After every sizeable snowstorm, there is a flurry of news around the possible baby boom to come 9-10 months later. However, there’s also always a steady debate about whether spikes in births are just perceived or are measurable. With snowstorm season approaching, we decided to examine the data and find out which storms were truly the “steamiest.” In other words, which storms created the most substantial spikes in births?
To do so, we analyzed the reported spikes following large weather events as well as government birth data by state and county. We compiled a list of the largest storms in the past few decades, then determined which of those created the most “snow babies.”
1. Superstorm Sandy
The first on the list is Superstorm Sandy, which took place in 2012 around New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey mainly. Hospitals in the area reported birth rate spikes ranging from 20%-35%.
2. Snowvember 2014
Similarly, the second most steamy storm also took place mostly in New York. Snowvember 2014 caused a 25%-30% boost in babies in area hospitals.
3. January 2010
The third most steamy storm was in January 2010 in Britain, which created a ~6% year over year increase in babies, the highest rate seen in 20 years.
4. December 2006
Fourth on the list is December 2006 in Colorado. This weather event was associated with a 3.0%-6.7% jump in births, or 200-400 additional babies, as compared to the preceding and following years of the same month. Plus, it was the highest birth rate for that month in Colorado compared to any other year.
5. January 1996
The fifth storm overtook much of New England and many states below the region, including Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. Across this entire spread of states, a year over year baby boom of 1.5%-6.4% was observed. This translates into a year over year difference of around 1,000 new babies in some states.
6. January 2000
The sixth on the list took place mainly in Virginia and North Carolina in January 2000 and was followed by a 2.3%-6.7% bump in birth count. In terms of birth count, this meant an increase of up to 700-800 births in North Carolina, as compared to the same month in the preceding and following years.
7. February 2007
The seventh steamiest snowstorm affected Minnesota and Wisconsin in February 2007, causing a 0.5%-5.6% spike in births in the area. This meant a few hundred more births in the month compared to other years.
8. President’s Day Storm II
Also in February was the eighth storm on the list, which was named the President’s Day Storm II of 2003. It hit much of Massachusetts, New York, Missouri, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Northern Virginia, and it caused spikes ranging 2.2%-3.1%.
9. 1995 Nor’easter
The 1995 Nor’easter earned the title of ninth most steamy snowstorm due to the 1.9%-2.8% baby boom it caused across New England, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. In New York, specifically, it lead to the highest number of births of any year for the same month, and meant around 500 more babies than the same month in the following year.
10. October 1997
Finally, the storm ranked tenth on the list took place in October 1997 and affected Colorado, Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Kansas. It caused a year over year 0.5%-1.5% jump in births, including the highest number of babies in Michigan compared to the same month in all other years.
Even though all of the snowstorms we analyzed took place in different regions, these top 10 all had the same effect: snow babies. Regardless, we hope you stay safe and warm this winter season. There is always so much, including babies, to be thankful for!