8

The Economist states:

Alternatively, jokes its president, Cezary Kazmierczak, it should cut off power two nights a week to keep Poles at home in the evening. When a curfew was imposed in the 1980s, the birth rate soared.

Is the above true? And also, what was the estimated boost to the birth rate?

(I imagine that if there is some truth to the matter, economists, sociologists, demographers, and other academics will have studied the matter and attempted to estimate the effect of the curfew on the birth rate.)

  • July and August bring the most births. Apparently October and November are popular "romantic" months. It gets dark earlier and it's colder. Instead of staying out late, people go home and ... well you know. – fredsbend Aug 11 '17 at 2:18
10

Martial law was in operation in Poland from 13 December 1981 to 22 July 1983, so the article might suggest an increase in births in 1982 and a further increase in 1983, followed by falls in 1984 and 1985

It is true that birth rates were higher in 1983 in Poland than in the immediately preceding years or the immediately following years, which is consistent with the hypothesis in the article

But Russia, Belarus and Ukraine saw a similar pattern, so there might also be other regional explanations, whether political, cultural or meteorological. The effect seems to have been relatively small and might not justify hyperbolic language like "soared". The decline in birth rates up to 2000 was much more dramatic

The following chart comes from Google using World Bank data showing birth rates in some selected countries: Poland is the blue line at the top with a peak of 19.8 in 1983

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