Despite a long list of measures aimed at making it easier to combine motherhood with worklife, and top rankings as the best country in the world for mothers, Norway continues to see its fertility rate decline.
Newspaper Aftenposten reported Wednesday that women in Norway now bear an average of 1.76 children, down from 1.98 five years ago. “That’s a dramatic decline,” pediatrician and former professor Dag Bratlid told Aftenposten. He said Norway needs a fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman to maintain its population.
Norway’s population continues to grow, but much of it is through immigration. Last year a total of 59,048 children were born in Norway, 30,370 boys and 28,714 girls, according to state statistics bureau SSB.
Despite widespread availability of state-subsidized day care, around a year of fully paid parental leave and a variety of child welfare programs and payments, many women in Norway continue to postpone having children until they’ve completed their education and launched careers. That has also lowered the fertility rate, according to Bratlid.
According to statistics from SSB, 22.2 percent of all Norwegian women aged 45 in 1980 had four or more children. Last year the number was down to 7.9 percent. “It’s still difficult to reconcile full-time jobs with having many children,” Anne Eskild, a professor at the University of Oslo, told Aftenposten.