After months of hemming and hawing over a summer birth surge, research is showing babies be coming – at least they are in Michigan.
North American birth rates were on the decline even before the COVID-19 virus showed up, certainly during the first few months of the pandemic, but a new study from the University of Michigan points to a post-pandemic baby boom coming this summer and lasting well into late fall.
According to Forbes.com, the University of Michigan researchers predicted that births will begin surging this summer to a rate higher than before the pandemic: “It’s obvious the surge is here. During the time the birth volume decreased, those conceptions dated back to right around the March 2020 shutdown,” said Molly Stout, the study’s lead author and director of maternal fetal medicine at University of Michigan Health Hospital.
“Reproductive choices are influenced by all of the societal uncertainties that happen during a crisis,” she added.
And while news of a summer baby boom was considered speculative at best, Stout points out solid research data can project “birth rate increases and decreases associated with major societal shifts,” she notes in a Michigan Medicine news release, citing such world events as the 1918 flu pandemic, the 1929 Great Depression and even the recession of 2008, as prime examples.
“Usually, we see the effects by modeling birth and death rates, only as the changes are occurring,”says Stout on the University of Michigan’s Health Lab blog. “With this methodology, we can accurately project anticipated birth rates ahead of the actual changes.”
Canada, on the other hand, is having a bit of a baby bust, with research data showing Canadian birth figures in a steady decline. Again, many thought the lock-down period would see a surge in love-making resulting in pandemic babies galore, but stress over the uncertainty of the disease played a huge factor in fertility numbers, along with the economic realities the pandemic put on the forefront, including job losses, unemployment issues and financial fears that have impacted on couples’ baby-making decisions.
That said, Canadian birth rates have been on the decline since the great baby boom of the late 1940s, which, according to Stats Canada, lasted over 20 years and resulted in more than 8.2 million babies born, an average of close to 412,000 a year. In comparison, the number of births in 2008, when the population was twice as large as during the baby boom, was only 377,886, as reported on www12.statcan.gc.ca, noting that by, 2031 the proportion of Canadian seniors could reach 23%, pointing to a massive senior boom instead.
Summer baby boom meet summer baby name!
The experts at money.co.uk were curious about the most popular baby names coming this season, and it appears that Daisy is the most popular for girls while Kai is the most popular for boys.
The company based its methodology on multiple online lists to collate baby names related to the summer season. They input the findings into the genealogy portal of forebears.io
(a geographically indexed directory of global sources for family history research) and came up with these top names that are short, sweet and to the point.
Other girl names following Daisy (once known as ‘day’s eye’ due to its yellow centre resembling the sun) are Sunny, August, July and Coral.
For boys’ names after Kai (an homage to Hawaii’s sea), is Ray (a ray of light) followed by Leo (meaning lion and the astrological sign for July and August babies) followed by Sonny and then Cyrus.
Meanwhile, this year’s Canadian baby names are full of insight and character, but haven’t really changed that much from the previous year. According to familyeducation.com, Canadian baby names are similar to their U.S. counterparts but do reflect their strong roots. Mind you, Noah became one of the most popular names on both sides of the border, based on the 2019 Netflix original series To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before that starred Noah Centineo and gave inspiration to millions of parents to name their baby boy after him. It still ranks in the top 10 of Canadian boy names today!
According to www.familyeducation.com, the top baby girl names are Olivia, Emma, Mia, Sophia and Zoey for girls, followed by Liam, Jackson, Noah, Lucas and Oliver for boys.
Meanwhile, for families looking for gender-neutral or genderfluid names, many parents are opting for names of places close to their national identity – like Salem, Dublin or Flo (short for Florence), or changing the spelling a bit to make it genderless, like Skyler, Aubrey or Charli. Names inspired by nature are big – Apple, River, Sky come to mind.
According to flo.health, some uncommon genderfluid names include Harley, Presley, Rowan and Ashton.
Weirdest baby names? According to emmasdiary.co.uk:
– Moon Unit (although we’re now used to it) was the moniker of choice for the late Frank Zappa’s oldest daughter. His other kids are named Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva Muffin.
– Super bizarre? Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 (pronounced Albin) and thoughtfully rejected by Sweden’s registrar. Would have made an awesome password.
– Kingmessiah – named worst boy’s name of 2019.
– Nutella – some nutcase wanted to name their kid after a chocolate spread? Thankfully, France’s registrar smeared the name immediately on the reject list.