Wednesday, May 16, 2012


The Social Security Administration just announced what the most popular baby names were in 2011.  There were a few surprises, and a few not-surprises.  First of all, one surprise was that Isabella isn't the most popular girl's name anymore.  It got beat out by Sophia, and Isabella is now in 2nd place.

In the boys' name list, Jacob is still number 1, but suddenly the name Mason has leaped into 2nd place.  In order to get to 2nd place, Mason had to jump 10 spots, and it knocked Michael out of the top 5 for the first time in 63 years!  The reason why Mason probably got so popular all of a sudden is because Kourtney Kardashian, who is some famous reality TV person that Mom and I never watch, had a baby and she named him Mason.

But anyway, here's a list of all 20 most popular names for girls in 2011:

  1.  Sophia
  2.  Isabella
  3.  Emma
  4.  Olivia
  5.  Ava
  6.  Emily
  7.  Abigail
  8.  Madison
  9.  Mia
10.  Chloe
11.  Elizabeth
12.  Ella
13.  Addison
14.  Natalie
15.  Lily
16.  Grace
17.  Samantha
18.  Avery
19.  Sofia
20.  Aubrey

And here are the 20 most popular names for boys:

  1.  Jacob
  2.  Mason
  3.  William
  4.  Jayden
  5.  Noah
  6.  Michael
  7.  Ethan
  8.  Alexander
  9.  Aiden
10.  Daniel
11.  Anthony
12.  Matthew
13.  Elijah
14.  Joshua
15.  Liam
16.  Andrew
17.  James
18.  David
19.  Benjamin
20.  Logan

Well, while I was looking at baby names on the SSA site, I had to check on Piper, of course.  And what I learned was that this name is getting more and more popular.  The first time Piper was even in the top 1000 was in 1999, when it was #701.  In 2010, it was up to #144, and last year it was #110.  I think that's pretty good progress, and I am very proud of my name!

I also looked up my mom's name, Eva, which was #81 in 2011.  This is up from #91 in 2010 and #99 in 2009.  Eva ranked its lowest in 1993, when it was #349, but by 2000 it was still only up to #294.  The most popular rank ever for Eva was in 1889, when it was #31.  In 1912, when the Titanic sank, the name Eva was ranked #49, which is still more popular than it was last year.

And speaking of 1912, I found out what the the top five names for boys and girls were that year.  For boys, they were John, William, James, Robert, and Joseph.  And for girls, the names were Mary, Helen, Dorothy, Margaret, and Ruth.

Okay, here are a couple of other top-five lists, and then I will stop writing about names.  You can also look up the most popular names in each state, and sometimes you get different results than you do with the national lists.  The last year they have state lists for is 2010, but here they are.  In my state of Missouri, the top five names for boys were Jacob, Mason, William, Logan, and Jackson.  For girls, they were Isabella, Emma, Olivia, Sophia, and Ava.   And in Kansas, which is right next door, the top five boys' names were Jacob, William, Alexander, Ethan, and Elijah.  The girls names were Isabella, Ava, Sophia, Emma, and Olivia.

So anyway, if you are having a baby, and you want him or her to have the same name as several other kids in the class, you can pick one of these popular names.  But if you want your baby to have a name that is a little more different, you will have to look further down the list, or else make up a name that's totally new!


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    1. Every year the Social Security Administration publishes a list of the most popular baby names for that year. You can also search by name or by year -- it's a really interesting site.