Summertime Mystery: More Born, Fewer Die in August

But demographers voice skepticism about most claims of baby booms or busts following disasters and landmark events -- because the media often tout them using anecdotal evidence, but they seem rarely to pan out upon scientific examination.

For example, several experts said the numbers show no indication of a post-9/11 baby boom, despite widespread belief following the attacks that such a boom would occur.

J. Richard Udry, a professor emeritus of sociology and public health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and fellow at the Carolina Population Center, likewise studied the statistics to debunk reports of a baby boom following the 1965 New York blackout.

"It's easy to think them up, and it's pretty easy to shoot them down if you take the time," Udry said. "We've all leaned to be more cautious on our pronouncements."

He paused, and then added, "Well, some people have learned, and some people haven't."

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