Latest Issue of Science News



Science Ticker

Your daily roundup of
research news
Ashley Yeager
Science Ticker

Barcelona soccer team’s 2009 wins led to slight baby boom

FC Barcelona's Andrés Iniesta is credited with boosting February 2010 births in some parts of Catalonia.

Sponsor Message

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.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X