Top Baby Names for 2011
05.15.12 List of top U.S. baby names for 2011 reveals same old favorites and one newcomer.
The official list of the top baby names for 2011 is out — and it's sticking with some oldies but goodies, The Los Angeles Times and MSNBC.com report. The No. 1 name in 2011 for boys was Jacob, and Sophia for girls, according to the Social Security Administration list. Jacob has been in the top spot since 1998; this is the first year that Sophia has reached No. 1.
The trendy celebrity names that we saw in 2011 — Bear, Blue Ivy, Moroccan and Monroe — were nowhere to be seen on the official annual list.
Also, the 2011 list said goodbye to the name Anthony. It was bumped off by Mason, which jumped to No. 2. "It's the only new name to crack the top 10 for either boys or girls," MSNBC.com reports.
And what's behind the unexpected love for Mason? You guessed it: the Kardashians. "Experts credit its sudden surge in popularity to Kourtney Kardashian, who named her son Mason in 2009," as quoted in the MSNBC article.
"By decade, Jacob was the top name in the 2000s, but for the four decades prior to that, it was Michael all the way. Michael, Mr. Popular, fell to No. 2 in the 2000s," the L.A. Times reports. For girl names, Mary is the title holder in the past century (44 times). However, the name Mary fell out of favor in the 2000s, falling to No. 65, according to the Social Security Administration.
The top 10 for boys: Jacob, Mason, William, Jayden, Noah, Michael, Ethan, Alexander, Aiden.
The top 10 for girls: Sophia, Isabella, Emma, Olivia, Ava, Emily, Abigail, Madison, Mia, Chloe.
The Social Security Administration also found that baby name trends vary by where you live in the U.S. (click here to see what's hot in your state). According to a recent article on NPR: "There is an enormous red state and blue state divide on names," but not how you might expect. Laura Wattenberg of Baby Name Wizard is quoted in the NPR story as saying that more progressive areas tend to favor old-fashioned names; parents in conservative areas lean toward more creative or androgynous names.
The reason? "Women in red states tend to have their first children earlier than women in blue states," Wattenberg says. "A 23-year-old mom is more likely to come up with something out of the ordinary than one who is 33."
If you're still looking for "the one" when it comes to baby names, check out our Pretty Baby Names for Girls and Cool and Unique Names for Boys pages for some inspiration.
Our Baby Name section has some helpful resources when you're struggling to settle on a perfect choice — from twin name suggestions to short and sweet options. There's something for everyone!