Covid-19: Fewer boys were born in England and Wales in the early stage of the pandemic


The covid-19 pandemic has been linked to a decline in the proportion of male babies being born, in line with previous findings that fewer boys are born after population-wide stressful events


4 October 2022

Fewer-than-expected boys were born in England and Wales three months after lockdown was introduced

Joel Goodman/LNP/Shutterstock

There were fewer male babies born in England and Wales in mid 2020 than expected, possibly because the stress of the covid-19 pandemic led to more pregnancy losses of male fetuses.

Outside of the pandemic, more male babies tend to be born than female ones. Between 2012 and 2020, 1054 boys were born for every 1000 girls each year on average in England and Wales.

No one is sure why this happens. It may be because boys …

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