Top Baby Names For 2011 Include Jacob, Sophia

Just when you think Isabella was going to rank top of the list again, but it was unseated by Sophia, according to the Social Security Administration’s announcement of 2011’s popular baby names.

Jacob remains the most popular name for boys for the 13th year in a row. An Old Testament name that means “supplanter” and a cousin of James, Jacob has been in the Top Ten for nearly two decades.

The celebrity baby name influence is evidenced by two names leaping up the ranks. Mason, the new number two boys’ name, is the name of Kourtney Kardashian’s baby boy. And Harper, the fastest-rising name for girls, was chosen last year by Victoria and David Beckham for their first daughter.

An ancient Greek name meaning wisdom, Sophia jumped from last year’s second place to claim the top spot.

Sophia is only the tenth name in history to be the U.S. Number one for girls. The others are, in reverse chronological order, Isabella, Emma, Emily, Jessica, Ashley, Jessica (again), Jennifer, Lisa, Linda, and Mary.

Only six names, including Jacob, have held the top spot for boys. Counting backwards from Jacob, they are Michael, David (for one year only, 1960), Michael again, Robert, James, Robert (again), and John.

Though Sophia has been on the U.S. Top 1000 every year since the beginning of recorded baby name history in 1880, the year the American government began keeping statistics on infant names, it nearly fell off that list in 1956 before beginning a new ascent.

Sophia entered the Top 100 for the first time in 1997 and hit the Top 10 in 2006.




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