In May 2009, Spain’s Football Club Barcelona tied a major game and went on to win a league championship. Nine months later birth rates appear to have risen 16 percent in parts of Catalonia.
Media reported up to a 45 percent spike in new births in February 2010. Similar claims, such as birth rate hikes as a result of the 1965 New York City blackout, have been disproven. An analysis of birth records from 2007-2011 at two Bages hospitals shows a 16 percent increase in birth rates nine months after FC Barcelona’s big wins. The city of Barcelona, however, had only a 1.2 percent increase, researchers report December 17 in the British Medical Journal.
The researchers note their support of FC Barcelona as a potential source of bias. The Bages region, however, does have more FC Barcelona supporters than the city of Barcelona, which suggests the apparent baby boom is real, the authors argue.