Hospital reflects census data
Last year, more babies were born at Pa. Hospital – the city's leader in births – than in 2006.
By Michael Matza
Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital and Philadelphia's leader in births annually, knows from experience what the U.S. Census Bureau announced as the New Year rang in: America's population is expected to grow almost 1 percent in 2008, paced by more births than deaths and increased immigration – both legal and illegal – to the United States.
“Our numbers are tracking up,” said Lee-Ann Landis, spokeswoman for the hospital, where 5,103 babies were born in 2006 and, as of yesterday, 5,190 in 2007.
In addition to serving more pregnant women who are born in the United States and naturalized citizens, “we are seeing more and more undocumented immigrants,” she said.
Undocumented women are not entitled to government assistance to pay for prenatal care, said Landis, but the hospital does not turn away any woman who arrives in labor. Because many of the undocumented mothers-to-be have not had reliable prenatal check-ups, their deliveries can be more complicated and costly, Landis said.
The hospital never has fewer than six births a day; one day last week, 25 babies were born at the hospital, she said.
The Census Bureau, based on projections that do not distinguish between legal and illegal immigration, pegged today's U.S. population at 303 million – up 2.8 million, or about 0.9 percent, from New Year's Day 2007.
“In January, the United States is expected to register one birth every eight seconds and one death every 11 seconds,” the bureau said in a release.
“Meanwhile, net international migration is expected to add one person every 30 seconds. The result is an increase in the total U.S. population of one person every 13 seconds.”
Contact staff writer Michael Matza at 215-854-2541 or firstname.lastname@example.org.