December 15, 1998
EMILY NEW MOST POPULAR GIRL NAME;
MICHAEL STILL NO. 1 NAME FOR BOYS
After topping the list of most popular girl names in Illinois for the past decade, Jessica was finally displaced in 1997 by Emily. Michael, however, continued to dominate the most popular boys list, leading the way as it has for the past 30 years.
Since the Illinois Department of Public Health began publishing the list of popular names, the top two had remained unchanged until last year. Michael and Jacob stayed 1st and 2nd on the list, while Emily and Jessica switched places in the rankings.
Among boy names, the top 10 names were the same as in 1996, but a few switched positions in the rankings. The biggest change was the name Christopher, which fell to 10th in 1997 from 7th in 1996, while the biggest gain was made by Tyler, which moved from 10th to 8th.
There was only one new girl's name in the top 10, with Megan moving into the 10th position from 11th in 1996, while Rachel fell from 10th to 11th. Hannah made the biggest jump in popularity, rising from 9th in 1996 to 4th in 1997. The biggest drop was Taylor, which fell three spots from 6th in 1996 to 9th in 1997.The most popular names are part of Department's report on 1997 vital statistics. The Department records about a half million vital record events each year births (180,649), deaths (102,404), marriages (94,574), divorces (39,981) and other statistics as mandated by state statutes and federal uniform data collection requirements.
Other vital statistics from 1997 include the largest baby (13 pounds, 13 ounces), the day most births occurred (July 2, 617), the fewest births (Jan. 12, 331), the oldest mother (52) and the oldest father (81).
The oldest groom was 95 and the oldest bride was 97. The month with the most marriages was August, with 11,117, and the month with the least number of marriages was January, with 4,049.
The most deaths occurred on Jan. 9 (363) and the fewest deaths were recorded on Aug. 6 (213). The month with the most divorces was December (3,782) and the month with the least was February (2,819). The oldest divorcee was a 90-year-old man.
Vital statistics trivia for 1997.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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