This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

December 12, 2001

September 11 Baby Boomlet

Studying birth rates can be a full-time occupation. Understanding the factors that contribute to higher-or lower-birth rates is fascinating. Couples are influenced by a wide variety of factors including the economy, their feelings of security, and personal family plans . . . which, in turn, are often influenced by a multiplicity of outside dynamics.

Interestingly, weather can be a factor in birth rates. During a really cold winter, people tend to stay inside their homes. They become closer, get to know each other again. Tongue-in-cheek, if there's nothing good on television, they entertain themselves. As men and women express their love for each other, the potential for pregnancy increases significantly.

After September 11, our priorities changed. People began to value their families more. They became much closer. Families wanted to be together, not separated. The number of people traveling for business or personal reasons plummeted. Certainly the fear of flying was a concern, as was the uncertainty of what hassles would be experienced at our nation's airports, as officials learned how to function in a new, higher security environment.

People that normally travel extensively found themselves seeking comfort and safety at home. They spent more evening time with their spouses than usual. Both spouses were seeking solace with each other. In many homes, one thing led to another and the level of intimacy understandably increased. This same feeling was experienced by members of our armed forces, regular troops and National Guard called to active duty.

A natural consequence of intensified intimacy-and time to express those feelings-is an increased opportunity for pregnancy. Based on what we have observed with the emotional state of our national community, we forecast an increase in the birthrate in nine or ten months. With all the preventive technology in place, the spike may not be dramatic, but it will be noticeable.

Before long, many families may be looking for larger homes to accommodate their larger families. A positive economic growth by next summer will be welcome, as these families consider their need for increased income to support their new additions.

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