Moms, dads, and hospital personnel can have interesting theories on why and when babies are born in bunches. Here are a few: More babies are born on a full moon or nine months after a big winter storm. Or they can have to do with scheduling factors. Some say more babies are born at the end of the year (for tax-filing reasons) or on non-holidays.
But let's look at the data, provided by the Georgia Department of Public Health.
In general across Georgia over a recent period of time, birthdays are spread out evenly, with only fractions of percentage points difference that you'd expect among any random sample. For instance, you'd expect among 365 days that each day would account for .2 or .3 percent of all births that year. And that's exactly what the data reflects.
Some trends do emerge, though.
For instance, the two least popular birthdays from 1994 until 2011 both fall on Christmas Day -- December 25, 2010, and December 25, 2011. Only 170 and 172 babies were born in the state on those days, which also fell on weekends. The average number of Georgia births for those years was about 360 to 365 per day.
Newborns cannot time their arrivals, of course, but some factors affect chance. Some births are scheduled and some induced. The cases where choices are offered can skew the randomness of birth by a few days. These choices, the data suggests, don't affect when a baby is born as much as when a baby is not born.
If you look at the combined years, here are some of the least popular birthdays for Georgia babies over the past decade:
No. 366: Leap Day, obviously, which occurs every four years: 585 births.
No. 365: Christmas Day: 2,063.
No. 364: New Year's Day: 2,654.
No. 363: Christmas Eve: 2,687.
No. 362: July 4: 2,800.
The most popular birthday for Georgia babies over that time period is September 15, with 4,491 birthdays, followed by December 29, with 4,465 total births.
The most popular single birth date in the last 20 years is Friday, December 28, 2007, with 594 births in Georgia, followed by the previous day, December 27, 2007, which had 574. That year, the very beginning of the recession, was the peak of annual Georgia births for the last decade, with 150,804 babies born.
Births steadily declined in the last four years, hitting a 10-year low in 2011, with 132,239 babies born in Georgia. Data for 2012 has not been compiled yet by the Department of Health.
Also interesting to note is that five of the top 10 most popular birthdays in the past 20 years are in September, which ranks with August among the most popular birth months.
And by the way, none of the top 10 days for Georgia baby births over the past two decades occurred on full moons.
Mike Benzie has been a reporter and editor for several major news organizations in the Southeast, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Greenville News, and the Asheville Citizen-Times.
- Family Health