This section describes fertility, births, infant mortality and contraceptive methods in the Nordic countries. It is followed by a description of abortions.

Fertility and births

In recent years, fertility rates have decreased in all Nordic countries. Excluding Faroe Islands and Greenland (latest data from 2015), the total fertility rates are below the replacement level, 2.1 children per women. In 2021, there was an increase in the fertility rate in all five Nordic countries after the first year of pandemic. However, the increase discontinued already in 2022. Between 2010 and 2022, total fertility rate has decreased most in Finland (-29%), Iceland (-28) and Norway (-28%) and least in Faroe Islands (-18%) and Denmark (-17%).

In all the Nordic countries, it is possible to obtain treatment for infertility, paid for by the public health services, even if in Iceland and Norway has higher user charges for in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment than for other types of treatment. Denmark is the country with most IVF treatments and Finland the country with lowest. Between 5 and 7 percent of live births is the result of IVF. 

Internationally, the Nordic countries are characterized by having very low perinatal mortality. Changes in perinatal mortality during this period are the result of changes in the definition of gestational ages.

Note: Perinatal mortality rate shown here is a sum of the 3 categories in data (Stillbirths, First 24 hours, 1-6 days)
Note: Stillbirths per 1 000 live births; Deaths per 1 000 live births


The time limit for spontaneous abortion and stillbirth is 22 weeks in all the Nordic countries except for the Faroe Islands and Greenland, where the limit is 28 weeks. The data on stillbirths and infant deaths are presented in two ways: first according to calendar year, i.e. year of birth and death and second according to birth cohort, i.e. year of birth with follow-up for the first year of life).

Greenland has the highest lowest mortality rate for the first year of life, while the rate in other the Nordic countries and regions is around 1 per 1000 newborns from 28 gestational weeks onwards.

Since the middle of the 1970s, induced abortion has been available in most of the Nordic countries. In Iceland and Sweden, the abortion is free until the 22nd and the 18th week of gestation, In Denmark, Greenland, Finland, Åland, and Norway, the limit is 12th week of gestation. In these countries, it is solely up to the pregnant woman herself to decide whether an abortion is to be performed, while the women in Faroe Islands need a legal indication for the procedure. Late abortions after the 12th or 18th week of gestation may be carried out, but only following special assessment and permission from regional or national authority. Finland and Faroe Islands have the lowest abortion rates.

Note: Abortions per 1.000 live births