News Release Archive

If there seems to be a lot more kids named Sarah or Brandon in
your neighbourhood these days, it's not your imagination. They
happen to be the top names Nova Scotia parents picked for their
babies in 1995.

Recent automation of the Vital Statistics registry records means
analysis of the records is now much faster. This is important for
medical research as new insights can be gained into the
population's health and demographics by examining birth and death
records over the years.

But it can also mean other interesting statistics for the average
Joe, or Sarah or Brandon.

In fact, Brandon was also the champ in the boys' names category
in 1994. And there's an interesting consistency. In both 1994 and
1995, there were 180 Brandons born in the province. The
runners-up in boys' names for 1995 were Tyler, Matthew, Ryan,
Nicholas, Alexander, Michael, Kyle and Justin.

Sarah was the top girl's name in 1995, followed by Emily,
Jessica, Ashley, Brittany, Megan, Taylor, Samantha and Rebecca.

At the other side of the country, parents are like-minded. In
1994, the top boy's name in British Columbia was also Brandon,
and two of the top three girls' names - Jessica and Emily - were
the same as in Nova Scotia.

So far this year in Nova Scotia, Brandon is heading for his third
straight title in the boys' names category while Jessica is
leading for the girls.

But if history is any lesson, and it usually is, today's popular
names will eventually go the way of Ernest and Evelyn, popular
names in the 1930's. In the 1970's, parents were big on Jennifer,
Jason, Lisa and Mark. In the 1960's it was Kevin, Karen, Stephen,
Susan and Deborah. The name Deborah is rare today: only 12 babies
have been named Deborah, Debbie or Debra since 1990.

It should be no surprise that the most common surname in Nova
Scotia is MacDonald, followed by Smith, Brown, MacNeil and
LeBlanc. And the most common full names in Nova Scotia? John
MacDonald and Mary MacDonald.

Last year, 10,612 babies were born in the province of Nova Scotia
(and registered as of March 1996) -  5,250 females and 5,362
males. Vital Statistics automation started in 1992 at the
Department of Health, which continues to provide technical
assistance. Vital Statistics is now part of the Department of
Business and Consumer Services.


Contact: Lori MacLean   902-424-5025

         David MacNeil  902-424-2933

trp                      June 04, 1996 - 3:15 p.m.