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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 047-13
Tuesday, December 31, 2013

MEDIA CONTACT: (347) 396-4177
Jean Weinberg/Diane Hepps: PressOffice@health.nyc.gov


Health Department Announces Jayden and Sophia are 2012’s Most Popular Baby Names

123,231 Babies Born in New York City in 2012

December 31, 2013 – The Health Department announced today that Jayden and Sophia were the most popular baby names in New York City in 2012. Jayden has been the number 1 boys name for the last four years, while Sophia reclaimed the number 1 spot after a three year absence. The Health Department’s birth certificate records showed that more than 760 Jaydens and more than 607 Sophias were born in the Big Apple in 2012. Overall, in 2012, 202 more babies were born in New York City as compared to 2011.

Most Popular Baby Names
New York City, 2012
RANK GIRLS BOYS

1

Sophia

Jayden

2

Isabella

Ethan

3

Emma

Jacob

4

Olivia

Daniel

5

Emily

Matthew

6

Mia

Michael

7

Chloe

Aiden

8

Madison

David

9

Leah

Ryan

10

Ava

Alexander

NYC Total
Births
60,000 63,231
New York City Births by Borough of Mother’s Residence, 2012
Count Rate per 1,000
Live Births
Manhattan

 

19,086

11.8

Bronx

 

20,044

14.2

Brooklyn

 

42,087

16.4

Queens

 

26,986

11.9

Staten Island

 

5,260

11.2

Name Trends

Nine of the top ten girls’ names from 2011 held their place on the 2012 list. Sofia moved to number 13 as parents favored the spelling Sophia which moved from number 2 to number 1, and Ava joined the ranks at number 10. Isabella, the most popular girl’s name for the last three years, was bumped down to number 2. Emma claimed the number 3 spot from Olivia, which moved down to number 4. Nine of the top ten boys’ names were holdovers from 2011, while Justin fell from number 7 to number 12 and Ryan joined the list at number 9. Jayden has remained number 1 for four years in a row, with Ethan and Jacob swapping spots to number 2 and number 3 respectively.

Star Power

2012’s top names reflect a star-studded influence, with parents bestowing their children with recognizable Hollywood names Angelina (#47), Scarlett (#58), Leonardo (#87), Ashton (#136), and Denzel (#156). Some Big Apple baby names may have been inspired by musicians such as Mariah (#103), Usher (#147), and Elvis (#156), as well as model Giselle (#106) and basketball player Carmelo (#152). Others may have been inspired by political icons and renowned scientists such as Kennedy (#123) and Darwin (#153). Names chosen by celebrity moms Jennifer Garner, Katie Holmes, and Angelina Jolie, Violet (#76), Suri (#37), and Maddox (#160), were also popular this year.

Religious Names

Religious figures were also a large source of inspiration for new parents. Biblical names for girls included Leah (#9), Sarah (#8), Rachel (#17), Ester (#20), Miriam (#34), and Chana (#38). For boys, holy names included Jacob (#3), Daniel (#4), Matthew (#5), Muhammed (#7) Joseph (#11), Noah (#14), Joshua (#17), Elijah (#37), and Isaac (#40).

Geographic Names

Big U.S. cities and states were also popular baby names. Austin (#71), Virginia (#139), Georgia (#141), and Phoenix (#155 for boys and #131 for girls) made the list. NYC’s own Brooklyn (#133) was also popular for girls. Some parents looked overseas for monikers, including London (#51), Sydney (#89), Paris (#101), Israel (#116), Santiago (#118), Milan (#129), and Egypt (#144).

Seasons and Months

Some parents may have been inspired by the seasons: Summer (#101), Autumn (#117), and the unique spelling of Wynter (#148). Months of the year also made the list, including April (#131) and June (#140) for girls, and August (#135) for boys.

Spelling Variations

2012’s favorite name for boys appeared most commonly as Jayden (#1), but some parents used other variations including dropping the “y” for Jaden (#71), or swapping it for an “i” for Jaiden (#119). Aiden (#6) has seven other spelling variations, including Ayden (#55), Aydin (#57), and Aidan (#77).While Sophia is the most popular name for 2012 baby girls in New York City, some parents also used an alternative spelling, Sofia (#13). Isabella (#2) is the most common variation of this year’s runner up, but some parents also chose Izabella (#131) and Isabela (#141), as well as similar names Isabel (#82) and Isabelle (#102).

Uncommon Names

Some New Yorkers bestowed their children with very uncommon names, with as few as 10 parents naming their daughters Nyah, Syeda and Zi, and sons Meyer, Oren and Zaid.

Top 10 Names by Race/Ethnicity
Girls
Rank Hispanic Black White Asian &
Pacific Islander

1

Isabella

Madison

Emma

Chloe

2

Sophia

London

Leah

Sophia

3

Mia

Taylor

Sarah

Olivia

4

Emily

Chloe

Olivia/Sophia

Emily

5

Sofia

Abigail

Esther

Emma

6

Camila

Kayla

Rachel

Isabella

7

Ashley

Serenity

Chaya

Angela/Ella

8

Madison

Olivia

Ava

Grace

9

Emma

Neveah

Chana

Hailey

10

Genesis

Aaliyah

Miriam

Fiona/Mia

Boys
Rank Hispanic Black White Asian &
Pacific Islander

1

Jayden

Jayden

Joseph

Ryan

2

Jacob

Aiden

David

Ethan/Jayden

3

Matthew

Ethan

Michael

Lucas

4

Ethan

Jeremiah

Jacob

Justin

5

Angel

Joshua

Moshe

Eric

6

Aiden

Elijah/Michael

Daniel

Aiden

7

Daniel

Christian

Alexander

Muhammad

8

Justin

Josiah/Mason

Benjamin

Jason

9

Alexander

Isaiah/Noah

Samuel

Daniel

10

Sebastian

Tyler

James

Kevin

“It’s important that our newest New Yorkers are born into a safe and healthy environment,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “The Health Department’s programs help women receive the necessary care and support they need to be healthy before, during and after a pregnancy. Our key initiatives include promoting hospital policies and practices that support mothers who choose to breastfeed, infant safe sleep education, providing cribs for families that cannot afford them, home-visiting during pregnancy and early childhood, and promoting women’s health throughout the lifespan, including increasing access to contraception to help women plan their pregnancies.”

Keeping Babies Safe and Healthy

Whatever their names, babies do best when they’re nurtured by healthy parents in secure surroundings. For more information, please visit:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/pregnancy/html/home/index.shtml

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, New York City’s births and pregnancies or how to obtain a birth certificate visit www.nyc.gov.

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