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Our baby bump: The 2007 Baby Boomlets have arrived

Fri, Sep 14th, 2012
Posted in All Features

Yes, this is the year in which almost all babies born in 2007 will be joining the ranks of kindergartners throughout Fillmore County and the nation – a milestone in the history of our nation.

Following what has been referred to as the baby boomlet of 2007, national media like USA Today picked up on this blip in the birthing radar. The year 2007 saw the most number of births in our nation’s history ever, with an estimated total of 4,315,000 new arrivals. The last time America exceeded 4.3 million births was in 1957 during the peak of the baby boom.

What’s interesting is that nobody really knows what led to this baby boomlet in 2007. Maybe it was because consumer confidence was up? Everybody was happily refinancing their homes, enjoying their higher paying jobs, driving nicer and newer cars, and apparently spending quality time with each other. I’m sure some unassuming socio-economics professor somewhere has the answer. We may never know. But, what we do know is that the number of births did drop down by nearly 200,000 births in successive years.

So, as the population increases, shouldn’t our number of births per year be keeping pace as a matter of percentages?

Actually, in the United States in 1910, the population was 92,228,496 and there were 2,777,000 births. That’s just a little over a three percent increase in the population.

In 2007, when we experienced the baby boomlet milestone, the population had reached 302,200,000. With a total of 4,315,000 births, that amounts to 1.43 percent of the total population. So, in 2007 we were – and still are – reproducing at less than half the pace we were in 1910.

Well, it makes sense if you look at the average number of persons per household over the past century. In 1915, there was an average of 4.5 persons per household. Today, we have an average of 2.59 persons per household nationwide.

Right here, right now

In Fillmore County, we’re downsizing! Based on the 2010 U.S. Census results, Minnesota boasts an average of 2.45 persons per household and that number drops to 2.39 for Fillmore County. Many of our local schools are seeing a boost in their kindergarten enrollment as a result of the 2007 baby boomlet. In interviews with representatives from each school in Fillmore County it was determined that Chatfield leads the boom with Mabel-Canton and Fillmore Central not far behind.

Ed Harris, Superintendent of Chatfield Public Schools, shared that his school district has added one-and-a-half positions to accommodate the leap from 56 students in the 2011/2012 kindergarten class to 93 students enrolled in the 2012/2013 kindergarten class. That’s a 66 percent increase, in case you are keeping score.

Lynette Donald, Secretary and Administrative Assistant for Mabel-Canton Public Schools, reported that the kindergarten class of 2012/2013 had to be split into two sections to accommodate the increase. They went from 11 students in last year’s class to 29 students enrolled in this year’s class.

Chris Mensink, Fillmore Central Schools Dean of Students, reported an increase from 44 students enrolled in kindergarten during the 2011/2012 school year to a total of 58 kindergartners during the 2012/2013 school year. Chris shared that the school added a third section to accommodate the increase in enrollment.

Meanwhile, the impact of the 2007 boomlets seemed to be less of a factor for Lanesboro, Kingsland and Rushford-Peterson.

Jeff Boggs, Superintendent of the Lanesboro School District, reported a steady number of 23 students enrolled in kindergarten this year and the past two consecutive years. There was no increase at this time.

Newly hired Principal Chris Priebe, overseeing the Kingsland Elementary School, reported a decrease in kindergartners from the 2011/2012 school year to the 2012/2013 school year, dropping from 58 students to 53 students respectively.

And, Chuck Ehler, Superintendent of Rushford-Peterson Public Schools, reported that their kindergarten class of 2012/2013 actually saw a decrease from 58 students during the previous year to 48 students this year.

So, what does all of this mean? Well, Fillmore County has seen a little bit of a baby bump from our nation’s 2007 birthing campaign. Collectively, all six school districts in Fillmore County saw an increase of 54 students enrolled in kindergarten during this 2012/2013 school year. And, we may not be realizing the full affects of the baby bump this school year. If a youngster was born between October and December of 2007, their parents may have decided to have them wait to enroll in kindergarten for the 2013/2014 school year. So, we may have somewhat of a staggered affect with this boomlet.

Regardless of whether the 2007 boomlet is an enigma, smaller families – half the size of what they were a century ago – seem to continue to be a trend that won’t change any time soon.


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7:57:03, Oct 4th 2012

Diane says:
Very interesting!

Perfect Glossy