Thursday. 18.07.2019
El tiempo

The Finnish towns that will pay you 10,000 euros for having a child

If you want to get some extra money for your family and at the same time do a good service to the Finnish nation, then memorize the names of these places

A mother enjoying Finnish winter with her child. Photo: Harri Tarvainen/Visit Finland.
A mother enjoying Finnish winter with her child. Photo: Harri Tarvainen/Visit Finland.
The Finnish towns that will pay you 10,000 euros for having a child

If you are one of those who try to work little and get the most out of all effort, or either if you are a hard worker and simply want to do a good service to the Finnish nation, then memorize the names of these towns: Lestijärvi and Miehikkälä.

Lestijärvi is located in Western Finland and is part of the Ostrobothnia region. It has a population of just over 750 inhabitants (is one of the smallest in Finland) and, as reported by the Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat, in the year 2012 there was only one child born there, which received the name of Kerttu.

Perhaps that very low birth rate was what led the municipal authorities to make Lestijärvi one of the most generous towns in Finland (together with Miehikkälä, located in the Southern region of Kymenlaakso) when it comes to 'reward' couples who dare to procreate.

Since 2013, the municipality of Lestijärvi pays 10,000 euros for each child born in its municipal term. As in Miehikkälä, the money is paid at the rate of 1,000 euros per year and the basic condition is that the family (at least one legal guardian) must stay living in the town during this period. The right to this benefit expires if the legal guardian(s) of the child move to another municipality.

An immediate success

The impact of this measure on the birth rate in Lestijärvi was immediate: in the period from 2013 to 2018, the town witnessed the birth of 55 new babies. It is a resounding success, if we take into account that in the previous six years the number of births was 33.

"I left from the Parliament in 2011 and came here as mayor in 2012. In that year, a single child, Kerttu, was born in the municipality .The shopkeepers said something had to be done for the birth, otherwise the schools would go", said to Ilta Sanomat Eero Ahonen, the mayor of Lestijärvi. In practice, his town almost doubles the average allowances for families given in other Finnish municipalities.

Almost all the families receiving this child money have stayed in Lestijärvi and probably intend to be there for the ten years that the benefit lasts. The municipality is currently paying almost 50,000 euros a year in concept of child benefits.

The authorities also wanted to thank Kerttu for having made them aware of the problem, so in 2013 they also agreed to grant their family this benefit retroactively.

Compatible with Kela's allowance

There are other dozens of municipalities in Finland that pay the so-called baby money to the families that have kids. This is a different subsidy than the other child benefit and the world-famous maternity package paid by the Finnish Security Institution (Kela). And of course, they are all compatible.

The lack of newborn children is on track to become a huge problem for Finland. Last year, its birth rate went down for the eighth year in a row. Hence, more and more cities compete with each other to promote births and the growth of their population either with money or by giving tax benefits to the families.

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