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How Many Leap Year Babies Are There?

Apparently, the odds that someone is born on 29 February is 1 in 1,461. If that includes you: Happy Birthday!

"Leap Day Babies" celebrating their birthdays in Texas
"Leap Day Babies" celebrating their birthdays | Town of Anthony, Texas

Raenell Dawn was born on a leap year day. She has EBS (aka Empty Box Syndrome), referring to the pain of having a birthday you can’t mark on a calendar square, most years. But, on the bright side, Dawn also sees her situation as providing balance and harmony. “It’s the date that keeps all the other dates in line with the seasons. It’s because of my birthday that your birthday happens in the same season every year.”

During non-leap years, Leap Day Babies like Dawn tend to celebrate their birthdays on either February 28 or March 1. “I do both,” she jokes. “Because I can.”

In 1988, Dawn set up a birthday club called “Leap Year Babies Limited, The Limited Edition to the Human Race.” She contacted as many radio stations as she could in her hometown of Los Angeles, sat down for a few interviews, and invited Leap Day Babies to come to her house for a communal birthday party. Four people showed up that year - a symbolic number, she noted.

And then the internet came along. And then Facebook. As a result, it gradually became easier and easier to attract a global audience. Dawn’s club, which is now lcalled the “Honor Society of Leap Day Babies” and operates mostly on Facebook.

She says that there's a kind of poetic camaraderie among the Leap Day Baby community. For one, they’ve developed their own patois. A leapling is a newborn Leap Day Baby; Leapest Regards, is like “Deepest Regards,” but deeper; Leapification is the process by which someone or something is made aware of the importance of Leap Day.

Thanks to social media, leaplings began meeting up with other leaplings in their areas. There have even been Leap Year Festivals and many have been held in America's Lone Star state. Indeed, today's Leap Year Festival is being held in the Texas town of Anthony and will commence with a complimentary Rollin’ Smoke BBQ dinner for Leap Day babies, before opening to the general public for the following two days.

Today, the club that Dawn started back in 1988 has now grown to include more than 12,000 members in 126 countries. However, about 5 million people worldwide share a Leap Day birthday, according to Associated Press.


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