Population growth Liminka, with more than 10,000 inhabitants, is a freak in the Finnish municipal field: almost half of the residents have children

In Liminga, about 40 percent of the residents are minors. The neighborhood effect is a phenomenon studied at birth – the pattern of behavior spreads to the environment. Birth rates have a dramatic effect on municipal finances.

More children or not? In the Kalaputa family, the matter was resolved by moving to Limina.

“If we had stayed in a terraced house in Oulu, the third child would probably not have been acquired,” says Linda Kalapudas, 31.

The fish puddle raises its pits Matildan, 5 months, carriages on the terrace of a new rough detached house. The Liminki field landscape opens next door. In their spring, the plowing machines are for big brothers, Aatulle, 4, and To Reino, 2, to your liking to follow.

“We heard from acquaintances that there are good services for families with children. I myself have had time to recommend the place to a friend who moved here with his family, ”he says Sakari Kalapudas, 28.

In Liminga, Near Oulu, the share of people under 18 is the largest in Finland. Nearly 40 percent of the residents of Liminga, with a population of more than ten thousand, are minors.

It is well above the average for municipalities, which in Finland has fallen below one-fifth. Number of minors has decreased From the early 1990s to the present, by nine percent.

In Liminga, the mayor Pekka in Rajala is still facing a challenge that is a utopia in most of Finland’s small municipalities.

Thanks to the relocation victory, two large groups of kindergartens have popped into the municipality, for whom places for early childhood education should now be found.

“We are changing people – educated, working families. The word rushes that there is a good environment for growth here. There would be more visitors if there were enough plots available, ”Rajala describes.

Pekka Rajala, Mayor of Liminga.

In Finland Babies are born most in proportion to the population in the small municipalities of Northern and Central Ostrobothnia, Ostrobothnia and Central Finland.

After Liminga, the proportion of minors in the population is the largest in its neighboring municipality of Tyrnäva and in Luoto in Ostrobothnia.

Measured in terms of total fertility figures, Kinnula in Central Finland, Merijärvi in ​​Northern Ostrobothnia and Luoto rise to the top in the statistics of the last five years.

Of the municipalities with more than ten thousand inhabitants, the fertility rate was highest in Liminga: 2.71. The whole country figure was for a period of five years 1.44.

Great When looking at the municipalities of birth, a zone extending from the Oulu region through Swedish-speaking Ostrobothnia to Central Finland is outlined.

“We can talk about the Bible zone in the sense that high-birth municipalities have both a significant number of Lestadians and a high degree of church affiliation,” says the Population Union researcher Henri Mikkola.

Mikkola talks about secularization, secularization, which studies have found to have a clear connection to lower birth rates.

According to research, the degree of belonging to the church correlates with the birth rate. The greater the proportion of Church members, the greater the birth rate.

“In Ostrobothnia, the connection is consistent. The birth rate there has also been higher than in the rest of the country for a long time, so the neighborhood effect is clear, ”says Mikkola.

“If you see children and families in the environment, it can become the norm.”

In Liminga, many belong not only to the church but also to the old-fashioned Lestadian movement, within which families are often large.

However, the majority of Lima residents are not Lestadians, and their families often have more children than average.

According to research, the neighborhood impact is visible, especially in the acquisition of a third child. More third children are born in areas with more children.

“Behaviors change according to what the environment is changing into. If you see children and families in the environment, it can become the norm. On the other hand, if people do not see children around them, it can delay familyization, ”Mikkola describes.

On the other hand, people move to environments that are favorable to themselves. According to Mikkola, selective migration and neighborhood impact work together.

Let’s fish there are kids friends in the neighborhood. The detached house, completed two years ago, was dimensioned by the family for two children, but soon after the move, the idea of ​​a third one arose.

“It occurred to me that that third child would be wonderful,” says Linda Kalapudas.

The decision was prompted by the fact that the services appeared to be in good condition in the new home municipality. You got time from the health center by calling for the same day.

