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Baby Bust

Baby Bust

| March 29, 2021

With everyone locked up in their homes around this time last year, many scientists who study population demographics predicted a subsequent “baby boom”.  This, however, does not seem to have been the case.  The latest data from Europe suggests advanced economies are almost certainly in for the opposite—a baby bust.  Data from Spain estimates the number of babies born between December 2020 and January 2021 was down roughly 20% from the same time the year before.  Data from Italy shows a similar pattern.  Italy and Spain already have some of the lowest fertility rates in the world – well below the so-called “replacement rate” - and it is not hard to imagine why potential parents may have put off the enormous responsibility of having children over the past year. (Chart from

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Jeffrey Cerny