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Population Declining? Start Paying Parents to Get Pregnant

Newborn Twins Sleeping in a Basket
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

With many parts of Finland situated in remote, less desirable locations, it's hard to attract people to live there, especially outside the major cities. That is, unless you start paying moms and dads to get busy.

It's not a new concept, by any means, and in fact is a widely adopted practice across the entire country, but one small town near the Arctic Circle is being a little more generous with its purse strings than others have been in the past.

Lestijärvi has fewer than 900 inhabitants. Just two years ago, there was only one birth in town. Much like the whole country (and other neighboring nations), Finnish people are barely replacing their aging population that is passing away (with the average birth per woman at 1.8).

In an effort to spur population growth Lestijärvi decided to further incentivize its townspeople to get to work by offering a cool 10,000 euros for every baby born until 2016. While the town government knows that the amount by no means covers the costs of raising a baby, it does certainly sweeten the deal. But it's really the other perks that the town's mayor is aiming to bring to light: There are stellar child care facilities and schools.

And their ploy has been working—in 2013, there were 14 births in Lestijärvi.

Thinking about moving to Finland? Well, aside from the beautiful landscapes and a possible baby relocation package, the country also offers up its own gift to new parents. The Wire noted that, "Since the 1930s, the country has given out a baby box to every expecting mother, packed with clothes, diapers and other baby essentials, with the box itself doubling as a cot."

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