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Liam, Sophia top Idaho baby names; 27.3% of Idaho births now out of wedlock

If you’re a baby boy in Idaho, chances are your name may be Liam. A girl? Sophia. Those were the most popular names given to babies born in Idaho in 2012, according to the state’s latest annual vital statistics report, out this week from the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare. For boys, the top 10 baby names, after Liam, were William, Mason, Jacob, Michael, Samuel, Wyatt, Logan, Ethan and Carter. For girls, after Sophia: Olivia, Emma, Ava, Abigail, Elizabeth, Chloe, Emily, Zoey, and Brooklyn. Among the unusual names given Idaho babies that year: Britannica, Versailles, Awesome and Truce.

The report also shows that Idaho births increased 2.8 percent in 2012, after three years of decreases; and out-of-wedlock births grew to a new high of 27.3 percent of births. The number of marriages dropped to the lowest rate recorded in Idaho in the past 60 years, 8.2 per 1,000 population, down from 8.6 a year earlier; the historical high since 1950 was 24.6. The number of divorces also dropped slightly, down 2.3 percent to 4.8 percent per 1,000 population, down from 4.9 a year earlier. Idaho’s highest divorce rate was recorded at 7.2 per 1,000 in 1978.

Idaho’s mortality rate – the number of deaths per 1,000 population – decreased slightly, and remained well below the national average. The top two causes of death in Idaho were heart disease and cancer, the same as the top two nationally; rates of suicide, Idaho’s eighth-leading cause of death, remained above the national average, at 18.7 per 100,000 population, compared the 12.3 nationally. Suicide was the 10th most common cause of death nationwide.

Ada County had the most births and deaths, by far; but it was edged by Kootenai County for the number of marriages occurring: 2,759 in Kootenai, compared to 2,664 in Ada. The full state report is online here.


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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