News & Politics

Nine Months After Shutdown, Washington Is Having More Babies

How about that?

Photograph via Shutterstock.

It’s been a little more than nine months since Congress shut down the federal government, thrusting hundreds of thousands of Washington residents into sudden, temporary unemployment. And it appears more than a few of them made good use of their furloughs.

Birth rates at several area hospitals are up this month compared with July 2013. Sibley Memorial Hospital in Northwest DC is seeing three more newborns per day this month compared with a year ago, while Virginia Hospital Center has experienced 100 more births over the past three months compared with the same period in 2013, WNEW reports.

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams picked up on the mini-baby boom on Thursday night.

“How long until someone on television points out that the during the shutdown the folks in Washington are apparently doing at home what Washington has been accused of doing to the American people? We’re guessing someone will say that before long,” he said.

If Williams is going for accuracy about the shutdown’s effects, surely someone will point out before long that in shutting down the government, Congress did to the Washington area’s economy what Washington is accused of doing to the American people.

As for the current surge in babies, perhaps parents-to-be due in the second half of July will have an easier time finding a free hospital bed, as the shutdown ended October 16.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.