Jayden, Sophia top list of NYC's most popular baby names

December 31, 2013 8:44:27 AM PST
Jayden and Sophia are at the top of the list in the New York City Health Department's survey of the city's most popular baby names for 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.

The Social Security Administration says Sophia and Jacob remained the top baby names nationwide in 2012.

Most Popular Baby Names

New York City, 2012


1. Sophia

2 Isabella

3 Emma

4 Olivia

5 Emily

6 Mia

7 Chloe

8 Madison

9 Leah

10 Ava


1 Jayden

2 Ethan

3 Jacob

4 Daniel

5 Matthew

6 Michael

7 Aiden

8 David

9 Ryan

10 Alexander

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.