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“Emma” and “William” take Top Spots as Tennessee’s Most Popular Baby Names for 2011

Tennessee Department of HealthNashville, TN – William’s the winner for five years running, but Tennessee parents of new baby girls have put Emma back in the top slot on the list of most popular names for children born in 2011.

While the most popular names for both girls and boys born in Tennessee remain largely unchanged from the previous year, new names have made their way into the top 10 on both lists this year.

The top 10 names Tennessee parents chose for their new babies born in 2011* are as follows:

Rank Girls Boys
1 Emma William
2 Isabella Mason
3 Ava Elijah
4 Olivia Jacob
5 Madison James
6 Addison Jackson
7 Abigail Jayden (tie) Noah (tie)
8 Sophia Aiden
9 Chloe (tie) John (tie)
10 Emily (tie) Joshua (tie)

*provisional data

William has been the top choice for boys’ names in Tennessee since 2007. Emma has reclaimed the top spot on the 2011 list, after ranking number two in 2010. Emily broke into Tennessee’s top 10 name list this year, moving up from the 11th spot on the list last year. The 2011 top ten list for boys includes three new entries:  Mason, making a giant leap from number 14 in 2010 all the way to number 2 this year; and John and Joshua, which both just missed the top 10 list last year.

“As we celebrate the births of these children, we want to remind all Tennesseans that the best way to ensure a healthy baby is to start with healthy parents,” said Michael D. Warren, MD, MPH, director of Maternal and Child Health. “Preconception health is vital to positive pregnancy outcomes.”

Provisional birth data show the average age of Tennessee women giving birth in 2011 as 26.7 years. Nearly 60 percent of women who had babies in Tennessee in 2011 had previously had a child, and just over 41 percent were first-time mothers. Only 3.2 percent of the births were multiple deliveries such as twins or triplets. The vast majority of Tennessee births in 2011, 98.9 percent, took place in a hospital.

“All women of childbearing age should take a multivitamin that includes 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, even if they are not planning to become pregnant. Folic acid helps reduce the risk certain birth defects, including spina bifida and anencephaly, if taken in adequate amounts before becoming pregnant and during the very early weeks of pregnancy,” Warren said.

Although all enriched cereals and grain products in the United States are fortified with folic acid, only one third of American women of childbearing age consume the recommended daily amount. Taking a multivitamin with folic acid every day is a simple way for women to get the optimum dosage.

Stopping tobacco use is another important part of improving overall health for prospective parents. The Department of Health offers smoking cessation support at all Tennessee county health departments, and places a special emphasis on assisting pregnant women who smoke. For more information, contact your local health department. County health department locations and contact information can be found online at http://health.state.tn.us/localdepartments.htm.

The Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine also offers free counseling and support to all Tennessee residents who want to quit smoking or using other tobacco products. Learn more about this service by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visiting www.tnquitline.com.


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