When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, some theorized the global health crisis would cause birthrates to decline. However, that wasn’t the case. CNN reports that economists found birthrates in the United States increased by 6.2% in 2021.
The COVID-19 baby ‘boom’
In 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, birthrates actually saw a decline. Job insecurity and global uncertainty, as well as social restrictions, impacted the drop of birthrates in the U.S., per NPR.
Couples faced a bleak and an unsure future that caused many to hit the breaks on child bearing. However, this so called “baby bust” did not last and birthrates leaped in 2021.
The Washington Examiner reported that the largest contribution to the increase in birthrate was from those having their first child and from women under 25.
This increase in births has been labeled as a “baby bump,” a “mini-baby boom” and even a “baby blip” by news organizations. One of the main factors that led to this increase in babies being born was the transition to remote work.
Why did it happen?
Remote work, or working from home, was not a new concept during the pandemic, but became more prominent in the workplace to keep employees safe while still keeping businesses running.
Working from home granted more flexibility to employees, families and couples, giving them the ability to more easily deal with the demands of pregnancy and newborns, according to Axios.
For some couples, the prospect of children didn’t seem so intimidating with the new workplace adjustments. Remote work gave moms and dads the ability to care for a child, while also having a career.