For Russian population experts, the importance of the World Cup will extend until long after the end of July 15. They will continue to pay attention to birth registration figures to see if football will once again have a positive effect on the fertility rate of the host country.
Previous studies have shown that there is a certain link between good performance in the sports arena and infant birth rate in participating countries. Because “feeling good” may make people feel “feeling is coming”.
This may be good news for Russia because the country entered a period of negative population growth in 1992 and has been facing a population crisis since. According to a report from Rand Corporation, a US-based global policy think tank, that was the first time in Russia’s postwar history that a negative population growth occurred.
Some people estimate that by 2050, the country’s population may drop from the current 143 million to 111 million, which may be due to the combined effects of declining living standards, high mortality, and low fertility.
According to the latest figures from the World Bank, the birth rate in Russia is 13 people per 1,000 people, which is higher than most countries – including the United Kingdom and several EU countries. However, compared with 1960, this figure has fallen by almost half, while the decline in other countries is relatively small.
This problem has caused the Kremlin to worry. In November last year, Russian President Putin launched a series of reforms designed to encourage Russia to have children. One of the priorities is to provide preferential treatment to low-income families with newborn babies, including payment of allowances for the first 18 months after birth.
As for football, will it help?
Research on this issue has only begun in recent years, but in the United Kingdom, according to extensive reports, the birth rate has soared in the months after England hosted and won the World Cup in 1966.
The strongest evidence comes from 2007. After hosting the 2006 World Cup in Germany for nine months, the birth rate reported by the hospital in the country has risen by 15%.
Although the young German team was only third at the time, a successful game made people fall into a carnival. Regarding that summer, there was even a tear documentary.
“Happiness usually releases hormones, making it easier to get pregnant,” said the obstetrician Rolf Kliche to the German media. “For many people, the excitement felt during the game will continue after the game’s final whistle and will be released elsewhere.”
Their conclusion is that the 2010 World Cup-induced this phenomenon. That was the first time the World Cup was held on the African continent. According to researchers, the joy of sweeping the country during the World Cup has made South Africans’ sex life more frequent.
“It is known that if people have a high frequency of sex, they tend to have more boys than girls,” said Dr. Gwinyai Masukume, one of the school’s academics.
Even in Brazil, even if the country was defeated by Germany 7-1 in the semi-finals as the host country of the 2014 World Cup, the birth rate is still surging. Statistics from Brazil‘s Bureau of Statistics show that the birth rate of babies in March 2015 increased significantly by 7% from the previous year.
Football’s positive stimulus to birth rate does not even require a complete tournament. In 2013, a study of the British Medical Journal created the term “Generation Iniesta”, which was used to describe May 6, 2009. The new life that Barcelona’s Spanish players galvanized after scoring a goal at the final moment of the game.
It was the final minute of the game. He played a magical shot against Chelsea in London and sent the Catalan team to the final of the Uefa Champions League.
The study analyzed infant births at various hospitals in central Catalonia. The results showed that in February 2010, nine months after Iniesta’s goal, the number of “new members” increased by 16%.
This figure is in stark contrast to the data for the latter half of the year: The birth rate has dropped during that period and the authors of the report attributed this to the Spanish economic crisis at the time.
“Our findings also show that birth rates have fallen in the second half of 2010,” the researchers wrote. “Probably because of Spain’s economic crisis, it must have been related to ‘rational man-made’.”
The relationship between the stadium and the bedroom has become a hot topic. Earlier this year’s Champions League game, the Italian team Rome made a magical reversal at home with a stoppage-time goal. After the game, the club shrewdly promoted its baby products through its Twitter account.
The promotion said: “These things may have been sold after nine months.” Iceland also became interested in one game: In June 2016, the youngest player in the World Cup was surprisingly eliminated in the European Cup. England – It is estimated that there were 27,000 Icelanders, almost 10% of the country’s total population, who went to the scene to watch the game.
Icelandic men who played the World Cup
Nine months later local media reported that the country’s baby birth rate has reached a record high. And with their 1-1 draw to win the championship in Argentina in the 2018 Russia World Cup, this could happen again.
What about Russia?
Although they broke Saudi Arabia 5-0 in their first game on June 14, people do not expect the lowest ranked team in this World Cup team to go very far.
However, the South African example has proven that even if the results are flat on the court, it is still possible to strike in other places.