'Triangle baby boom' leads some to worry about local capacity for services, schools

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Local hospitals report 'Triangle baby boom'
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"A new kindergarten class is born within the WakeMed system every day," a hospital spokesperson said.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- In a recent report filed Monday shed light on what's being coined the "Triangle baby boom," an explosion of childbirths at local hospitals.

Across WakeMed and UNC Health hospitals, there was 8,911 and 11,937 babies born in 2022, respectively. It is important, however, to note UNC Hospitals calculates their totals based on the October to September fiscal year.

"To put that in perspective, a new kindergarten class is born within the WakeMed system every day," said WakeMed spokesperson Kristin Kelly.

The health system accounts for childbirths at its Cary, WakeMed North, and Raleigh campuses.

"Though the U.S. birth rate has dropped in recent years, the number of babies born in the Triangle continues to grow," said Kelly.

The reason?

"I think one reason is that this market attracts a lot of young professionals and individuals who want to start, grow, and raise their families in the Triangle," she said.

The number of childbirths, if not responded to appropriately, can potentially place a strain on certain services that cater to younger children, such as schools and daycares.

"I don't know how this area's dealing with all the tons of schools being built," said Wake County father Stephen Weiss. "But there's also more people moving here too. And the people that already live here with babies too. So I'm concerned about where (my son will) go to school," he said.

"I feel like a lot of mothers are staying at home and that will be helpful for daycares," added wife Laura Weiss.

Here are the total figures for childbirths in recent years. Click here to see a breakdown of births by county in 2022.

WakeMed Births (Systemwide) - FY 2017-2022

  • 2022: 8,911
  • 2021: 8,652
  • 2020: 8,714
  • 2019: 8,595
  • 2018: 8,197
  • 2017: 7,843

UNC Health babies born by year (at Triangle hospitals)

  • 2022: 11,937
  • 2021: 11,557
  • 2020: 10,712
  • 2019: 10,557
  • 2018: 10,439

Duke University Health System births:

  • 2022: 6,730
  • 2021: 6,265
  • 2020: 5,899
  • 2019: 5,975
  • 2018: 5,752