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YEARBOOK OF POPULATION RESEARCH IN FINLAND. 1989; 27:53-9.The fertility level in Finland, after decades of decline, has stabilized at 1.6; attitudes and practical obstacles to reversing this negative growth are presented. The low fertility in Finland has a long history and complex causation, but is now so entrenched as to be embedded in the culture. People, women included, think as individuals, and consider family development to be their private business. The small family is such an accepted cultural norm that political speeches about raising fertility are considered inappropriate. The lack of adequate affordable housing, the high taxation and indebtedness experienced by young people, and the lack of institutional support, especially day care are practical factors preventing childbearing. Many women are used to having a job and being independent, and do not relish taking on double labor. Others have had bad experiences with poor day care and housing arrangements with 1 child and do not want to repeat it with another. The breakup of traditional extended families has eliminated child care, but also raises the question how elderly people will be cared for. While there is an evident lack of political solutions to the problem of population structure, even larger is the problem of social renewal, of creating a new society where children will fit in.