Not since 2005 have there been as few children born in Sweden as last year, shows new figures from Statistics Sweden (SCB).

In some 20 municipalities, the number of births was the lowest in over 54 years.

Not since 2005 have there been as few children born in Sweden as last year, shows new figures from Statistics Sweden. Archive image.
Not since 2005 have so few children been born in Sweden as last year, according to new figures from Statistics Sweden. Archive image.

Childbirth is declining across most of the country. In 20 out of 21 counties and 215 out of 290 municipalities, the number of new births fell last year. In Sweden as a whole, the number of children born has not been this low since 2005.

But at county and municipal level, you have to go even further back in time to find similar figures. In Leksand, the number of babies born last year has not been this low since 1972, and in Robertsfors not since 1969.

SCB's statistics only go back to 1968, and in a number of municipalities the number of new births has not been as low as in 2022 since the statistics began to be kept. These are municipalities spread across the country, ranging from Sollefteå, Hudiksvall and Ånge to Västervik, Gislaved and Sölvesborg.

Same pattern in Norway and Denmark

"It is difficult to say exactly what factors are behind the decrease in childbirth in 2022. However, we see that the number of births per woman is decreasing among both Swedish-born and foreign-born women. The pattern with reduced number of births is the same also in Norway and Denmark," says Lena Lundkvist, demographer at SCB in a press release.

Childbirth increased slightly in 2021, but the long-term trend has been downwards since 2010.

Population increased despite fewer births

Only in Västmanland County did the number of children born increase compared to 2021, and only by six children.

Although fewer children were born, there were more of us in Sweden last year. The population was 10,521,556 people on the last December. This is an increase of 69,230 people – or 0.7 percent – since 2021.

"The increase in population is partly explained by the fact that more people were born than died, but mainly by the fact that more people immigrated than emigrated," says Ann-Marie Persson, population statistician at SCB.

Municipalities where the number of births was lowest for at least 50 years
Municipality Number of births in 2022 Lowest number since
Leksand 103 1972
Robertsfors 54 1969
Borgholm 51 Before 1968
Dals-Ed 31 Before 1968
Gislaved 257 Before 1968
Gnosjö 72 Before 1968
Haparanda 56 Before 1968
Hudiksvall 299 Before 1968
Lysekil 82 Before 1968
Motala 360 Before 1968
Norsjö 31 Before 1968
Oskarshamn 211 Before 1968
Ragunda 35 Before 1968
Simrishamn 117 Before 1968
Sollefteå 123 Before 1968
Current Strait 75 Before 1968
Sölvesborg 133 Before 1968
Hour 140 Before 1968
Vetlanda 225 Before 1968
Västervik 262 Before 1968
Ånge 64 Before 1968
River valley 38 Before 1968
Öckerö 76 Before 1968
Overtorneå 22 Before 1968
Source: Statistics Sweden, Statistics Sweden.

Facts: So many were born in Sweden

A total of 104 734 children were born in Sweden in 2022.

It is a decrease of 9,529 children compared to the previous year, or a decrease of 8.3 percent.

Childbirth was below 2022 of 1,52 children per woman, according to the measure known as the total fertility rate, compared to the same figure of 1.98 children per woman in 2010.

Source: Statistics Sweden, Statistics Sweden