Discover more from bad cattitude
sweden birthrate update: may data
updating the data and generating some testable hypotheses
last week i wrote about the sudden, sharp declines in swedish natality. and posited some possible causes.
2 leading theories seem to have emerged:
this is the result of covid vaccine induced sterility/reduced fertility/sperm counts (as has been biologically documented in a number of places)
this is the result of a “summer shift” where the birth rates in 2021 deriving from a sort of “blackout baby” trend due to less travel and more staying home due to 2020 covid fears, lockdowns, and travel restrictions gave way to a “summer of re-opening” and everyone went on vacation instead of trying to get pregnant.
there are issues that favor each and i’m not sure the may data can really resolve it for us as babies born in may 2022 were conceived around august 2021, the peak of euro (and swedish) vacation, but we can start to frame the issue.
birth patterns are remarkably consistent.
may is typically a higher month for births than feb or march or april. births tend to be lowest in december then rise until they peak in july.
the sinusoidal pattern is clear here.
(again, all data from THIS SERIES)
but it can be difficult to see if current readings are normal or show variance using this series.
if we stack the years however, it becomes clear that 2022 remains very low vs recent years (all of which were remarkably similar).
the seasonal pattern is very much the same, but overall levels are lower.
actual numbers (in births per million population) can be seen here:
and from this we can look at % drops from year ago.
the results are somewhat equivocal.
on the one hand, the % rate of decline was not as high as april.
on the other hand, april was a harder comp and may 2021 was quite low relative to other months that year as can be seen in % and in the absolute figures in the bar chart.
that makes this a difficult signal to read. is may recovering or was it just an easier comparison in a noisy series? either way, despite recovering to -7.9%, such a level is still an extreme outlier.
to gain broader historical context, i again extrapolated full year 2022 from existing data.
the first 5 months of 2019, 2020, and 2021 were 42.6%, 42.9%, and 42.3% of full year births respectively. this seems remarkably consistent and thus to allow for some reasonably high confidence projection from 2022. i averaged them to 42.6% for this purpose.
(extrapolation shown in red to indicate that it is projected, not actual)
sweden has been in a ~12 year downtrend in natality and i have sought to account for that by adding an (admittedly arbitrary) green trend line to establish baseline trend.
2022 continues to look like a major divergence from it.
this becomes more obvious when viewed in % terms:
there is nothing in the past 25 years that appears anything like this sudden to the upside or the downside. this is twice the size of the next biggest moves.
and the alignment with covid vaccine rollout is quite precise for commencement. and based on the biological studies (info HERE and HERE) the expectation that this result (if it is occurring) would remain pronounced for at least 6 months appears sound.
as discussed in the second link above, the variance in mean and median behavior on total motile count suggests that some affected had a transitory effect and reverted to normal levels but that a sub 50% subset continued to experience quite strong suppression.
this sort of pattern would be consistent with some of the vaxxed generating a durable adverse event (such as the auto-immune elicitation issues associated with mRNA products)
from this, we can start to generate testable hypotheses.
if the issue affecting swedish birth rates is “summer walkabout as the world opens again” then we should start to see this attenuate significantly in june-aug 2022 births. may 2022 ought to have been the peak of that trend and births in summer 2022 would stem from conception in sept-nov of 2021 once everyone was home again. one would expect rates to return to something more normal.
but, if rates do not revert to normal and remain highly suppressed and/or get worse, then we are likely favoring a different explanation and vaccines would appear to be the prime culprit.
i sincerely hope this is not true. that’s the sort of outcome that could topple world orders. (or course, one might argue that the sort of would order that pushed such a think might well deserve a bit of toppling as well)
but the human costs to that would be outlandish and we flat out do not even know from the israeli studies etc if sperms counts in the minority that appear to have durable suppression ever recover. if it’s auto-immune causing it, it could well be permanent. (please note this total speculation on my part and requires multiple jumps of nested assumption, so let’s not run off half cocked on that one. durable auto immune driven sperm suppression and/or ovum damage an idea, not a proven issue.) i would not even be bringing this up at this point save for the fact that it’s clear that american health agencies have no intention of doing their jobs on assessing safety here.
it’s frustrating to be trying to back into this using such incomplete data and second order logic, especially when so many health agencies absolutely have the data needed to assess this with great precision.
if we could simply see the relative changes in natality by vaxx status, we could get to the bottom of this in a hurry.
i fear that at a certain point, agencies’ stunning lack of interest in doing so begins to provide a strong indictment of their actual aims.
and so, we do the best we can with what we have.
and perhaps we lay the foundational stones for a new era of open access to data and widespread citizen science and true society-scale peer review instead of the clubby cloisters that seem determined to let us down or lead us astray in service of self interest.
in that simple demand, we could change so many things.
it should be one of the issues of our time.
it’s time public health was opened to the public.
bad cattitude is a reader-supported publication. to join the baddest cats in the basket, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.