One odd fact, highlighted by the Statistics Office, is the large number of Slovenes registered as born on January 1. The first day of the year is in fact the most common birthdate in the country, with 7,552 citizens currently on the books as being born on that date, compared to just 4,731 on December 31, the date with the lowest number of registered births.
Perhaps this is disparity, at a ratio of 1.6:1, is due to mothers becoming overexcited on New Year’s, thus inducing labour in the small hours of the 1st. Or perhaps it’s due mothers holding the child in – through breathing exercises, say – and thus ensuring a more favourable birthdate, one that makes their child among the oldest in their cohort, rather than the youngest? The truth leans towards the latter.
The Statistics Office digs deeper in the data and finds some historical reasons for the imbalance between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. By 1970 96% of Slovenes were born in hospital, but moving back into the past home births were increasingly common, thus giving parents some discretion in the date registered on the child’s birth certificate. It’s here that the advantages of being born on the 1st rather than 31st made their influence felt. A child born on January 1st would be among the oldest and most developed in their school year, and boys would also be a year older when entering compulsory military service (which continued in Slovenia until 1993).
Since nearly all children are now born in hospital, and their birthdates registered more accurately, the difference in births between December 31 and January 1 will continue to decline in the years ahead, eventually leaving this statistical anomaly to the record books.
But that’s not the end of the story, as there are still some interesting peaks with regard to certain birthdates. These are the days in the last third of September, with the highest number of births being 6,357, on October 1st. Counting back about nine months, and we can see that the most popular time for Slovene’s to conceive is around the Christmas and New Year holidays.
So however you’ll be spending the next few days before the end of the year, we hope it’s peaceful, productive and pleasurable.