Like Across the country, the birth rate has declined over the past decade, including in the high birth rate zone. Even in Liminga, the fertility rate was still clearly higher in the early 2010s: 3.44.

Due to the migration gain, the decrease in birth rate is not visible in Liminga’s kindergartens or schools.

The growing population has forced the municipality to invest at a rapid pace in recent years. The primary schools are new, as is the sports hall and health center.

The municipality’s economy is still in good shape – the number of companies and jobs is growing. When the government aims for an employment rate of 75% in Finland, the share of the employed in Liminga is already 78.

In the Kalaputa family, parents are in areas where there is likely to be enough work. Linda Kalapudas is a local nurse studying to become a midwife, Sakari Kalapudas drives a truck to work.

New Liminganlahti school building in Liminga.

Large birth rate is, in principle, always a useful thing for the municipal economy.

“When there are more cake bakers, there is more to share,” sums up the Director General of the Municipal Department of the Ministry of Finance Jani Pitkäniemi.

Municipalities with a low birth rate also benefit from the municipalities through the bend, when the income base of the municipalities is equalized in the form of state contributions.

“When there is more crew in the country at work, it generates more tax revenue for all municipalities,” Pitkäniemi says.

He points out that the declining birth rate is also a worrying phenomenon for the municipal economy.

In the short term, it can have even positive effects on the economy of a municipality as cost pressures decrease as the size of age groups diminishes.

“However, it’s just a sideline in the big picture. If the birth rate settles, the entire country’s economy will suffer and the municipal economy as part of it, ”Pitkäniemi emphasizes.

Good of course, birth rate alone is not enough if the municipality otherwise suffers a loss of migration. This is the situation in many municipalities with a high birth rate – the population is declining as young people move away as they grow up.

“It’s a sign of life when kindergarten is full of kids.”

This is the case in Kinnula, for example, which leads to fertility statistics. Children are born, but young people move elsewhere to study and do not return.

“Anyway, it’s a sign of life when kindergarten is full of kids. It is much better than just rollators on the village track, ”emphasizes Kinnula’s mayor Erkki Nikkilä.

Can municipalities then give pop-ups to improve birth rates?

“Maintaining a good buzz and a good service package – if the municipality can afford it – will indirectly help,” Pitkäniemi of the Ministry of Finance reflects.

In Liminga, families with children have been attracted by affordable detached house plots.

My house and my own peace were also the number one wish for the Kalaputa family. Sakari Kalapudas needed a Garage for his hobbies, and it was not a small temptation either to have direct access to the snowmobile trail from his own yard.

“We are not a shopping family. Rather outdoor. In the future, we will stay in Limina, but we don’t know, even if we move even further away – to a place where you can get a horse farm, ”Linda Kalapudas plans.

Their population There are not many more municipalities in Finland. Growing up are mainly the largest university cities and some of their sub-regions.

In these areas, it is easier to make investment decisions, for example in school properties, because the flow of population growth can be seen to continue.

In declining municipalities, decisions are difficult: Even if the birth rate is still high and new school space is needed, can it be trusted that they will soon be left empty?

“Finland needs a birth rate and an increasing population.”

Pitkäniemi encourages thinking about investments regionally.

“If the regional population trend is declining, investing in each municipality on top of each other is a bad equation,” he outlines.

“Finland needs a birth rate and an increasing population. It is still not emphasized too much, ”Pitkäniemi adds.

Maria Sipilä, family center planner in Liminga municipality.

In Liminga the trend is upward. It is estimated that in the next few years it will grow rapidly into a municipality of about 15,000 inhabitants.

The municipality wants to serve the growing number of families as well as possible. There is an electronic family service center on the grounds, where all family services can be found in one place.

Designer Maria Sipilä, who himself has four children, says one door tactic aims to get help early enough.

Linda Kalaputa thinks the best thing about Liminga is the tranquility.

“People are in no hurry. On the run, everyone greets. That may not happen in Oulu, ”he says.

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