Low birth rates, including Finland, are hitting several countries in the world. The country is up to paying parents if they have babies.
One small town in Finland, Lestijarvi, since 2013, paid parents who have babies. For every newborn baby, it will be valued at 10 thousand euros. This incentive is called a baby bonus that will be paid for ten years, as reported by the BBC.
Lestijarvi’s government policy was carried out to address the decline in birth rates and the depletion of the population in the city. Until this year, the procedure was considered to have a positive impact. Since 2013 there have been 60 babies born. This figure is more significant than when the system had not been implemented, only 38 people were born in 7 years.
In addition to the baby bonus policy, Finland also has other family programs such as child benefits of 100 Euros or around Rp 1.5 million per child and leave work for parents for up to 9 months with a fixed salary of 70 percent.
One of the baby bonus recipients, Tuikka (50), said, thanks to the benefits he received, he could save up to 6000 euros or around Rp 93 million. He also said this allowance was a form of government attention in helping families there.
Furthermore, Tuikka is still skeptical that benefits can only make people want to reproduce. According to him, the allowance could temporarily detain residents from moving.
“More importantly, the benefits have attracted families to live there instead of moving,” he said.
A lecturer in Social Sciences at the University of Tampere, Ritva Natkin, said that providing financial incentives for families might help increase birth rates to some extent. But it is unlikely that the number of births will increase sharply only with financial encouragement. Another thing to note is that people’s views about having children have changed.
Finland is not the only country in Europe that is struggling to increase birth rates. Other countries, for example, Sweden, also implemented a similar policy. Even so, the birth rate in Europe remains low, especially in the last ten years, which dropped dramatically. In 2018, the lowest birth ratio recorded at 1.4 per woman. This figure is lower than the WHO standard of 2.1 per woman.