A Hispanic name - José - No. 1 for Arizona boys
Jan. 4, 2005
● A decade sees new baby names emerge as most popular
2004: José
1994: Michael
2004: Emily
1994: Jessica
Complete list of the most popular names by year: Page A13.


Most popular names
2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1994
1 José Jacob Jacob Jacob Jacob Michael
2 Jacob José José Michael Michael Daniel
3 Anthony Daniel Michael José Daniel Tyler
4 Daniel Michael Daniel Anthony José Jacob
5 Angel Anthony Joshua Matthew Anthony Joshua
6 Michael Angel Anthony Joshua Matthew Matthew
7 Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Joshua David
8 Joshua Joshua Matthew Daniel Jesus Christopher
9 David Andrew Joseph Christopher David Brandon
10 Joseph David David David Joseph Austin
1 Emily Emily Emily Ashley Emily Jessica
2 Isabella Emma Ashley Emily Ashley Ashley
3 Emma Ashley Alexis Alexis Samantha Samantha
4 Madison Alyssa Samantha Madison Alexis Taylor
5 Ashley Samantha Madison Samantha Jessica Sarah
6 Samantha Alexis Alyssa Jessica Hannah Nicole
7 Alexis Madison Hannah Hannah Madison Alexis
8 Abigail Isabella Jennifer Alyssa Alyssa Emily
9 Alyssa Abigail Isabella Elizabeth Jennifer Amanda
10 Elizabeth Hannah Emma Brianna Taylor Jennifer
By Howard Fischer
PHOENIX - Tom, Dick and Harry are being replaced in Arizona by José, Angel and Jesus.
For the first time ever, the most popular given name for baby boys born in the state is Hispanic. Parents last year gave the name José to 593 youngsters, edging out Jacob, which had been the most popular for the four previous years.
And Michael, the most popular name a decade earlier - as well as in 1984 and 1974 - now has slipped to sixth place. What's behind the shift? Arizonans who identify themselves as Hispanic are out-reproducing everyone else in the state.
Among girls, Emily remains the top choice of new parents for the third year in a row. That is a sharp contrast with the prior three decades, when names like Jessica and Jennifer were at the top of the charts.
Christopher Mrela, assistant registrar of vital statistics for the state Department of Health Services, said 39,101 babies were born to Hispanic women in 2003 - the most recent figures available - versus 38,842 born to non-Hispanic whites. That was the first year this has occurred.
What makes it all the more remarkable is that Hispanics make up less than 30 percent of the state population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Jim Haynes, president of the Behavior Research Center research and polling firm, said business people and politicians need to take notice.
"They'd better start understanding what the various segments of the Latino population mean to them, either as customers or as voters," he said.
Mrela said the figures - and the trends - reflect the "fertility rate."
Among Hispanics, there were 116.1 births for each 1,000 women ages 15 through 44. The next-most-fertile group consisted of American Indians at 84.6 births per 1,000 - 72 for non-Hispanic whites.
Mrela said the sharply increasing birth rate among Hispanics is a relatively recent phenomenon. He said this rate had been relatively stable before taking off in 1980.
He also said the exploding Hispanic birth rate appears to be "an urban phenomenon," confined largely to Pima, Maricopa, Pinal and Yuma counties. By contrast, he said, the birth rate among Hispanics - as well as others - has remained relatively stable in the other 11, more rural, counties.
Haynes said his own firm's research has found that the higher birth rates generally are concentrated among first- and second-generation immigrants. He said those with longer family histories in Arizona tend to become more like the Anglo population, including having more children.
Neither Haynes nor Mrela would speculate on when Hispanics might become a majority of Arizona residents.