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Press Release # 098-05
Friday, September 16, 2005

CONTACT: (212) 788-5290; (212) 788-3058 (After Hours)
Sandra Mullin (
Sid Dinsay (


NEW YORK CITY – September 16, 2005 – For the second year in a row, “Michael” and “Emily” ruled the roost as the most popular baby names in New York City, according to data released today by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). There were 946 “Michaels” born in 2004, beating “Daniel” (895), “Matthew” (835) and “Justin” (804) for the top spot. Meanwhile, 583 “Emily”s barely bested “Ashley” (580) for the throne, with “Kayla” (472), “Sarah” (445) and “Samantha” (412) rounding out the top five girls’ names. Those New Yorkers who have ever had difficulty picking out a name weren’t alone: “MALE” and “FEMALE” – the default entries when no name has been given soon after a child is born – would have ranked 13th and 11th, respectively.

There were 124,099 babies born in New York City during 2004, down less than 1% from 2003, when there were 124,345 births. 51% of newborns in 2004 were boys, and 49% were girls.

Among the 60,644 girls born in New York City in 2004, “Emily” was the most popular girls’ name overall; “Emily” was also the most popular name among Asians & Pacific Islanders. “Ashley” was the top name for Hispanics, “Kayla” among blacks and “Sarah” among whites.

“Emily” made first made the top ten in 1995, finally sending “Ashley” (who had been #1 since 1992) packing in 2003. “Sophia” (8th among girls) and “Olivia” (10th) made their first appearance in the top ten in 2004. The top five names remained the same as in 2003; while “Rachel” and “Jessica” are off that list, they are 10th and 3rd among Asians & Pacific Islanders.

Top Ten Most Popular Baby Names for NYC Baby Girls in 2004
Rank NYC Overall Hispanic+ Black White Asian & Pacific Islander
1 Emily Ashley Kayla Sarah Emily
2 Ashley Emily Brianna Julia Tiffany
3 Kayla Brianna Jada Olivia Jessica
4 Sarah Jennifer Madison Emma Sophia
5 Samantha Samantha Ashley Rachel Michelle
6 Isabella Isabella Destiny Isabella / Sophia* Sarah
7 Brianna Melanie Aaliyah Esther Ashley
8 Sophia Nicole Alyssa Emily Amy / Kelly / Nicole*
9 Nicole Destiny Gabrielle Alexandra Angela
10 Olivia Kimberly Shania Samantha Rachel

* Denotes tied ranks + Persons of Hispanic ancestry may be of any race

Among the 63,455 boys born in NYC in 2004, Michael was the top name overall. “Nicholas”, who had gotten on the list in 1998 and 2002, displaced the erstwhile “Kevin” for the number 10 spot. “Justin” slipped from 2nd place last year to 4th in 2004, although “Christopher” has fallen farther, from 5th in 2003 to 8th last year, tied with “Joseph”, who clambered back from a 9th place showing in 2003.

“Justin” remained the top name among Hispanics, while “Elijah” claimed the top spot for blacks, up from 3rd in 2003. “Michael” the most popular name for whites, and “Jason” now rules among Asian & Pacific Islanders.

Top Ten Most Popular Baby Names for NYC Baby Boys in 2004
Rank NYC Overall Hispanic+ Black White Asian & Pacific Islander
1 Michael Justin Elijah Michael Jason
2 Daniel Anthony Joshua Joseph Kevin
3 Matthew Daniel Justin Daniel / Matthew* Ryan
4 Justin Angel Jayden Nicholas Justin
5 Joshua Christopher Isaiah David Daniel / Eric*
6 David Joshua Michael Ryan Matthew
7 Anthony Michael Jordan Jacob Andrew
8 Christopher / Joseph* David Christopher Benjamin Brian
9 Ryan Kevin Christian Jack Vincent
10 Nicholas Brandon Brandon Alexander Brandon

* Denotes tied ranks + Persons of Hispanic ancestry may be of any race

2004’s Most Popular Baby Names

The Health Department also released a complete list of 2004’s most popular baby names – i.e., those with a frequency of 10 or more – broken down by race/ethnicity and sex. To find out if your baby’s name made the list, or if you want some inspiration or guidance in naming your new baby, please visit

Moniker Madness for the Nomenclaturally Nosy – 2004 Edition
  • • Although the results at the U.S. Open were quite different, here it’s game-set-match for Andre (104th) over Roger (149th). And Maria (40th) did triumph after all, since Kim (frequency less than 25) wasn’t on the list. (Kimberly, at 38th, does take the tournament over both.)
  • • No Rhett on the boys list, but Scarlett (133rd) gives a… darn. Maria (40th) is full of Grace (32nd). Stella!!! (108th).
  • • Although there are more Andys (57th) than Randys (112th), there are just as many Alvins as there are Calvins (tied for 137th). Tied at 158th are Darien and Dorian, while Darian comes in 162nd. For the girls, Mia (25th) tops Nia (88th); Luisa (150th) edges out both Louisa and Louise (tied at 151st).
  • • How did NYC’s off-season major league pickups do? Randy (112th) outpitched Pedro (131st) and Carl (147th), but Carlos (58th) wins the pennant. Off the field, Brian (26th) is ahead of Omar (64th) – both better than George (77th).
  • • What a difference a vowel makes: it’s Emily (1st) over Emely (81st); Kayla (3rd among girls) triumphs over Kyla (94th); Makayla (99th) wins over Mikayla (115th); and Lola (134th) edges out Lila (136th). Meanwhile Michael (1st) triumphs over Micheal (147th).
  • • Aaliyah (55th) remains an inspiration, while Britney (96th, down from 94th in 2003) continues to drop. Meanwhile, Ciara (90th, up from 114th in 2003) burns up the charts. And Kelly (65th) is still NYC’s idol: Carrie doesn’t make the cut.
  • • Meanwhile, variations on themes among boys results in Jayden (20th) over Jaden (39th) over Jaiden (108th); Jacob (18th) vs. Yaakov (131st) vs. Jakov (142nd) vs. Jakob (159th); and Stephen (104th) over Stephon (151st).
  • • Does creativity pay off in the baby name rankings? For girls, it’s Ashley (2nd) over Ashlee (118th); and Melanie (36th) over Melany (137th). On the boys’ side, Derek (87th) easily trumps Derrick (147th).
Helping Parents Keep Their Babies Safe and Healthy

Parents of every baby who receives a birth certificate in New York City also receive information from DOHMH about steps to take to keep their child safe and healthy, including avoiding second-hand smoke, information on sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), immunization schedules, lead poisoning prevention, and window guard information.

“Have a Healthy Baby” is a priority intervention in Take Care New York, a comprehensive health policy for the City. Visit to for this and other steps you can take to good health. New York City residents may also call 311 to ask for women's health information, or visit for more information on maternal, infant and reproductive health.

The Most Popular NYC Baby Names

DOHMH’s Bureau of Vital Statistics compiles baby name lists using information on birth certificates. Each year, the list of most popular baby names is published in DOHMH’s Annual Summary of Vital Statistics. The Summary is generally published 12 months after the year of focus to allow the time required for validating the reporting, compiling, and preparing of data. The New York City Summary of Vital Statistics has been published annually since 1932.

For more information about NYC vital statistics, visit