Coronavirus pandemic baby boom unlikely, researchers say

It’s a pandemic, plenty of romantic partners are stuck inside night after night with nothing to do, and so the thinking goes – we could be in line for a COVID baby boom, right?

Actually, we’re far more likely to get a COVID baby bust, according to researchers.

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"This pandemic has moved way beyond a weekend of everyone in the house maybe having a romantic weekend with their partners, and as is clear, it’s a huge economic shock to a lot of households and a lot of couples," and so, University of Maryland Professor of Economics Melissa Kearney explained, people aren’t necessarily worried about babies – they’re worried about money and their health.

Kearney researched the topic for Brookings, and using past economic studies of fertility behavior as well as data from the Great Recession and the 1918 Spanish Flu, she found that there could be 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births next year.

"We might have seen a 1 percent reduction in births beyond last year given downward trends in fertility. What we’re suggesting is that because of the pandemic, things will fall an additional 8 or 9 percent," Kearney added. "How persistent or how permanent this is is really going to depend on how quickly the economy recovers, how quickly people find new jobs, and whether those new jobs replace their lost income."

 You can read the full Brookings report here.