Thursday, December 29, 2011

Demography Tonight: NYC isn't the whole country, but still, "Isabella" and "Jayden"?


Whereas Britney, Courtney, Bentley, and Otto
are either the least liked or the most exclusive

by Ken

Unbeknownst to me until I read today's DNAinfo report on the NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene's newly released report on the results for 2010, it was only in October of this year that the department released the 2009 results.

And on the main point, the findings are eerily consistent: The No. 1 baby name in New York City for these two years running were Isabella for girls and, yes, Jayden for boys.

Isabella, as DNAinfo's Della Hasselle reported in October, had made a comeback in 2009. "The most recent tally of birth certificates indicates that Isabella, the top name in 2007, came back to triumph over Sophia." She notes that Jayden was a repeat winner for 2009.

Here are the numbers for 2010:

Among the girls, as DNAinfo's Ben Fractenberg reports (and as you can see for yourself): "Nine of the top ten names for girls were holdovers from last year, with Chloe pushing Ashley off the list." Poor Ashley! (Best keep an eye on that Chloe.) Among the boys, Ben notes, "Jacob and Joseph made it back into the top ten after falling out in 2009. Michael, which was the most popular name from the 1980s through early 2000s, fell from fourth place in 2009 to seventh in 2010."

"Some of the least popular names for boys," Ben adds, "included Bentley and Otto. Britney and Courtney were lowest on the list for girls."

At the time of the release of the 2009 data, the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene press release stressed the role of ethnicity in baby-naming:
Preferences vary broadly across racial and ethnic groups. Isabella was the most popular female name for Hispanic families, while Madison remained a favorite with black parents. Sophia, the top pick for Asian girls in 2007 and 2008, retained the crown in 2009. Olivia held the lead among white families. Among boys, most Hispanic and black families again opted for the ever-popular Jayden, while Asian families stuck with Ryan and white families favored Michael.
(For more detailed information, including breakdowns and breakouts, readers were directed to a Vital Statistics links page.)

The department's release for the 2009 data also noted the role of pop Culture --
New Yorkers continue to take cues from movie, music, sports and fashion icons as they search for the perfect name. Last year’s big draws included actresses Scarlett and Penelope (tied at #104), singers Usher (#158) and Rihanna (#107), athletes Peyton (#171) and Brady (#158), model Iman (#147) and fashion designers Chanel (#139) and Armani (#150). Zahara (#145) and Jayden (#1) – names chosen by celebrity parents Angelina Jolie and Will Smith – were also popular.
and judged biblical names "an even bigger source of inspiration" --
Holy names for girls included Esther (#21) and Genesis (#43), while Joshua (#8), Jacob (#12), Noah (#30) and Jeremiah (#34) were often bestowed upon boys.
Della Hasselle added in her DNAinfo report: "Jayden is closely related to Jaden, the name of Will Smith’s son, and “Bella” is a common nickname for Isabella, the girlfriend of vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight series."

As for 2010, Ben Fractenberg notes the influence of "area sports stars" ("Eli came in at number 49 last year and Carmelo snuck in at 168") and points out: "One of city's boroughs was also an inspiration with Brooklyn making it in at number 138." I"m guessing that Eli, Carmelo, and Brooklyn may have been less popular choices in other areas.



At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Hispanic parents in NYC only have daughters? That's how it appears from looking at that list

At 11:39 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

All I know is what I read, Anon. But note: "Among boys, most Hispanic and black families again opted for the ever-popular Jayden." (I think the writer means "the most," not "most.")


At 4:20 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I don't know why I find this kind of stuff fascinating but I do-- Jayden? that must be a totally New York thing because among my friends not one has a child or grandchild by that name-- on the other hand, Isabella is nice and my great grand-mother was named Sophia. What goes around comes around --- and speaking of names I am delighted that Tiffany and Brittany have fallen to the bottom of the heap-- here's hoping they stay there :-) Thanks for an enjoyable read and a morning chuckle-- love the graphic too.

At 8:21 AM, Blogger KenInNY said...

The Jayden thing blew me away too, P, and I've lived in NYC most of my life! I don't recall ever meeting a Jayden.


At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Chloe...Chole, where are you you old bat?" Spike Lee

What happened to James, Michael, John, William, Robert, which could all be shortened to Jim, Mike, John, Bill, Bob? Simple, some like Bob are spelled the same forward or backward. Play golf with a bunch of old codgers and that's all you will here. Anyone could spell them.

At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we named our kids Cealis and Colonoscopy. Seemed perfect. One is such a hard on and the other is a butt hole.


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