Mayor Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Thomas A. Farley announced today that, for the third year in a row, Isabella and Jayden were the most popular baby names in New York City. The Health Department’s birth certificates showed that more than 600 Isabellas and more than 800 Jaydens were born in the city in 2011. Influenced by New York City’s innovative public health initiatives and improvements in the quality of the health care delivery system, babies born in New York City have a life expectancy of 80.6 years, nearly 2.5 years longer than the national average of 78.2. The Mayor made the announcement at City Hall, where he also was joined by Health and Hospital Corporation’s Chief Nurse Officer, as well as Isabella Pal and Jayden Alexander Marthone – both just under one year old and born at Health and Hospital’s Coney Island Hospital – and their proud parents.
“A baby born in New York City has a life expectancy 2.5 years longer than the national average, in no small part due to our bold public health initiatives,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This means we can expect to see many of the very popularly named Isabellas and Jaydens – like these two little ones with us today – more than 80 years from now.”
“Choosing a name for your newborn is an exciting part of having a baby. But above all, we must bring our newest New Yorkers into a healthy, safe environment,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, whose name ranked 52 this year. “The Health Department helps women stay as healthy as possible pre-pregnancy, obtain quality health care during pregnancy, and receive the care and support their babies need to thrive.”
“Baby Jayden and Baby Isabella are just two of the more than 21,500 babies who were born last year at an HHC hospital and were welcomed to the world in our modern, comfortable birthing centers where new parents and the entire family can gather to celebrate the new arrivals,” said Health and Hospitals Corporation President Alan Aviles. “No matter what name you pick for your baby, the HHC network of pediatricians and child health centers can provide the medical home New York families need to keep babies healthy from birth through adolescence.”
From 2010 to 2011, the number of babies born in New York City dipped slightly, down 1.4 percent from 124,791 to 123,029 (62,808 boys and 60,221 girls). Brooklyn saw the greatest number of babies born last year with 41,303 births. Queens came in second with 26,876 births followed by 20,465 babies born in the Bronx, 19,323 in Manhattan and 5,519 on Staten Island.
Nine of the top 10 girls’ names for 2011 were holdovers from 2010, with Sarah dipping to number 11 and Sofia joining the list, up from 16 to number 10. Among boys, “A” names gained traction with Alexander back in the top 10 after getting bumped off two years ago and Aiden reemerged in spot 9 after years of dwindling popularity. Michael and Matthew also jumped up two spots to positions 5 and 6, respectively, while Joseph and Joshua slid to spots 13 and 14.
Some New York baby names may have been inspired by famous actors or musicians, such as Sofia (#10), Ashton (#117) Angelina (#33), Usher (#140) and Mariah (#106). Others may have been inspired by political icons or scientific pioneers such as Darwin (#151), Desmond (#141) and Kennedy (#135).
While Jayden wins, some parents drop the “y” (Jaden #49) or swap it for an “i” (Jaiden #92). Other spelling variations include Aiden (#9), Aidan (#59), and Ayden (#39). While Isabella is the most common name bestowed upon newborn girls, similar names include Isabelle (#93), Izabella (#121) or Isabela (#151). This year’s runner up also comes in two favored forms: Sophia (#2) or Sofia (#10).
New York City parents found inspiration from as close as Brooklyn (#141) to far-away places like Santiago (#115), Egypt (#143) and London (#45).
Top Ten Names by Race/Ethnicity
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 for a healthy pregnancy and healthy child.
Plan Your Pregnancy
- If you are sexually active, 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
- 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, New York City’s births and pregnancies or how to obtain a birth certificate visit www.nyc.gov.