# Decline in fertility

Published:

A total of 55 100 children were born in Norway in 2018, which is 1 500 fewer than 2017. This gives a total fertility rate (TFR) for women of 1.56.

The total fertility rate (TRF) of 1.56 is the lowest ever registered. The TFR has declined every year since 2009. In 2009 total fertility rate was 1.98. Fertility has thus decreased by almost half a child per woman in the last decade.

#### Figure 1. Total fertility rate (TRF) for women, 1970-2018

 TRF 1970 2.5 1971 2.49 1972 2.38 1973 2.23 1974 2.13 1975 1.98 1976 1.86 1977 1.75 1978 1.77 1979 1.75 1980 1.72 1981 1.701 1982 1.708 1983 1.655 1984 1.658 1985 1.677 1986 1.710 1987 1.745 1988 1.841 1989 1.887 1990 1.932 1991 1.918 1992 1.885 1993 1.860 1994 1.865 1995 1.869 1996 1.889 1997 1.857 1998 1.814 1999 1.845 2000 1.851 2001 1.784 2002 1.754 2003 1.797 2004 1.828 2005 1.836 2006 1.904 2007 1.901 2008 1.957 2009 1.979 2010 1.946 2011 1.880 2012 1.851 2013 1.782 2014 1.756 2015 1.730 2016 1.71 2017 1.62 2018 1.56

### Age of birth is increasing

An important reason for the decline in fertility in recent years is that more and more women are postponing the birth of their first child. The mean age for a woman at the first child’s birth was 29.5 years. Thirty years ago, the corresponding age was about 25 years. For men, the mean age at their first child’s birth was 31.8 years.

#### Figure 2. Mean age of parent at first child's birth, 1961-2018

 Mother Father 1961 24.6 28.2 1962 24.3 27.9 1963 24.0 27.5 1964 23.8 27.2 1965 23.6 26.9 1966 23.4 26.6 1967 23.3 26.3 1968 23.3 26.2 1969 23.3 26 1970 23.2 26 1971 23.3 26 1972 23.3 25.9 1973 23.4 26 1974 23.5 26.1 1975 23.5 26.2 1976 23.6 26.4 1977 23.8 26.5 1978 24.1 26.8 1979 24.1 27 1980 24.3 27.1 1981 24.4 27.2 1982 24.5 27.3 1983 24.7 27.5 1984 24.9 27.7 1985 25.0 27.7 1986 25.1 27.8 1987 25.1 28 1988 25.2 28.1 1989 25.3 28.1 1990 25.5 28.3 1991 25.7 28.4 1992 25.9 28.5 1993 26 28.8 1994 26.3 28.9 1995 26.5 29 1996 26.7 29.2 1997 27 29.5 1998 27.2 29.7 1999 27.2 29.9 2000 27.3 30.1 2001 27.5 30.3 2002 27.7 30.5 2003 27.9 30.7 2004 28 30.8 2005 28.1 30.9 2006 28.1 30.8 2007 28.1 30.9 2008 28.1 30.9 2009 28.1 30.9 2010 28.1 30.8 2011 28.3 31.1 2012 28.5 31.2 2013 28.6 31.3 2014 28.7 31.3 2015 28.9 31.4 2016 29 31.5 2017 29.3 31.7 2018 29.5 31.8

### Fewer women with many children

Another reason for the decline in fertility is that the percentage of women who give birth to three children or more has declined. In 2018, the proportion of 45-year-old women who had given birth to three children or more was 29.3 per cent.

#### Figure 3. Women in selected cohorts of births, by number of children at age 45

 4 + children 3 children 2 children 1 child No children 1935 22.2 27.4 30.4 10.4 9.6 1940 17.6 29.1 33.7 10.1 9.5 1945 11.3 26.4 41.5 11.8 9.0 1950 8.4 23.5 45.4 13.3 9.4 1955 8.1 24.2 42.1 14.3 11.2 1960 9.2 25.6 39.4 13.8 11.9 1965 8.4 24.7 40.2 14.2 12.5 1970 7.6 23.1 41.2 14.7 13.4 1973 7.2 22.2 42.0 15.4 13.3

### Declines in multiple births

Of 54 400 births, there were 804 sets of twins and 16 sets of triplets, which corresponds to 15.1 multiple births per 1 000 births. This is the lowest share since 1994.