The phenomenon is due to the postponement of childbirth in all the Nordic countries."
The average age of births in all Nordic countries is close to the European average (30.8). In Europe, the lowest average age at birth is in Bulgaria and Ukraine (both 27.7 years) and the highest in Liechtenstein (32.3), Spain and Ireland (both 32.2 years).
Birth rates remained stable in Sweden and Denmark, increased slightly in Iceland and decreased in Finland and Norway. In Sweden, the birth rate is at the forefront of Europe.
In 2018, approximately 287,000 normal birth in the Nordic countries, which is slightly less than in 2017 (-1.4%).
Cesarean still lowest
Cesarean section has become more common in all the Nordic countries over the last decade.
The share of caesareans in childbirth in 2018 remained unchanged in all Nordic countries. In Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland, the proportion of caesareans ranged from 16% to 17% and was 19% in Denmark.
“In the Nordic countries, caesareans are among the lowest in Europe,” said Gissler.