The number of births in College Station in 2019 dropped below 2,000 for the first time since 2013, according to College Station Public Communications Director Jay Socol.
Between the 2018 calendar year and 2019, College Station saw a decrease of 460 births in the city limits, dropping to 1,556 from 2,016 in 2018. Bryan, on the other hand, saw an increase of 481 births within its city limits, from 1,698 in 2018 to 2,179 in 2019.
The statistics do not track the number of families in each city having children, just the number of babies born within the city limits. For example, some College Station families might have their children in Bryan hospitals, and some Navasota families might have their babies in College Station.
“Brazos County has three registration districts: Bryan, College Station and Brazos County,” College Station Deputy Local Registrar Yvette Dela Torre said. “So anything that happens outside of the College Station city limits, depending on the address, they would be Brazos County or city of Bryan. It is possible that there could have been some home births and they resided outside of city limits — let’s say Bryan or College Station — and so those births would have been registered at the county with the Brazos County clerk.”
In general, though, Dela Torre attributed the city’s decrease in births to the closure of the labor and delivery unit at the former College Station Medical Center when it became part of the CHI St. Joseph Health system. The closure meant College Station’s only birthing hospital is Baylor Scott & White Hospital.
Bryan Communications and Marketing Manager Kristen Waggener agreed that plays a factor but pointed to the city’s growing population as the main reason.
Socol’s blog post also covered naming trends. Since 2016, the same three names — Grace, Rose and Marie — have been the preferred middle names of College Station baby girls. Grace and Marie have been on the list since at least 2014.
“The middle names being the same just struck me as hilarious. … I don’t know what is so special about Grace, Rose and Marie, but in College Station, Texas, those are winners every single year,” he said. “I don’t know how that compares with the state of Texas or the United States, but I thought that was really great.”
When it comes to boy’s middle names, James has been on the most popular list since 2014. The other two middle names have changed, with Michael, Alexander, Lee and Wayne all appearing on the list.
The most popular first names for girls in College Station are Olivia, Emma and Harper; most popular for boys are Aiden, Liam and Grayson.
In Bryan, the top three girls’ names are Emma, Evelyn and a tie for third between Isabella and Ava. For boys, it’s Daniel, Anthony and Liam.
This year, Socol also included a list of baby name superlatives. Among them:
• Birdie Scout — “most likely to join the Audubon Society.”
• Cooper Bradley — “most likely to sing/act with GaGa Lady.”
• Alpha Dewdrop and Zoiimi My’Life — “most likely to deserve their own category.”
Socol said he has fun with the naming statistics, but the purpose of the blog is to bring attention to Dela Torre’s work in collecting the city’s vital statistics.
“She is very professionally and accurately handling these vital statistics every single day of the year,” he said.
One new element in the vital statistics office, Dela Torre said, is the addition of an online ordering process for birth — and death, marriage and divorce — certificates through VitalCheck.
“It’s very convenient for out-of-state, out-of-town customers that they were born in College Station or their children were born in College Station, and now they’re needing another birth certificate or if they’ve misplaced it and they need another copy,” she said. “They’re able to order it online. The services offer UPS overnight shipping, and then we have our standard certified mail shipping, as well.”
They are also working to offer same-day pick up that would allow people to order through VitalCheck and pick up the document at the city’s offices. However, that is not yet in place.
The third-party service does have an associated fee, and those specific prices are available through the College Station city secretary’s office page of the city’s website, www.cstx.gov.