Early on in the coronavirus pandemic, many predicted a “baby boom” would result, thanks to all the idle hours couples were forced to spend at home.
So far, though, the research suggests the opposite may be true: We’re in the early days of a “baby bust.”
According to reporting by the NBCLX news outlet, several states and a few hospital systems that keep track of births saw significant drops in birth rates in December, compared with the same month in 2019. This past December’s birth rates were down 8% in Florida, 5% in Arizona and 7% in Ohio compared with the previous year. (Most states and hospitals contacted either couldn’t provide information or hadn’t shared their December numbers yet.)
NBCLX looked at December birth rates because most stay-at-home orders were instituted in March. The majority of babies conceived in mid-March would be born in late December.
With a few exceptions, hospital systems contacted by the news site reported similar declines. OhioHealth, which delivers babies at 10 hospitals across the state, saw an 11% drop in births over the second half of 2020, compared to the second half of 2019. JPSHealth Network in Texas reported a 13% drop in births…