Published: 29 May 2009

Forty-one per cent of the population belong to families with children

At the end of 2008, there were 1,444,000 families in Finland. The number had grown by 6,700 from the previous year-end. Altogether 76 per cent of the Finnish population, that is 4,051,000 persons, belonged to a family. Persons living alone numbered 1,015,000. Two-thirds of the families were married couples. Twenty-one per cent were families of cohabiting couples and 12 per cent were one-parent families. There were 1,244 families of registered same-sex couples.

Families with children (under the age of 18) numbered 585,000. Their number had fallen by 2,500 from the year before. A total of 42 per cent of the population belong to a family with children. The commonest family type, which 62 per cent of the families with children belong to, continues to be married couple with children. There were almost equal proportions of families of cohabiting couples with children and single mothers with children: 18 per cent of the former and 17 per cent of the latter among all families with children. A single carer father is still a rarity, for under three per cent of all families with children consist of just father and children. In 187 families with children the parents are a registered same-sex couple.

At the turn of the year, the average number of children still living at home in a family with children was 1.83. At present the final mean number of children in families with children is 2.4 today.

At the end of 2007, there were 54,000 reconstituted families in Finland. A reconstituted family is one where at least one child under the age of 18 is the child of one parent only. There were almost 78,000 of such children. The number of reconstituted families had gone up by approximately 200 from the year before. Roughly one-half of the parents of reconstituted families were cohabiting and the other half were married.

Families by type in 1990–2008

Type of family      1990 1995 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 Change    2007–2008
Families total 1 365 341 1 382 970 1 401 963 1 426 002 1 431 376 1 437 709 1 444 386 6 677
Married couple without children 364 452 395 953 436 019 481 209 488 880 496 814 504 728 7 914
Married couple with children 640 062 579 578 514 868 468 266 461 569 456 235 452 180 -4 055
Cohabiting couple no children 123 471 135 996 160 132 180 590 184 732 188 172 191 177 3 005
Cohabiting couple with children 65 896 85 309 102 581 112 847 114 671 115 860 115 966 106
Mother and children 147 297 159 063 159 432 153 024 151 475 150 251 149 631 -620
Father and children 24 161 27 071 28 931 29 238 29 101 29 288 29 460 172
Registered male couple . . . 398 455 527 579 52
Registered female couple . . . 430 493 562 665 103
Family population 4 101 922 4 093 038 4 053 850 4 037 753 4 039 944 4 045 561 4 051 662 6 101
Population 31.12. 4 998 478 5 116 829 5 181 115 5 255 580 5 276 955 5 300 484 5 326 314 25 830
Proportion of family population 82.1 80.0 78.2 76.8 76.6 76.3 76.1 -0.2
Averige size of family 3.00 2.96 2.89 2.83 2.82 2.81 2.81 0.00

Source: Families 2008, Population and Cause of Death Statistics, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Marjut Pietiläinen, Timo Nikander (09) 1734 2798, (09) 1734 3250, vaesto.tilasto@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 29.5.2009

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Families [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-3231. 2008. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 12.7.2020].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/perh/2008/perh_2008_2009-05-29_tie_001_en.html