The New York City Health Department recently released its list of most popular names of 2008 - at last - with some pretty interesting results. (It reminded me of the old "Jennifer & Jason" days - before the Social Security Administration was compiling a national list, when Pam and I used to have to contact - and sometimes plead with - the Health Departments of all 50 states for their figures and laboriously construct our own master list - and I recall that New York state and city were always the last to straggle in.)
For a long time - and especially considering the city's hip reputation - New York's list was surprisingly conservative, with Michael, Ashley and Emily lounging in the top spots year after year. That changed somewhat in 2007, when Isabella and Sophia tied for No.1. This year, the more modern Jayden joined Sophia at the head of the list, bringing New York finally and fully into the 21st century.
Here are the Top 10 names for both genders:
But what is most intriguing about NYC is that it's one of the few localities to break down its findings into separate ethnic lists for hispanics, blacks, whites, and asian and Pacific islanders, revealing their extremely wide disparities. For example, the only group to have the overall No. 1 girls' name, Sophia, at the top is the Asian; the other three each had different girls' names - Ashley, hispanic; Madison, black; and Olivia, white. A few somewhat unusal choices included Melanie and Genesis on the hispanic list; Nevaeh, Destiny and Imani on the black; Esther ( No. 2!), Chaya and Miriam on the white; and Tiffany, Fiona, Angela, and Vivian on the asian. READ FULL STORY