This originally appeared on Forbes on October 20, 2022.
The baby bust once attributed to the pandemic is actually a baby boom, a new report shows.
While economists predicted that the pandemic would accelerate a declining birth rate — to the tune of 300,000 to 500,000 children — that fear didn’t materialize. Instead, there was a 6.2% increase in the birth rate last year for U.S. mothers relative to the 2015 – 2019 trendline. This amounts to a net increase of births of 46,000 children.
One working theory? Hybrid working created the right conditions to encourage and enable working parents to start families. Working from home may have helped alleviate common concerns such as childcare, commuting and time available to spend with a growing family.