Post pandemic baby boom?

I’ve been reading some places that there will be a post pandemic baby boom, starting this summer or autumn. Other articles, such as the one linked below, say it won’t happen. Does anyone have the straight dope on this? If it’s going to happen that soon, the babies will already be in the oven, but I don’t know if anyone tries to get hard numbers on pregnancies as opposed to actual births.

Things aren’t booming in Japan, at least.

Plenty of surveys about and the story is that there will be no baby boom.

According to the results, around half of women who were thinking of having a baby say COVID-19 has changed their plans. 72 per cent said they had decided to postpone a pregnancy, while only 28 per cent decided to bring their plans forward. It is worth noting here that 92 per cent of people included in the study still wanted to become pregnant eventually, so the main factor was timing.

First research to show that a post-pandemic “baby boom” is unlikely in the UK | Tommy’s (

There was speculation at the start of the pandemic that lockdowns/social restrictions would lead to a baby boom - people are at home all day, what else are they gonna do? This hasn’t happened, of course.

Now the speculation is that the ending of these restrictions will lead to a baby boom - more socialising; more dating; people feeling more confident, upbeat and optimistic; what else are they gonna do?

In the past, a dip in the fertility rate due to a crisis of this kind has usually been followed by a corresponding boom, so maybe the prediction this time will prove to be a bit more accurate. It really depends on whether people do feel more happy and confident, or whether they remain concerned and cautious, notwithstanding vaccination.

Several factors to consider -

Women who were undecided and have gotten older may have had their minds made up for them by biology and clocks.

Some part of the boom is accidents, and birth control failures. To a certain extent nowadays, this is mitigated by the availability of abortion. Perhaps a good indicator how much this matters is the distribution of any resulting baby boom by state.

Also, some effects - such as accidental teen pregnancies -would be lessened by isolation requirements, thus suggesting a boom would be more than 9 months after the re-opening. One of the success stories of the last two decades is how much USA teen pregnancies have dropped.

(I think it was Freakonomics discussing fertility that said women have the number of children they intend to have; just with proper birth control, they can put off the event until they want to do so.)

Pregnancies as a result of boredom and isolation would also be mitigated by the possibility that this is the result of one or both of a couple having lost their jobs - one of the biggest drivers of fertility or non-fertility is the high cost nowadays of having children. This also has the follow-on effect that any family planning will also depend on how quickly economic activity returns and how secure people feel in their revived careers.

(My thought is that despite government largesse, there is a huge collective of people and groups who have accumulated a massive debt liability over the last year and a half, and we’re not out of the woods yet. It may be several years before much of that debt is paid off, and during that time -again - people will forego the expense of kids in order to pay down debt; and organizations will be less willing to hire or expand, in order to pay off accumulated debt).

I vaguely recall some article discussing this that said the fertility dip from 2008 did not have a corresponding recovery “boom” and the current fertility dip has been dramatic too.

COVID is just a blip in a longer trend:

The general fertility rate in the U.S. was already at a record low before the COVID-19 pandemic began. In 2019, there were 58.3 births for every 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 in the U.S., down from 59.1 in 2018, making it the fifth consecutive year in which the fertility rate declined.

Key facts about U.S. fertility trends before COVID-19 | Pew Research Center

And it is not just the USA either. Fertility is down in most of the developed countries, some (like Italy) worse than others.