4. Differences between regions in family types – married couple still the most common one (Corrected on 4. December 2015. The corrections are indicated in red)

4.1 Number of cohabiting families lowest in Uusimaa

The commonest type of family with children in all regions is one of a married couple although there are also clear differences in this. The differences arise from the prevalence of families of cohabiting couples and one-parent families in the regions. In relative numbers, most cohabiting couples are found in Åland, Kainuu and Lapland. In Åland, 30 per cent and in Kainuu, 25 per cent and in Lapland, 24 per cent of all families with underage children are families of cohabiting couples. The lowest share of cohabiting families in Finland is found in Uusimaa, 17.5 per cent.

Figur 7. Families of cohabiting couples as a proportions of families with underage children by region in 2014 (the figure was corrected on 4. December 2015)

Figur 7. Families of cohabiting couples as a proportions of families with underage children by region in 2014 (the figure was corrected on 4. December 2015)

When examining the prevalence of cohabiting couples by municipality, the municipalities of Åland are in the lead. Among municipalities in Mainland Finland, Pelkosenniemi holds the lead with 36 per cent of families with underage children cohabiting. After Pelkosenniemi, the number of families of cohabiting couples was in relative terms highest in Närpiö and Savukoski (33%). The municipality in Mainland Finland with the lowest share of seven per cent of families of cohabiting couples with children is Luoto.

4.2 Most conventional families in Ostrobothnia

There is also clear regional variation in the prevalence of one-parent families. The region of Ostrobothnia differs from other regions in favour of the conventional family (Figure 8). The number of one-parent families is lowest there. The number of one-parent families is highest in Päijät-Häme (23.5%) and Uusimaa (22.9%).

Figure 8. Proportion of single-parent families of all families with underage children by region in 2014 (the figure was corrected on 4. December 2015)

Figure 8. Proportion of single-parent families of all families with underage children by region in 2014 (the figure was corrected on 4. December 2015)

The regional variation in the proportion of one-parent families with children is due to the different proportions in families of the type mother and children. The proportion of families of the type father and children ranges from two to four per cent in nearly all regions. The proportions are biggest in Åland (3.9%), South Karelia (3.6%) and Kainuu (3.5%).

Examined by municipality in Mainland Finland, the proportions of one-parent families with children are highest in Hartola (29%), Helsinki and Kustavi (28%). Åland has the highest figures in the whole of Finland (Sottunga 50%, Kökar 33%, Brändö 29 % and Mariehamn 27%), but in the case of Sottunga, Kökar and Brändö it should be borne in mind that in such small municipalities the difference of just a couple of family types can alter the percentage share considerably.

In Mainland Finland, the lowest relative proportions of one-parent families can be found in Luoto (4%) and Pedesröre (6%), and in Åland in Vårdö (3%).

Luoto could be viewed as the most conventional municipality in terms of family structure, because it has the lowest proportion of one-parent families with children (4%) and the highest proportion of married couples (89%) in the whole country. Luoto also has the sixth highest average number of 2.71 of underage children living at home per family. Higher figures are reached in Lumijoki (2.99), Perho (2.96) and Sievi (2.95). The average for the whole country is 1.84.


Source: Population and Justice Statistics, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Marjut Pietiläinen 029 551 2798, Timo Nikander 029 551 3250, info@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 27.11.2015

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Families [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-3231. Annual Review 2014, 4. Differences between regions in family types – married couple still the most common one (Corrected on 4. December 2015. The corrections are indicated in red) . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 18.11.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/perh/2014/02/perh_2014_02_2015-11-27_kat_004_en.html