Aug 18, 2010
In the wake of snowstorms that prevented people from leaving their homes, a recent Washington Post article explored the legitimacy of claims that immobilizing events lead to baby booms. Nine months after unusually heavy snowfalls in December and February, some area hospitals are seeing a noteworthy rise in the number of expected births. However, the article cites a 1970 paper by former CPC Director and current Fellow J. Richard Udry in disproving the theory that such catastrophes lead to baby booms. Udry’s research was related to similar claims following the New York blackout of 1965 in which hospitals reported a rise in births nine months following the event. He ultimately found that the claims were not statistically significant and reduced the theory to fanciful thinking. Within the article, Udry’s research is used along with the work and opinions of others to assess the recent baby boom claims.
The full article can be found here.
The article references this study: Udry, J. Richard. 1970. “The Effect of the Great Blackout of 1965 on Births in New York City,” Demography 7(3):325-327.
Source: “Nine months after winter storms, some area hospitals expect a spike in births” The Washington Post (August 2, 2010)