Washington state statistics follow social trends

State’s most popular baby names

Liam and Sophia are at the top of the list for the most popular baby names in Washington from 2012.

The Washington state Department of Health tracks a variety of important state vital statistics, including births, deaths, marriages, and divorces. Statewide and county by county statistics can be found online. The department is the official state repository for this information.  All births in Washington are reported to the agency.

In 2012, there were 87,415 babies born in the state. The most popular day for births in 2012 was Friday, June 28 when there were 311 Washington babies born. The recently released list of most-popular names selected for Washington newborns includes the top 100 baby names in the state for years 1980 to 2012.

Liam has been on the top-ten list since 2010, first appearing at number eight. By 2011, Liam climbed into second place and in 2012 won by just one baby –

edging out Mason for the number one spot. Out of the 44,696 boys that were born in 2012 in Washington, 409 babies were named Liam, and 408 were named Mason.

Sophia comes out on top for baby girls for the third year in a row. Since 2007, Sophia has been one of the top four most popular names for baby girls born in Washington. Out of 42,719 girls born in 2012, 473 were named Sophia. There were 456 baby girls named Emma, which was the second most-popular name.

In 2012, Washington birth certificates listed a total of 10,533 different names for girls and 7,761 different names for boys. Among the unusual names in 2012 for girls were Charlie (26 babies) and Gwyneth (6 babies). Philip (18 babies) and Mustafa (5 babies) were the lesser-used names chosen for boys.

Same sex couples are 17 percent of state marriages

Statistics show that in the first nine months after Washington state’s same sex marriage act became law, same sex couples made up 17 percent of all marriages in Washington. Between the law’s effective date, December 6, 2012, and the most recent complete month of data, September 30, 2013, there were 7,071 same sex couples among the 42,408 total couples who married in the state during that period of time.

So far, most of the state’s same sex marriages, 62 percent, occurred between two women. The top five Washington counties where same sex marriages occurred were King County with 3,452; Clark County with 785; Pierce County with 486; and both Snohomish County and Thurston County with around 300 marriages. Garfield County is the only county in Washington where no same sex marriages were performed. These numbers may not represent the number of marriage licenses granted by these counties.

It appears Washington’s same sex marriage law is drawing people to the state to marry. In 24 percent of same sex marriages, both spouses live in another state. There were 524 same sex marriages in which both parties lived in Oregon. For 170 same sex marriages, the couple lived in Texas, and, for 155 same sex marriages, the couple lived in California. Among opposite sex couples, both spouses were from another state in only 6 percent of marriages.

With some exceptions, as of June 30, 2014, all Washington same sex registered domestic partnerships will be converted to same sex marriages.

For more, go to the Department of Health website at


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