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Press Release

Press Release # 034-11
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

CONTACT: (347) 396-4177
Susan Craig/Chanel Caraway, (

Health Department Announces New York City’s Favorite Baby Names from 2010

Isabella holds fast as top name for girls; Jayden reigns as number one pick for boys

Dec. 28, 2011 – In 2010 in New York City Isabella and Jayden held fast as the most popular baby names for the second year in a row. The Health Department’s latest annual tally of New York City birth certificates shows that Isabella was the most popular name for baby girls born in 2010, with nearly 600 Isabellas added to the Big Apple last year. Jayden kept the top spot for boys with more than 800 newborn boys named Jayden.

From 2009 to 2010, the number of babies born in New York City dipped slightly, down 1.6% from 126,774 to 124,791 (64,076 boys and 60,715 girls). Brooklyn saw the greatest number of babies born last year with 41,469 births. Queens came is second with 26,955 births followed by 21,258 babies born in the Bronx, 19,646 in Manhattan and 5,580 on Staten Island. There are almost as many babies born on Staten Island (5,580) as there are babies born to New York State residents who live outside of New York City (5,719).

Nine of the top 10 girls’ names for 2010 were holdovers from 2009, with Ashley falling to number 13 and Chloe joining the list, up from 11 to number 10. Among boys, Jacob and Joseph made it into the top 10 after getting bumped off two years ago. Jacob came back strong, listing in the 4th place slot as most popular in 2010 while Michael’s rank fell further to 7th place from 4th place in 2009. Michael had been the top boy’s name during the 1980’s through early 2000’s.

NYC Total Births60,71564,076
Most Popular Baby Names by Race/Ethnicity

Preferences for baby names vary broadly across racial and ethnic groups. Isabella remained the most popular female name for Hispanic families, while Madison remained a favorite with black parents. Sophia is still number one for Asian girls. Esther is the new favorite for white families. Among boys, most Hispanic and black families again opted for the ever-popular Jayden. Asian families swapped Ryan for Ethan and white families favored Joseph.

A detailed list of the most popular baby names for 2010, broken down by race/ethnicity and sex, is available on the Health Department’s Vital Statistics Web page.

Star Power

New Yorkers continue to be inspired by movie, music, sports and fashion icons as they search for the perfect name. Last year’s big draws included common actress names such as Sofia (#16) and Angelina (#28), popular singer names like Usher (#155) and Mariah (#99), and athlete names namely Eli (#49) and Carmelo (#168). Suri (#136) and Jayden (#1) – names chosen by celebrity parents Katie Holmes and Will Smith – were also popular.

Biblical Names

Religious figures were an even bigger source of inspiration. Holy names for girls included Leah (#8), Sarah (#9), Esther (#15) Rachel (#18) and Chana and Miriam (tied for #34), while Daniel (#3), Jacob (#4), David (#5), Matthew (#8), Joseph (#9), Joshua (#10), Noah (#20) and Elijah (#21) were often bestowed upon boys.

Geographic Names

Big cities and states were also popular baby names. Charlotte (#33) and Brooklyn (#138) were on the 2010 list. Austin (#109), Georgia (#136), Phoenix (#146), and Virginia (#151) also made the cut. Some parents selected international monikers like Paris (#125) and London (#164).

Top Ten Names by Race/Ethnicity


RankHispanicBlackWhiteAsian & Pacific Islander 


RankHispanicBlackWhiteAsian & Pacific Islander
Keeping Babies Safe and Healthy

Whatever their names, babies do best when they’re nurtured by healthy parents in secure surroundings. Here are some recommendations to a healthy pregnancy and healthy child.

Plan Your Pregnancy
  • Use birth control until you are 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.
  • Make sure to see your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant and seek regular care as soon as you think you are pregnant. Regular prenatal care early in pregnancy can help prevent complications.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – and don’t smoke, misuse drugs or drink. Alcohol and other drugs cause miscarriages, birth defects and other serious problems.
  • If you smoke or use drugs or alcohol, quit now to protect your baby. Your health care provider can recommend programs to help you quit.
  • To prevent birth defects that affect the brain, take a daily multi-vitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid if you are planning to become pregnant or are pregnant.
After Your Baby Is Born
  • Breastfeed your baby unless you are HIV-positive. Breastfeeding offers many health benefits for both mothers and babies. If you can, you should breastfeed exclusively for 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 napping and sleeping. Babies should sleep alone, on their backs, 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 take it with you whenever 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 any unit that houses a child younger than 11.
  • It is normal to feel a mix of emotions after childbirth, including joy, anxiety and sadness. Some women experience mild depression a few days after delivery. These “baby blues” usually subside within a few weeks. If they persist or worsen, you should seek help from a health care provider or call 1-800-LIFENET.
  • If your partner, or anyone, is hurting you or your children, call 311 and ask for the City’s confidential Domestic Violence Hotline. Counselors are available 24 hours a day to provide immediate help.

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 Vital Statistics information. For more information on baby names or on NYC’s births and pregnancies, visit the Vital Statistics link on the Health Department’s website. New Yorkers can also visit for information on obtaining a birth certificate.