Iceland is seeing a small baby boom.

The Icelandic press buzzed with the good news. One article quoted a midwife in the town of Húsavik who noted a bump in births in June and July — an auspicious nine months after the worst of Iceland’s meltdown. Wrote blogger Alda Sigmundsdóttir: “I think many, many of us must have sought solace in love and sex and all that good stuff.”

Italians too, and condom sales were brisk at the low point of the recession in the US.  But historical pattern has been procyclical procreation*

“total fertility” — roughly, the average number of children per woman during her childbearing years — was 2.53 in 1929 and had slid to 2.15 by 1936. Then came the baby boom of postwar prosperity: The birth rate crossed 3 in 1947 and remained above that threshold until the mid-1960s. The next trough, 1.74, came in 1976 — a year earlier, unemployment had hit a postwar peak of 8.5%.

The article is in the Wall Street Journal.


*The pun involving “hump” is an exercise left to the reader.