Tuesday, April 2, 2013

20 Fun Facts About Twins

After discovering we were expecting twins, I started to notice twins everywhere! It turns out twin pregnancies are on the rise. Studies show the increase is due to infertility treatments and the average age of the mother is increasing.

For us, neither one of those reasons applied. I was twenty-nine years old and our twins were conceived without any help. More than likely our twins were born because of a hereditary gene, passed down through the women in my family. Whatever the case may be, we're thrilled to be the parents of twins and we feel blessed to have our three year old boys.

Below are twenty fun facts about multiples.

1. In 1980, one in every 53 babies born in the United States was a twin. By 2009, that number had risen to one in thirty, according to new research released by the National Center for Health Statistics. Over those three decades, the twin birth rate (number of twins per 1,000 births) rose 76%.

2. Chances of having a twin pregnancy is increased by maternal age (30+).

3. Fraternal twining is genetically predisposed and the result of a woman releasing more than one egg at the same time.

4. Identical twins are the result of a random split of a single egg and cannot be genetically predisposed.

5. Male twins will not have twins unless their wives have the ability to produce two eggs.

6. Identical twins share the same DNA but do not have the same fingerprints.

7. 1 in 250 pregnancies can result in identical twins.

8. Fraternal twin girls have twice the chance of giving birth to twins than singletons.

9. Once you have fraternal twins, your chances of having another set are 1 in 12 pregnancies.

10. A study shows vegans are five times less likely to have twins than women who consume dairy.

11. Examining 3D ultrasound images, a study in Padova, Italy found fetuses start deliberately interacting at 14 weeks.

12. 40% of twins invent their own language.

13. Over 50% of twins are born before 37 weeks.

14. The average birth weight for a twin is 5lbs, 5 oz.

15. 4.5 million twin individuals live in the United States today or about 2 percent of the general population.

16.   An additional 90,000 sets (180,000 individuals) are born each year.

17. After digging up the birth records of more than 59,000 women between 1800 and 1970, University of Utah researchers found that moms of twins tend to live longer than moms without twins, have healthier kids, and "appear to be healthier" themselves. That's probably because sturdier women have twins, not because having twins is good for you, the study notes.

18. There are more than just fraternal and identical twosomes; other rare twin types include “half identical twins” (when the egg splits and then each half is fertilized) and mirror image twins (identical twins who develop asymmetrically).

19. Identical twins don’t have identical fingerprints.

20. Some estimates suggest 1 in 8 people started life as a twin while 1 in 70 actually are a twin.

Did any of these facts surprise you? Do you have any little-known facts to add to the list?


  1. #12 has always fascinated me. Love that one!

    Congratulations! My cousins are twins. I always thought is would be cool to birth twins.
    ~ Wendy

  2. Oh my goodness, #20 made me think of that part in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when one of the aunts is talking about the lump in her neck.."I had a bi-bi-bipopsy...It had teeth and a spinal cord. Yes, it was my twin." That part makes me laugh so much.

    Fun facts, Gabe. I've always had this secret desire to have twins. My grandma is a twin, so I've held out hope...possibly I should find myself a man and get hitched first, though. Do you think Tim Tebow would be cool with twins...??

    Sorry, I've had way too much coffee this morning!!

  3. Wendy - I wish my twins had made up their own language, but they didn't. :) The only thing I found weird is that one of my boys called the other "E-ah" for a long time, and that's not anywhere close to his name. Eventually he stopped and stared calling him by his real name, but for a couple of months it was cute.

    Melissa - I wish I could speak on behalf of Tim Tebow, because if I could I'd say: "He'd love to have a set of twins with you!" :) I haven't seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding in years! But that's kind of gross. :) I love when you have too much coffee!!!

  4. Fun post! I've known several sets of fraternal twins (male/female) endlessly amused by the question--are you identical?

  5. Gabe, what a fun post! When I was girl, I always thought it would be cool to either be a twin or have twins. :) You're living one my dreams my friend. :)

    The fact that surprised me most was the one about women who are vegans being more likely to conceive twins than women who eat dairy. Go figure. :)

    Years ago, I knew a couple who had two sets of twins within 18 months of each other. I think "busy" took on a whole new meaning for them. They received lots of help those first few years.

    Thanks for sharing these fun facts. :)

  6. I didn't know that about the fingerprints. That's amazing! Bless you, I have one almost three-year-old and can't imagine having two of them, but I know that your life is so much richer for it. You are one blessed lady. ;-)


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