Written By Hannah Borenstein
The late 20th and early 21st century parents who attempt to micromanage their children’s lives are often referred to “helicopter parents.” More recently it seems as though couples are developing propellers to hover over their children even before they are born.
A woman undergoing a C Section. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Data Journalist Matt Stiles posted a birthday density chart on The Daily Viz in early May indicating which birthdays were the most and least common. The table showed that the least common birthdays fell directly around Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s, and the most common in the few months preceding the holidays.
The trends in the chart show somewhat of a deliberate attempt to conceive around the holiday months (October through January) and subsequently birth just before the major gift-giving periods (July – early October.)
There is a certain kind of connection established when you find out you share a birthday with someone. But as fewer and fewer birthdays are remaining unplanned surprises, the connection seems fabricated – or stronger between the parents of said people.
While these dated births of course allow for the maximum amount of attention on the child, eliminating any chance of being drowned out by holiday festivities, additional research focus suggests there may be other motivations.
The data, which was originally compiled by public policy professor Amitabh Chandra also had tracings of economic concerns. In a research essay he co-wrote with Stacy Dickert-Conlin entitled “Taxes and the Timing of Births” they discussed the annual tax savings associated with births prior to January 1st. They wrote, “We estimate that the proposed child tax credit in the Tax Relief Act of 1997 increases the probability of having the child in the last week of December rather than the 1st week of January by 26.9 percent.”
Thus, reasons for birthing in the fall, before January 1st may also be a decision derived of economic consciousness.
With all of the existing knowledge of reproduction and medical advancements people are able to control birthdates until the precise day. In 1965, when the U.S. cesarean section rate was first measured, it was 4.5 percent but by 2010, it was 32.8 percent as the procedure proved to be safer people began to take advantage of knowing birth dates ahead of time.
Regardless of the reasons, although a full-proof planned birthday may never be considered in the cards, the perceived randomness of astrology appears to be dwindling with time. Parents have the ability to influence their children’s entry into the world to the exact day, and they are taking advantage of it.