The most popular baby names in New York City for 2008 were announced not long ago. The winners were Sophia and Jayden. But, at the moment, the names themselves don’t interest me as much as the source of the rankings–the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is a source you can trust. Why? Because it’s a part of the NYC city government. The Social Security Administration, which publishes the national U.S. rankings every May, is also trustworthy. The SSA is part of the U.S. federal government.
So what about baby name popularity lists that come from non-government sources like BabyCenter.com and BabyNames.com? Well, they’re simply not reliable. These lists only represent names preferred/selected by users of those particular sites. (And who knows if these users are even parents at all?)
So always be sure the list you’re looking at is legit. The ultimate source of the information should be a government body, not a baby name website.