Since Meghan Markle debuted a baby bump that people could see, rumors have been going around that she is having twins. True, she does have quite a large baby bump despite carrying the weight very well (in just her stomach versus distributed throughout her body as some pregnant women do).
Despite what people think, however, that baby bump on it’s own doesn’t say anything. Every woman carries differently, and even the same woman can carry each pregnancy differently. Some have larger baby bumps, some smaller. Some carry high, or low, to the front, or more spread about the middle.
This isn’t to say that Meghan Markle may not be carrying two new royal babies, but that the “telltale” baby bump really tells nothing. So what are the odds of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry having twins? Here’s what science has to say on the matter.
The odds of multiple births in the 21st century
According to recent studies, the odds of having multiple birth (twins, triplets, quadruplets, or quintuplets) in the 21st century is about 1.5%. This is approximately a 50% increase from the early 1980s, so the odds of having twins is better than every before. Multiple births represented 14.87 of every 1,000 births. This is broken down to just about one out of every 67 births being a multiple birth.
Age increases the odds
The older a woman is, the higher her risk of having a multiple birth is. According to the same research studies referenced above, women over the age of 35 have a multiple birth rate of 21.7 in every 1,000. This is about 1.5 times the rate of younger women. Meghan Markle is 37 years old, which places her in this higher risk category.
Obviously, the Duchess of Sussex is not overweight by any means, but she is taller than average. In her birthplace (America), the height of an average woman ranges between 5’3″ and 5’4″. Markle is 5’7″, which means she is between three and four inches taller than average.
Meghan Markle’s ethnicity also increases the odds
According to Pew Research, both African Americans and Caucasians have the highest rate of twin births – 4.1% and 3.8%, respectively. Meghan Markle is of both, being as her mom is African American and her father is Caucasian.
Despite having many factors in favor of her having a twin birth, Meghan Markle also has several factors that are going against her favor. The biggest one is that this is Markle’s first pregnancy. It’s very rare that a woman’s first pregnancy results in a multiple birth (although it isn’t entirely unheard of, of course).
Also, genetics play a very large role in whether a woman will have twins. As far as sources can tell, there is no known history of twins in Meghan Markle’s family. This could be disproved with more information, but as of now, there does not seem to be. There is also definitely no pattern of twins in the British royal family.
It all kind of evens out
With a lot of factors both increasing and decreasing the chances she will have twins, things kind of even themselves out. But with a 50% increase in multiple births in the last three decades, Markle’s chances are higher than ever. The world will know for sure soon!