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AP analysis. The expected COVID baby boom could be a baby bust

NEW YORK (AP) – When most of the United States was blocked a year ago, some assumed that keeping couples in their homes would have little to do with entertaining them outside of Netflix. But statistics suggest that the opposite has happened.

Births in many states dropped sharply during the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Associated Press, based on an analysis of preliminary data from half of the country.

The COVID-19 baby boom looks like a baby boom.

Nationwide, even before the epidemic, the number of children born in the United States was declining by 1% per year over the past decade as more women delayed motherhood and had smaller families.

But data from 25 states show a sharp decline in 2020 և 2021, as the virus wiped out society and killed more than half a million Americans.

All data show that all births in 2020 have decreased by 4.3% since 2019. It is more understandable that in December 2020 և January-February 2021, nine months or more after the spring blockade of 2020, births decreased by 6.5% and 9.3% և 10%, respectively. compared to the same months last year.

December, January և February together had about 41,000 fewer births than the same quarter a year earlier. That is an 8% decline.

“When there is a crisis, I do not think people think about reproduction,” said Dr. John on Santelli, a professor of family health at Columbia University who studied AP analysis.

The analysis included 24 states that provided birth data to residents. They were joined in the analysis by California, the most populous state, which provided data on all births in the state, including visitors.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to provide a national image by the end of this year. But the data of 25 states is not expected to change significantly. According to experts, the initial birth number is usually close to the final count.

The AP’s findings relate to the predictions of other researchers at the Brookings Institution, who predicted a significant drop in births this year.

“The consensus there is going to fall,” said Hans-Peter Kohler, a University of Pennsylvania researcher focusing on fertility and health.

For some, that did not happen until about March 2020, when most of America was cooperating domestically. Some pictorial couples have had more time together, and some women may find it difficult to consume and establish birth control, causing at least a small increase in births.

It was more difficult for Bryan և Katie Basamanovich.

The couple planned to have a child last summer to provide for their son, Simon, younger sister or sister, but then came the COVID-19: block.

“For a moment, ‘it was so violent and scary,’ that the couple thought they would have to delay trying to conceive,” said Brian, 39, editor-in-chief of a small publishing house in Ventura, California.

But then there was calm in early summer as the first wave of COVID-19 disease weakened and the blockade weakened. Eventually the couple decided to give it a try. Then things started to grow again.

“We decided, ‘Let’s stop this,'” said Kathy, a 32-year-old teacher. But it turned out that it was too late. In early July, a pregnancy test was positive. “We were already pregnant,” she said.

Fritz Basamanovich was born on March 6 last month. Pregnancy was a worrying experience as expectant mothers were at greater risk of contracting the disease.

“I’m very grateful we were able to do that,” said Kathy.

New York, the deadly epicenter of the US outbreak in the spring of 2020, was not part of the analysis. According to his health department, the data is not available.

Of course, most babies born in 2020 became pregnant in 2019, before the virus spread to the United States, so the numbers partly reflect a pre-existing declining trend.

But births in December 2020 fell in 23 of the 25 states from the same month a year earlier, with the exception of Alaska and Wyoming. In Massachusetts դրանք in Virginia they fell by about 11%; 10% in California; և 7% in Florida, Illinois, Indiana և Nevada.

In most of the 25 states, the decline in January 2021 was sharper.

Still, 31-year-old Emily Newell, who lives in Portland, Maine, with her husband Ben Keller, said that she witnessed the opposite during the outbreak. “We know a lot of people who have decided to have a baby.”

The couple got married in January 2020 և eventually had to work from home. They have seen some complaints of getting pregnant with a partner at home, says Newell, a 31-year-old sports management assistant at the University of South Maine.

“It gives us a little more flexibility in terms of care,” he said.

Their son, Manuel, was born two months ago.


The Associated Press’s Department of Health and Science is supported by the Department of Science Education at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The AP is solely responsible for all content.



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