Birth-rate in the United States


    ACCORDING to an annotation in the February issue of the Statistical Bulletin (the organ of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of New York) the War has caused not only a sudden rise in the birth-rate but also very marked though undoubtedly temporary changes in the seasonal pattern of the birth-record. In contrast with the normal pattern of a major peak in the summer months, a minor peak in February and March, and low points about May and December, in 1942 there was a rise in the birth-rate through most of the year with a high peak in December; the accelerated rise in the last quarter of 1942 represented the increased number of conceptions in the period immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941. In 1943 the births were at a maximum in January with a general trend downwards throughout the rest of the year. There was a seasonal dip in May, but births in that month were higher than in November and December. Births in July and August were lower than in each of the first three months of the year and lower than in June. The experience of the last few months clearly shows that a continuing decline of the birth-rate may be expected for the duration of the War, and for at least a year after the cessation of hostilities.

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    Birth-rate in the United States. Nature 154, 235 (1944).

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