Researchers from Brookings in Washington, DC examined data from previous economic studies on fertility in the United States during the 2007-2009 recession and the 1918 influenza pandemic.
After analyzing those data, along with other factors such as job losses during the coronavirus pandemic, the researchers predicted in a report published last week that the United States could see a drop of around 300,000 to 500,000 births due to Covid-19. .
“When we started doing the calculations, we looked at the 1918 pandemic, just like Brookings, and we saw that there was a 10% drop in fertility nine to 10 months after the peak mortality,” Gupta said Monday.
“A drop of 10% or 15% or 20% in the coming years could really spell trouble,” said Gupta. “The economic and demographic implications of a severe drop in pregnancy could have a tremendous impact on the next generation, so this is an important and very serious issue.”
According to the Brookings Institution, data from the recession suggests that the US birth rate. USA Decreased from approximately 69 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 in 2007 to 63 births per 1,000 women in 2012, a decrease of approximately 9% or approximately 400,000 fewer births
Brookings’s team also discovered that in 1918, each increase in deaths from the flu pandemic caused a stable birth rate that would otherwise drop approximately 21 births per 1,000, representing a 12.5% decrease.
They also noted that the uncertainty and anxiety associated with the coronavirus pandemic, job loss, and, to some extent, physical distancing, could play a role in further declining births. This is something that Gupta, a specialist in internal medicine and preventive medicine, said he has seen among his own patients.
“As I see my patients, I see more and more demands for family planning and contraceptives and whatnot, along with the economic forces and the people who lose their jobs,” said Gupta, adding that the lives of many of his patients They changed dramatically, as not only did they have to work from home, but as their lives became hectic, their children also had to stay home.
“I started asking my other colleagues about what is happening and they agree that there is more demand for family planning services like oral contraceptives,” said Gupta. “For most of my patients, they were very, very busy and they were afraid of getting pregnant.”
This new research has some limitations. The findings are based on comparisons with two previous events and may not reflect the true nuances of the current coronavirus pandemic. “Some of these estimates also depend on what happens next,” said Gupta.
“For example, the fear factor could be addressed with a robust plan and call to action to prevent a second wave of Covid infections this fall. On the other hand, if you get multiple waves as we saw in 1918, the situation could be even worse. “said Gupta. “This pandemic and our response to it and the public’s confidence in its government could have a consistent long-term impact.”
However, if predictions estimate an upcoming decline in births, where did the idea come from that there may possibly be a baby boom during the coronavirus pandemic?
“Basically, the bottom line is this: When there is a storm warning, there is some data to suggest that the pregnancy rate increases, but actually when destruction occurs, like a tsunami, your births actually decrease,” said Gupta.
“Therefore, there is a difference in the impact on society of a natural calamity or a pandemic, and the forecast suggests that this is much more serious than a tropical storm. It is a tsunami.”