Home Sections Family & Society First BC baby of 2024 to be announced on X

First BC baby of 2024 to be announced on X

Announcement will be made at 8 am on New Year's Day

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Sunday December 31, 2023 | VICTORIA, BC [Updated 7 pm on January 1, 2024]

by Mary P Brooke, editor | Island Social Trends

The first baby of 2024 as born in British Columbia is a daughter born to the Stutsky family at Royal Columbian Hospital in Fraser Health, weighing 6 lbs. 14 oz. Her name is Taylor.

According to BC Health Minister Adrian Dix the baby girl was born “just a second after ringing in 2024” and he offered his congratulations in the social media platform X.

First baby on Vancouver Island:

Here on Vancouver Island the first baby of 2024 is a boy. Ferguson “Gus” Kenneth Ouellet Mitchell was born at Victoria General Hospital at 2:06 am today Monday, January 1, weighing 7 lbs. 8 oz., as stated by Island Health.

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Parents Nadia and Alex with son Ferguson born at 2:06 am at Victoria General Hospital on January 1, 2024. [Island Health]

“Parents Nadia and Alex and big sister Saoirse are thrilled,” says an Island Health spokesperson.

First of the Fergusons:

According to BC Vital Statistics, Ferguson is a first! It is not yet listed as a name given to babies in BC since 1924.

  • Fergus is a first name that has been given only 37 times in BC over the last 100 years (1924 to 2023); it was first recorded as a baby’s first name in BC in 2012. It is the 1,148th most common name out of 2,142 names given to babies in BC since 1924.
  • Gus is a first name that has been given 52 times in BC; it was first recorded as a baby’s first name in 2011. It is the 799th most common name out of 2,142 names in the last 100 years.
  • Kenneth has been given as a first name in BC a total of 13,767 times — interestingly it appears for every year since 1924 *except* 2023 (perhaps the Barbie movie influence?). Kenneth is the 12th most given name for boys in BC in the past 100 years.
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Ferguson “Gus” Kenneth Ouellet Mitchell born at Victoria General Hospital at 2:06 am on Jan 1, 2024. [Island Health]

Other famous Fergusons:

Government led with the news:

News of the first birth in BC was shared on the provincial government’s X (formerly Twitter) account @BCGovNews at 8 a.m. on January 1, 2024.

Birth location betting closed at 6 am Dec 31:

A few days ago the the BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) announced the return of their betting game as to which B.C. hospital will welcome the first baby of the new year.

Same as last year, the current odds for Victoria General Hospital are 11.00, meaning a successful $10 wager will pay out a total of $110. B.C. Women’s Hospital (3.50) is the betting favourite among all 23 hospitals, with the same odds as last year — even though it hasn’t been the home of the first B.C. baby of a new year since 2017.

In 2023, Abbotsford Regional Hospital (12.00) welcomed the first B.C. baby of 2023 at 12:02 am. Odds are up compared to last year when it was pegged at 10.0. Afterall, what are the chances of two years in a row?

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Betting odds at PlayNow.com for the birth location of the first baby born in BC in 2024. [Dec 27/23 – BCLC]

Wagering on which of 23 B.C. hospitals will welcome the first B.C. baby of 2024 was available on PlayNow.com up to 6:00 am (PST) this morning, December 31, 2023.

Popular name bets will be available until January 31, 2024.

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Most popular names for babies born in BC:

In 2023 the most popular name for boys has been Noah, followed by Oliver, Theodore, Liam Jack, Ethan, Leo, Lucas, Owen and Henry. The top boy’s name of all years recorded in BC (since 1924) is Robert, followed by David, Michael and James.

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For children born in 2019 who will be registering for a Kindergarten start in September 2024, the top boys names that will show up in classrooms are Oliver, Liam, Lucas, Ethan and Noah.

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For girls the top names have been Olivia followed by Emma, Sophia, Charlotte Isla, Ava, Amelia, Chloe, Hazel and Lily. Top girl’s name in BC of all years since 1924 is Jennifer, followed by Sarah, Patricia and Mary.

For children born in 2019 who will be registering for a Kindergarten start in September 2024, the top girls names will show up in classrooms as Olivia, Charlotte, Emma, Ava and Sophia.

The BC Lottery baby name betting will be open to January 31, 2024 at PlayNow.com .

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Newsmakers of 2023 [Island Social Trends]

Fewer babies during pandemic:

Up to December 18 of this year 2023, there were 37,650 babies registered as born in BC; the expected final total is expected to be at or about 40,000.

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The 2022 BC tally of 41,833 was below the 42,783 babies born in BC in 2021, and 42,413 born in this province in 2020. Cost of living load and the social impacts of the pandemic (at its peak in 2020 and 2021) likely played into the lower 2022 natural birth rate.

YearBirths in BC
202336,702 (to Dec 1, 2023) | 37,650 (to Dec 18, 2023)
Source: Vital Statistics BCTable by: Island Social Trends
Births in the Province of British Columbia, Canada [2017-2023]

In pre-pandemic years, the number of babies born in BC was higher: 43,878 in 2019, 44,050 in 2018, and 45,045 in 2017. In those years the economy was relatively stable if not fully robust.

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Meanwhile, in-migration to BC has been on the upswing. In 2021 and 2022 the population increase in BC has been referred to by Premier Eby as 250,000 and recently the Minister of Education and Child Care mentioned 325,000 as the population increase over three years.

Government has said in the past that natural replacement of the population is expected to reach net zero by 2030 and the overall population is aging, which is why immigration of new residents is a government policy to help support the economy.

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Island Social Trends is a professional news service that covers news of the west shore, south Vancouver Island, BC and national issues.

Island Social Trends launched entirely online at islandsocialtrends.ca in mid-2020, in the footsteps of its predecessor publications MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013) and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020). The new Island Social Trends print edition will launch in 2024.

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Mary P Brooke, Editor, Island Social Trends

Editor and publisher: Mary P Brooke, B.Sc. | ARCHIVES:  HEALTHVANCOUVER ISLAND

Island Social Trends posts daily on X/Twitter @IslandSocTrends for a regional, BC and national audience.