Will life under lockdown lead to a baby boom? Some experts say that we’re set for a post-COVID-19 birth rate rise. It’s only natural with many cities having shelter in place orders, many couples are having to spend more time at home together with more time on their hands.
In fact, one academic study found that events that keep us hunkered down at home, such as hurricanes, can lead to statistically significant birth rate increases1. Even if it’s just for a day. Such as the great New York City blackout of November 9, 1965, when the city was plunged into darkness for 10 hours. Nine months later, some city hospitals recorded their highest-ever number of births in a single day.
A study by the British Medical Journal said sporting victories can also lead to the patter of tiny feet - although presumably only heard by fans of the victorious team2. The Chicago Cubs’ 2016 victory against the Cleveland Indians caused an increase in births conceived during the playoffs, while Texas Health Department figures showed that Houston Astros fans certainly celebrated their 2017 World Series victory in style.
On a national scale, the biggest-ever baby boom was in the years following World War II. When our soldiers came home from the war, they were determined to make the most of their new freedom and settle down into family life with their sweethearts.
Those born in that bountiful post-war period are today’s Baby Boomers, who make up as much as 40 percent of the population, with many either at or near to retirement3. Those ‘Boomers’ know that growing a family comes with new financial responsibilities and would sure have some good advice for today’s soon-to-be moms and dads. When a new addition to the family is on its way, money may not be top-of-mind, but parents-to-be should be building a budget for baby, not only for the early days of diapers, but also for far into the future, from childcare to college.
1 Evans, Richard "The fertility effect of catastrophe." Original Paper. July 02, 2008. http://www.econ2.jhu.edu/people/hu/fertility_jpope2010.pdf
2 Montesinos, Jesus, "Barcelona baby boom: does sporting success affect birth rate?" British Medical Journal. December 17, 2013. https://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f7387
3 Barnier, Brian. "Baby Boomer." February 28, 2020. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/baby_boomer.asp
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