Economists suggested that the pandemic and increased remote work might have led to a small baby boom in 2021. With the decline in the fertility rate in 2020 and the “baby boom” in 2021, researchers found out that the pandemic led to a new increase of 46,000 children born to U.S. women.
The paper published in the National Bureau of Economic Research by economists established that both working from home and the pandemic were key factors in contributing to this small baby boom.
Remote Work´s 2021 Baby Boom
At the start of the year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published data about last year’s birth rates, noting a small increase. Economists analyzed this information, differentiating births to U.S. mothers compared to foreign-born mothers.
In 2020 there was a decline in births to foreign-born mothers due to lockdowns and the impossibility of entering the country. However, when looking at births of American-born mothers, they found that there was a small increase in 2021, raising the fertility rate to 6.2%.
Economists highlighted in the paper that this 2021 “baby bump” is the major reversal in the U.S. fertility rates since the 2007 recession. And “was large enough to reverse two years of declining fertility rates.”
The baby boom was most evident among first-time mothers under age 25. Additionally, the boom was also notable among women between 30 and 34 years old and those between 25 and 44 with college degrees. This group was keen to keep their jobs during the pandemic and work from home.
Blending the 2020 fertility decline and the 2021 baby bump, the pandemic increased births among U.S.-born mothers of around 46,000 children.