Tallying the most popular birth-names in the state, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday announced Mason and Sophie are the top boys and girls names for 2011.
According to a press release, the DOH said parents today choose more unique, creative names for their children than parents in past decades.
Mason moved to number one from 11th-most popular name for baby boys in 2011, and Liam moved to second place from eighth. The top 10 list for baby girls is nearly the same as 2010, in slightly different order. Sophia is ranked number one and Olivia is number two.
Today, less than half of names for baby boys come from the top 100 names list and only about a third of names for baby girls are among the top 100. In 1980, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of all baby boys had names in the top 100 names, and more than half (53 percent) of girls had one of the top 100 names for that year.
More unique names like Waverly, Lazarus and Indigo, however ( gaining in popularity) haven't yet caught on in a big way in the Evergreen State.
British Royalty, once a popular source of names for the American public, still have some staying power in given names in 2011. (and expecting a child of his own) is 8th most popular in the state and 3rd nationally. The name of the current queen and British monarch, Elizabeth, is the 10th most popular name in the state.
Among other information gathered for 2011, there were fewer tobacco smokers – just under 9 percent – among women who gave birth that year. Preterm births – before 37 weeks of pregnancy – declined from 10.5 percent in 2006 to 9.5 percent in 2011. Gestational diabetes among pregnant women increased to just over 6 percent in 2011. In 2003, 4 percent of pregnant women had gestational diabetes. Diabetes can harm the mother and unborn baby. Many women who have never had diabetes may develop gestational diabetes when pregnant. Usually it goes away after the baby’s born. It’s important to see a health care provider following birth as many women who have gestational diabetes will go on to develop diabetes later in life.
There were 107,562 pregnancies and 86,929 babies born in our state in 2011 — 42,325 girls and 44,604 boys. A steady decline in pregnancies and births coincides with the economic downturn. There were 115,092 pregnancies and 90,270 births in 2008. The largest number of births was among mothers 25 to 29 years old. Teen pregnancies and births (15-17 years old) continue to drop. Teen pregnancies (15-17) fell 31 percent in that same time period, from 3,613 in 2008 to 2,526 in 2011. There were 1,519 teens who gave birth in 2011, down from 2,131 in 2008.
Birth tables for 2011 and prior years, along with popular baby names for several years are available on the agency website. Popular baby names from the past several decades for the United States are available on the Social Security website.
To give babies the best start in life, the Department of Health recommends that mothers breastfeed babies until they’re at least six months old, and longer if possible. More information is available on the Department of Health website, doh.wa.gov.
(Ed. Note: The information above was taken from a State Department of Health press release.)