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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 069-08
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

CONTACT: (212) 788-5290
Jessica Scaperotti/Sara Markt, PressOffice@health.nyc.gov


After More than a Decade, a Shift in the #1 New York City Baby Names

Isabella, Sophia and Daniel knock Ashley and Michael out of top slot

October 22, 2008 – Move over Ashley and Michael – Isabella, Sophia and Daniel are now the names of choice for New York City parents. Ashley and Emily had been the city’s top girl names for more than a decade, and Michael had reigned uncontested since 1956, when he surpassed Robert as the boy of choice. But Ashley dropped to third place in 2007 as Isabella and Sophia tied for the top slot and Emily held the second. Michael also fell to third place, trailing both Daniel and Jayden.

MOST POPULAR BABY NAMES
NEW YORK CITY, 2007

Rank

Girls

Boys

1

Isabella/Sophia(Tied)

Daniel

2

Emily

Jayden

3

Ashley

Michael

4

Sarah

Matthew

5

Kayla

Justin

6

Mia

Joshua

7

Olivia

David

8

Samantha

Anthony

9

Rachel

Christopher

10

Madison

Joseph

Total

63,081

65,880

Most Popular Baby Names by Race/Ethnicity

The names given to newborns vary widely by ethnicity. Isabella was most popular among Hispanic, white and Asian families, Kayla among black and Hispanic families. And Fiona became a new favorite for Asian girls. Among boys, Jayden was the top choice among black and Hispanic parents. Michael held broad appeal for blacks, whites and Hispanics, and William made his first appearance as a top choice for Asian families. (Complete table below.)

A list of the most popular baby names for 2007, broken down by race/ethnicity and sex, is available online at http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/
downloads/pdf/public/press08/
pr069-08-babynames.pdf
, along with information on historical trends at http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/
downloads/pdf/public/press08/pr069-08-timeline.pdf
.

Star Struck

As they search for the perfect name, many New Yorkers look to the stars. Pop singer Rhianna (#70), British actresses Sienna (#60) and Keira (#61) and American screen stars Scarlett (#68), Charlize (#84) and Reese (#142) all made the list. Suri (#83) and Jayden (#2), names chosen by celebrity parents Will Smith and Katie Holmes, also left an impression on New Yorkers.

Holy Names

Religion is another common source of inspiration. Joshua (#2), Elijah (#3), Jeremiah (#7) and Isaiah (#8) all made the top 10 among black parents. Other biblical names, such as Matthew and Daniel, were highly ranked among Asian, white and Hispanic parents. For girls, Esther made the list for white infants, and Rachel was a top pick for both white and Asian parents.

Unique Names

Among the rarest names chosen for girls (as few as 10) were Unique and Miracle. The most distinctive boy names included Achilles, Phoenix, Orion and Wolf.

Top Ten Names by Race/Ethnicity
GIRLS
Rank

Hispanic

Black

White

Asian & Pacific Islander

1

Ashley

Madison

Sarah

Sophia

2

Isabella

Kayla

Rachel

Emily

3

Emily

Jada

Sophia

Chloe

4

Mia

Brianna

Olivia

Tiffany

5

Brianna

Nevaeh

Ava

Angela

6

Samantha

Alyssa

Isabella

Ashley

7

Angelina

Makayla

Esther

Rachel

8

Melanie

Gabrielle

Julia

Isabella

9

Sophia

Taylor

Chaya

Fiona

10

Jennifer/Kayla (Tied)

Imani

Emma

Jessica/Sarah (Tied)



BOYS
Rank

Hispanic

Black

White

Asian & Pacific Islander

1

Jayden

Jayden

Michael

Ryan

2

Justin

Joshua

Joseph

Matthew

3

Christopher

Elijah

Daniel

Daniel*

4

Angel

Jaden

David

Kevin*

5

Anthony

Justin

Matthew

Eric

6

Joshua

Christian

Jacob

Jason

7

Daniel

Jeremiah

Benjamin

Justin

8

Matthew

Isaiah

Nicholas

Ethan

9

David

Jordan

Alexander

William

10

Michael

Christopher/Michael (Tied)

Jack/James (Tied)

Vincent



Keeping Babies Safe and Healthy

Names may bring good luck, but good health takes some planning and effort. Here are some tips for keeping Daniel and Sophia healthy and safe.

Plan Your Pregnancy

  • Use birth control until you’re ready to get pregnant. Many safe and effective methods are available. Call 311 to find out where you can go for free or low cost birth control.
  • Attend to your own health before you conceive. Maintain a healthy weight, don’t smoke, use drugs or drink excessively, and see a doctor before you become pregnant. Alcohol and other drugs cause miscarriages, birth defects, and developmental and other serious problems.

Get Early and Regular Prenatal Care

  • See your doctor as soon as you think you’re pregnant. Regular prenatal care early in pregnancy can help prevent complications.
  • If you smoke or use drugs or alcohol, get help to stop. Your health care provider can recommend programs to help you quit.
  • To prevent birth defects, take a daily multi-vitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid.

After Your Baby Is Born

  • Breastfeed your baby, unless you’re HIV-positive or have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Breastfeeding offers many health benefits for both mothers and babies.  If you can, you should breastfeed exclusively for at least the first six months of your baby’s life.
  • Reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and accidental suffocation by providing a safe sleep surface for naps and at night. Babies should sleep on their backs, alone and on a firm surface without pillows, toys, or loose blankets.
  • Make sure your child is tested for lead poisoning at one and two years of age, as the law requires.
  • Make sure your child’s immunizations are up to date. Keep a record, and bring it every time you go to the doctor or clinic.
  • Make sure your home has properly installed window guards. The law requires your building owner to install them in the home of any family where a child younger than eleven years of age lives.
  • It is normal to feel a mix of emotions after childbirth, including joy, anxiety, and sadness. Sometimes women get “the baby blues,” these reactions often begin a few days after delivery and usually go away in a few weeks.  If you feel your reactions are lasting too long, or getting worse instead of better, you may be suffering from “postpartum depression.”  To get help, speak to your health-care provider or call 1-800-LIFENET.
  • If your partner or anyone is hurting you or your children, call the city’s toll-free, confidential Domestic Violence Hotline at 311. Counselors are available 24 hours a day to provide immediate assistance.

The Health Department’s Bureau of Vital Statistics compiles baby name lists from birth certificates. Each year, the list of most popular baby names is published in the agency’s Annual Summary of Vital Statistics. For more information on baby names and NYC vital statistics, visit www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/vs/vs.shtml. For information on obtaining a birth certificate, visit www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/vr/vrbappl.shtml.

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