Obama Baby Boom: Predicted Surge in Births Goes Bust

Erika Slife, Chicago Tribune, August 11, 2009

On Nov. 4, the hope and happiness seemed boundless for supporters of President-elect Barack Obama, leading some to speculate, with a wink and a nod, that in nine months there would be a virtual Obama baby boom–a celebratory uptick in the national birthrate.

But now, 40 weeks later–the average human gestation period–MSNBC is reporting the prediction has largely been nothing more than, well, false hope. In reality, experts said, a generation is not borne from one night.

In Chicago, ground zero for Obama’s election celebration, area hospitals confirm that they have not seen a noticeable surge in births.

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Though his election apparently did not spawn a generation of Obama babies, the president may be tickled to know he has inspired a generation of baby names.

In 2008, the name Barack set what’s believed to be a record for the Social Security Administration’s annual Most Popular Baby Names list by skyrocketing more than 10,000 spots on the list, from No. 12,535 in 2007 to No. 2,409 in 2008. And the Social Security Administration predicts the name will even crack the top 1,000 this year.

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