Isabella, Alexander rank as state’s most popular baby names

November 5, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 1 p.m. Nov. 5, 2010

If it’s a girl, she’s Isabella. If it’s a boy, he’s Alexander.

The names ranked as the most popular baby names in Washington for 2009, birth data released by state Department of Health shows.

The agency ranked the top 100 names, from Isabella and Alexander at No. 1 to Isabel and Lincoln at No. 100. Find the complete list here.

Find the top 100 names for the last 30 years here. The state started tracking baby names and other birth-related data in 1980.

The most common name for a girl born in 1980: Jennifer. The top choice for boys: Michael.

Michael has appeared in the top 10 every year except for the past three years. Jennifer remained in the top 10 for the ’80s but slipped down the list to No. 97 last year.

Births in the state decreased last year, after gradually increasing every year since 2002, as fewer women of childbearing age — 15 to 44 — have babies. The result: About 1,000 fewer babies were born in 2009 — 89,242 compared to 90,270 during the previous year. The birth rate dipped to 13.4 last year — a 2.2 percent decrease from 13.7 in the prior year.

The agency said decrease may be attributed to the down economy, or the increased availability and acceptability of contraceptives.

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