If this was a contest, some might call for the name Jacob to be retired after so many wins.
“Jacob and Sophia are repeat champions as America’s most popular baby names for 2012. This is the fourteenth year in a row Jacob tops the list for boys and the second year for Sophia.”
Rounding out the top 10 lists:
Girls / Boys
2. Emma / Mason
3. Isabella / Ethan
4. Olivia / Noah
5. Ava / William
6. Emily / Liam
7. Abigail / Jayden
8. Mia / Michael
9. Madison / Alexander
10. Elizabeth / Aiden
Though the top of the list has a “same old, same old” feel, there is some name news to pass along:
— A new couple cracked the top 10. Elizabeth and Liam replaced Chloe and Daniel.
— “The fastest riser” among girls’ names was Arya. She jumped from No. 711 in 2011 to 413 last year. As the Social Security folks note, Arya’s surge is probably due to the cable TV series Game of Thrones. “Arya is the daughter of a leader of one of the Seven Kingdoms,” they write. “She also is an expert sword fighter, so doubt her influence on the popular names list at your own risk.”
— The name Major made a major jump, rising from No. 988 in 2011 to 483 in 2012. Carolyn W. Colvin, acting commissioner of Social Security, has “no doubt Major’s rising popularity as a boy’s name is in tribute to the brave members of the U.S. military, and maybe we’ll see more boys named General in the future.”
— According to Social Security’s records, “the second fastest riser for boys was Gael, and for girls, Perla. Both names most likely are on the rise due to the increase in the Spanish-speaking population in the United States. Perla is the Latinized version of Pearl and is popular among Hispanic-Americans. Gael’s popularity could be tied to Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal.”
As for our annual look at other very important names:
— Mark lost ground, sliding from No. 159 in 2011 to 176 in 2012.
— Korva and Eyder still haven’t cracked the top 1,000.