How curious! Are football events related to births?

The triumph of Barça in 2009 in the Champions League would have caused a 45% increase in births nine months later in Spain

How curious! Are football events related to births?

Although it may seem like a coincidence, some large-scale sports events, usually related to football, are often followed by an increase in the number of births. The hypothesis sounds strange, but has been ratified by statistics and the scientific community. For this reason, LatinAmerican Post reviews them for you to draw your own conclusions.

In 2013, a study published by The British Medical Journal (BMJ), showed that the increase in births registered in Spain in 2010 was directly related to the triumph of FC Barcelona in the prestigious European Champions League tournament. The victory was won by the team on May 6, 2009, after the footballer Andrés Iniesta scored a last-minute goal that gave him a draw and the subsequent qualification to Barça.

Leer en español: ¡Qué curioso! ¿Los eventos futbolísticos están relacionados con la natalidad?

Nine months later, the Spanish radio network COMRadio, reported from data of some local hospitals that indicated a 45% increase in birth rates. The media baptized the curious fact as the 'Iniesta Effect' and the scientific community investigated historical statistics. These determined that in the previous years, during the month of February, the average of births ranged between 155 and 165, but by February 2010, just nine months after the triumph of Barça, it was above 180 births.

In the past world football, Brazil 2014, the birth figures do not seem to have suffered an obvious increase. However, the US organization DKT, which uses marketing tools to guarantee family planning and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, published at that time a report that showed the increase in the purchase of a special edition of condoms.

The condom maker had planned to sell 850,000 units in three months. However, 864,000 condoms were sold only in the first 15 days of the World Cup, to end up selling 2.1 million condoms during the time of the sporting event.

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For the brain, football and love are the same

In 2017, a group of scientists from the University of Coimbra in Portugal, managed to demonstrate that the passion for football in some fans is similar to the feeling of a person in love.

The study called Tribal love: the neural corners of passionate engagement in football fans , led by scientists Catarina Duarte, Miguel Castelo-Branco and Ricardo Cayolla, found that the neural systems that are activated in football fans are the same as They interact when people experience love or infatuation for another person. Although science has not ratified it, this could lead to triumphs on the court being usually celebrated in privacy.

Does it happen only in football?

The media and scientific research have based their experiments only in this sports field, so the available statistics only refer to the relationship of football with the increase in birth rates.

However, historically, other cases have been presented where the average number of births has increased due to curious events. For example, the blackout of New York in 1965 affected 30 million people and resulted in a 30% increase in births reported by Manhattan hospitals, as published by The New York Times, the widespread birth rate during the month of September, which is believed to happen as a result of the celebration of festivities during December.


Latin American Post | Krishna Jaramillo
Translated from “¡Qué curioso! ¿Los eventos futbolísticos están relacionados con la natalidad?”

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