The Weather Channel had a report on this week about circumstances on the eastern seaboard after SuperStorm Sandy. My students in Forecasting and Demography classes hear this information from me all the time. Look at any natural disaster, widespread blackout or other major event, and then take a look starting eight months later and you will notice an uptick in births. In fact, you can see this ahead of time if you pay attention to the OB-GYN visits. People are creatures of habit, and it sounds corny, but in times of crisis they look for comfort.
Anyway, months down the line from Sandy we are seeing increases in pregnancies and births. Not a surprise. Demographic events like this should not usually surprise us. My favorite example is still from 2003 when Grand Forks, ND saw an uptick in kindergarten enrollment. Was it a surprise? Yes. Should it have been? No. It was six years after the major Red River flood of 1997. The births data was up in the aftermath, and while there was some out-migration there were not wholesale departures.
My Demography class is wrapping up for the summer and it looks like I have yet another example to show them about how the more things change the more demographic patterns stay the same.