No post-Sandy baby boom in Connecticut
Published 11:40 am, Saturday, October 5, 2013
Maybe Connecticut couples just don't like being alone in the dark together.
Though other regions of the Northeast, including New Jersey, reported that Hurricane Sandy -- which crashed into the tri-state area last October -- caused a spike in birth rates, that doesn't seem to be the case in Connecticut.
There's an urban legend that there are often spikes in births nine months after blizzards, power outages and other events that leave people alone together for days on end. There's been scientific evidence disputing that, most notably from a 1970 study by the late J. Richard Udry, a demographic researcher from the University of North Carolina. Udry looked at the birth rate in New York following the 1965 blackout in that city, and found nothing above average.
Others swear that the myth is true, particularly as it pertains to last October's storm, which left many without power -- and without much to do. In July, the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey did a study showing that some area hospitals had experienced a bump in births from the previous year, which some tied to Sandy. Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, N.J., for example, saw a 35 percent jump in births between July 2012 and July 2013 (which was nine months after Sandy).
But in Connecticut, state birth records didn't show a spike in hurricane-driven conceptions. According to the state Department of Public Health, births in July and August didn't increase.
In July, there were 3,185 babies born in the state -- compared with 3,196 the previous year. In August of this year, when the later Sandy babies would have come into the world, there was a total of 3,163 little ones born. That's a big dip from August of 2012, when 3,372 babies were born.
Maybe's because the power outages made it impossible to chill champagne or pop on some sexy tunes -- or, in some cases, shower. Or maybe, as one reader who called himself "Geezer" suggested, people had other things on their minds.
"Hard to get friendly when you are both treading water," the reader said in a blog post.
firstname.lastname@example.org; 203-330-6290; twitter.com/AmandaCuda; http://blog.ctnews.com/whatthehealth/