The number of third and fourth children born to parents in Estonia has increased over 2019, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.
According to preliminary data from the Estonian births register (Meditsiinilise sünniregister) for 2019 saw a 23 percent rise on two years prior to that, at 2,674 third children born, also a 26 percent increase on the past 10-year average.
As regards fourth children, this has risen to a lesser extent, with 642 born in 2019 – higher than the figure for 1992 soon after Estonia regained its independence.
The interior ministry says that increase in family support for families with higher numbers of children, introduced in 2017, is behind the uptick.
This is somewhat supported by the figures, which show that the total number of births in 2018 (14,034) in Estonia for 2018 was higher than for 2019 (13,730), even though the numbers of third or subsequent births was higher in the latter year.
"We have to take into account that the number of women born in the 1990s, who are now 20-30 years old, is low," said population affairs minister Riina Solman (Isamaa).
"This makes it gratifying that compared with 2017, for example, the figures clearly show that if families receive support, they will dare to live up to their dreams and have more children. Supporting and recognizing the importance of children has been a step in the right direction, and must be continued and expanded," Solman went on.
According to preliminary birth registry data, there were 13,730 live births in 2019, of which 3,604, or 26 percent, were third or subsequent births.
In 2018, the total number of live births was 14,034 and in 2017, 13,440.
The birth register data reflect the number of births in Estonia. Complete and verified birth data will be published by Statistics Estonia in May.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) noted this as a positive development.
"A family-friendly Estonia is one of the priorities of the current government. Benefits and tax benefits for families with children have now increased," Ratas noted on his social media account Saturday, adding that his government would be investigating ways of supporting home purchases for families through the course of the year, as well.
Editor: Andrew Whyte