Most ever newborns in Iceland this year?

22.11.2021 - 14:29
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Iceland looks on course to register the highest ever number of babies born in a single year.

The first three quarters of 2021 have beat the previous record set in 2010—when the so-called ‘financial crisis babies’ were born after the banks all fell and unemployment skyrocketed.

This time, the reason appears to be the COVID-19 lockdowns...but there is more to it, experts say.

The number of babies born in Iceland could top 5,000 this year for the first time ever.

Sunna Kristín Símonardóttir, adjunct professor, says: “In Iceland and some other Nordic countries, and other countries around us, we are seeing what has been called a baby boom, whereby people are choosing to have children right now and there seems to be a clear connection to the covid pandemic, though there are also other factors that could have an effect. We see, for example, the new parental leave law under which parental leave goes from being nine months up to 12.” 

 
New mother Lilja Soley Hauksdottir seems like a point in question: “The plan originally was to buy a house, get married, and then have children. But because of covid there was no wedding this year or last, so we decided to just go for it and have this little one! Maybe it played into it somewhat that one was maybe a little bored. I was always home alone and needed a bit of company.” 

Sunna Kristín says people have generally been looking closer to home for way to improve life during the pandemic. The scarcity of puppies looking for homes is testament to this, she says, and maybe having children is part of the same phenomenon. “This shouldn’t come as a surprise to us now. I think it’s just important to be prepared," she says. “First, we need to make sure we have enough midwives and doctors to deliver these babies.”

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Alexander Elliott
Fréttastofa RÚV