There was speculation when COVID-19 took hold and things shut down last year that cooped-up couples might produce a baby boom.
Statistics show that idea is a bust.
The Associated Press analyzed states' preliminary birth data, finding births have actually fallen in many areas amid the coronavirus pandemic. The birth rate was falling in the U.S. before the pandemic, but data from 25 states – including Indiana – show a steeper decline in 2020 and into this year.
“Births for all of 2020 were down 4.3% from 2019,” the AP analysis says. “More tellingly, births in December 2020 and in January and February 2021 – nine months or more after the spring 2020 lockdowns – were down 6.5%, 9.3% and 10% respectively, compared with the same months a year earlier.”
December, January and February saw 41,000 fewer births than the same period in 2020.
Births dropped 7% in Indiana, according to the analysis.
“When there's a crisis, I don't think people are thinking about reproduction,” said Dr. John Santelli, a Columbia University professor of population and family health who reviewed the AP's analysis.
The AP found rates dropped in 23 of the 25 states studied. Alaska and Wyoming were the exceptions.
Massachusetts and Virginia saw the biggest drops in births – 11%.