News release

Emma and Ethan Retain Top Spots

For the third year in a row, Emma and Ethan were the most popular baby names in Nova Scotia, according to 2004 figures from Nova Scotia's Vital Statistics office.

This isn't just a Nova Scotia trend, other offices across the country also place these names in their top five spots for most popular baby names last year.

According to baby name websites, Emma is Latin for healer or universal. Ethan is Hebrew in origin, and means strong or firm.

In 2004, the top five girls' names were Emma (138), Madison (86), Emily (81), Hannah (57) and Abigail (56). The top five boys' names were Ethan (95), Ryan (67), Liam (66), Alexander (64) and Noah (63).

There was stiff competition once again this year for both girls and boys names. Madison and Emily have been the second and third most popular choice for girls for the past two years. On the boys' side, Ryan has risen from 2003's number-three spot to number two and Liam has risen nine spots to the number three choice. Once again, John and Mary, the most popular names of the 1900s, failed to appear on the list of top 20 names.

"Choosing a baby name is a personal decision that is often influenced by a number of factors," said Liz Crowley Meagher, deputy registrar general of Vital Statistics at Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. "Trends reveal that today's parents are swayed by celebrity influence. However some still stick to biblical references and family traditions when naming their child."

Emma was the name given to the daughter of the characters Ross and Rachel on the popular Friends sitcom, which ended its 10-year run last year. It has since been the most popular baby name for girls in Nova Scotia and on the top-ranked girls' names list throughout North America. Alexander and Noah are two biblically influenced names that have increased in popularity once again this past year.

In all, there were 8,667 births in Nova Scotia in 2004, slightly more than the 8,491 births reported in 2003. There were 4,311 boys and 4,356 girls born last year.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

For the third year in a row, Emma and Ethan were the most popular baby names in Nova Scotia, according to 2004 figures from Nova Scotia's Vital Statistics office.

The top five girls' names in 2004 were Emma, Madison, Emily, Hannah and Abigail.

The top five boys' names were Ethan, Ryan, Liam, Alexander and Noah.

There were eight thousand six hundred and sixty-seven births in Nova Scotia last year -- four thousand three hundred and eleven boys and four thousand three hundred and fifty-six girls.

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Contact:

Lenore Bromley
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations 902-424-2733 E-mail:

NOTE: Following are the top 20 baby names for boys and girls born in Nova Scotia in 2004.

Girls Emma 138 Madison 86 Emily 81 Hannah 57 Abigail 56 Grace 54 Olivia 51 Sarah 51 Lauren 49 Ella 45 MacKenzie 39 Chloe 36 Anna 34 Brooklyn 34 Julia 33 Taylor 33 Hailey 32 Haley 31 Jenna 30 Rebecca 30

Boys:

Ethan 95 Ryan 67 Liam 66 Alexander 64 Noah 63 Matthew 62 Logan 60 Benjamin 57 Joshua 56 Connor 55 Jacob 54 Cameron 53 Nicholas 51 Zachary 48 Dylan 47 Tyler 47 Owen 46 Evan 44 William 44 Nathan 43

rj             March 14, 2005      9:15 A.M.