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Research Professor Anna Rotkirch appointed to draw up a demographic report

Government Communications Department
16.6.2020 8.08
Press release 423/2020
kuva: vauva, Pasi Markkanen

The Prime Minister’s Office has launched a project to examine the causes of the current demographic situation in Finland and to make policy recommendations to ensure sustainable demographic development. Research Professor Anna Rotkirch has been appointed to produce the report. The project will be supported by a steering group consisting of the State Secretaries of the parties in Government and by an independent scientific panel on population policy.

Finland has not drawn up a comprehensive population policy report for over a decade, despite the fact that the birth rate has fallen dramatically throughout the 2010s and reached a historic low in 2019. Finland is one of the first welfare states in the world where a significant proportion of the population is aged. A research project investigating demographic change has been launched for the period 1 May 2020–31 March 2021.

“The fall in the birth rate has been astonishing, and it is important to find out what is behind it. In the first part of this year, however, more children were born than during the same period in the previous year. We may have moved past the lowest point of the decline,” says Rotkirch, the principal investigator.

“Population development presents many challenges, but also opportunities,” Rotkirch emphasises. “Finland is a country of happy and skilled people, where faith in the future has remained high even through the coronavirus epidemic.”

The aim of the research project is to examine demographic trends, the impact of changes in the dependency ratio on the welfare society and the effect of economic, social and regional inequalities on the birth rate. The project will also examine the reasons for the decline in the birth rate, changes in the needs and expectations of young adults in the 2000s, and the effects of family-friendly working life and a child-friendly society on the birth rate. A steering group consisting of State Secretaries and an independent scientific panel on population policy have been appointed to support the project and its principal investigator.

The steering group appointed to support the project consists of the State Secretaries Olli Koski (Chair), Maria Kaisa Aula, Minna Kelhä, Malin Brännkärr and Olli-Poika Parviainen. The task of the steering group is to support the principal investigator and guide her in preparing policy recommendations.

Scientific panel on population policy appointed to support the preparation of the report

The Prime Minister's Office has appointed a scientific panel on population policy consisting of ten researchers from different disciplines. The term of the scientific panel will continue until 31/01/2021.

The task of the scientific panel is to engage in dialogue with the principal investigator and to participate in meetings with the steering group. The panel members can produce brief overviews on the theme and present assessments of policy recommendations on how to adapt to the changes in demographic structure and ensure sustainable demographic development.

The members of the scientific panel are Professor Marja Jylhä (Chair), Research Professor Mika Gissler, Senior Researcher Marika Jalovaara, Deputy Professor Marjut Jyrkinen, Professor Teppo Kröger, Professor Ismo Linnosmaa, Professor Jouko Miettunen, Professor Mikko Myrskylä, Research Professor Ari Väänänen and Professor Eva Österbacka. The panel members have been appointed based on their personal expertise and do not represent their organisations or lobbying groups.

Inquiries: Anna Rotkirch, Chief Specialist, Prime Minister’s Office, tel. +358 295 160 393