Remember all the talk of a COVID baby boom?
I remember when the lockdown first came about, there was a lot of speculation that there might be a baby boom. You know... all sorts of people locked up at home with nothing to do, alcohol delivery had just become a thing, and one might assume it was the perfect storm to cause a flood of little babies.
There were news articles about it. There were comedians doing entire sketches about it. One just assumed that lockdown was just a bunch of people running around naked, with insatiable appetites to do nothing but procreate like veritable rabbits. Well, it turns out, the data doesn't support any of that. And it started before the pandemic.
Mainers are dying faster than they're being born.
It actually turns out that for the last two years, 2019 and 2020, the death rate exceeded the birth rate here in Maine. For that matter, not just Maine. New Hampshire and Vermont experienced the same thing, according to UNH's Carsey School of Public Policy.
It actually turns out that for the last two years, 2019 and 2020, the death rate exceeded the birth rate here in Maine.
Granted, there were a record number of deaths in 2020 over 2019 nationally. Eighteen percent more people died in 2020 than the previous year, which is pretty substantial. But five states, including Maine, have been experiencing this since before the pandemic began. Likely before, people were leaving Maine at a higher rate.
Will Maine bounce back?
Probably? People have been moving here at a record pace the last 18 months. So there's a chance that over time, we can gain some ground on this issue. It'd be nice to see the number go up. Maine's a wonderful place to live, and it'd be nice to have a strong workforce for the future, as well as a robust population.
Let's hope this is one case where it isn't "As Maine goes, so goes the nation..."