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Exploring Norway's Fertility, Work, and Family Policy Trends

image of Exploring Norway's Fertility, Work, and Family Policy Trends

Like other Nordic countries Norway has been investing heavily in family policy to enable combining work and family life. Nevertheless, between 2009 and 2022 the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in Norway dropped from 2 children to 1.4 children per woman. What is happening, and why? Can Norwegian parents still reconcile work and family commitments? What role do demographic trends play for the future of the Norwegian society? Should we worry? These are some of the questions that this study addresses. It illustrates various aspects of fertility trends, as well as changes in the Norwegian labour market as well as in Norway’s comprehensive system of public family support. The study also looks at social attitudes and how these might be affecting family formation and fertility trends. The final chapter projects demographic, economic, fiscal and social outcomes under different fertility trend scenarios.

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The economic and social impact of low fertility in Norway

As most other OECD countries, Norway’s population is rapidly ageing. With an increasing share of the population reaching pension age as well as more and more requiring long-term care, the country will face substantial demographic challenges over the coming decades. Whether different trajectories of future fertility rates will have a noticeable influence on these pressures is not necessarily clear from the outset. Using the OECD Long‑Term Growth Model, this chapter projects demographic, economic, fiscal, and social outcomes under different fertility scenarios in Norway and selected other OECD countries until 2060.

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