Not In Jersey: Top Baby Names Top Baby Names - Not In Jersey

Monday, January 7, 2013

Top Baby Names

What do Sophia, Isabella, Emma, and Emily have in common with Jacob? These five names have been on the top of the charts for baby names over the past five years according to the Social Security Administration. While the top girls’ name has changed each year (aside from Isabella which topped the chart in both 2009 and 2010), the top boys’ name has remained Jacob from 1999 all the way until 2011 (2012’s data has not yet been released). It is funny to me that Jacob was my top baby boy name choice when I was pregnant with Gabbie and I considered it again for each of my boys, but ultimately the names we chose were not anywhere the top of the charts.


I find the Social Security site interesting because it is official, but there are a lot of fun baby name tools to play with on there. And I know I’m not the only one out there who likes to discuss names!

So just for fun, I used the site for a little experiment. After clicking on the tab (on this page) labeled “Popular Baby Names by Birth Year” I entered my birth year (1978) and chose Top 1000 from the dropdown menu under “popularity.” Then I found my name on the page (using ctrl+F) and discovered that my name was #598 that year. My husband’s name on the other hand was #4! This may show why I usually like less popular names and he is a bigger fan of the common ones! I also did this experiment for our children’s names – Gabriella was #61 in 2005, Zachary was #42 in 2007, and Simon was #250 in 2010. Interesting? I think so!

Other cool things I found on the site were:

  • the top popularity changes in names from 2010 to 2011 – The boys’ name with the greatest increase in popularity was Brantley and the girls’ name was Briella. Names with the highest amount of negative change (they got less popular) were Brett and Brisa.
  • the top popular names by state – so you can see Jacob was not the top name in many states last year!
  • and my favorite – popular names for twins! In 2011 the most popular names for girl/girl twins were Olivia and Sophia, followed by Gabriella and Isabella! For boy/boy twin names, the most popular sets were Daniel and David, followed by Jacob and Joshua. And for girl/boy twins, the most popular names were Madison and Mason, followed by Olivia and Owen. Ooh, so matchy! It gets better:


Would you ever name your twins Jayda and Jayden? Taylor and Tyler? Oliver and Olivia? I think I’d get a little confused! Interestingly, when I used to daydream about having twins, I thought I’d name girls Gabriella and Maya, boys would be Jacob and Noah, and a boy and a girl would be Noah and Maya!

What about you? Do you like to think about baby names? How do the names in your family rank on the top baby name lists? If you had twins, what would you name them?


Leslie @ Violet Imperfection said...

Oh my goodness, I love talking baby names. We picked Violet because we liked it and because we thought it wasn't popular and then I read an article about how it was one of the fastest raising names in 2012.

I am a fan of more old fashioned names, don't laugh but my favorite girls name of all time is Beatrice. Marc hates it :(

My nephew is Oliver but if I had twins I would never name them so similar as Oliver and Olivia...too close sounding!

Leslie @ Violet Imperfection said...

P.S. there were 83 Violets born in Massachusetts in 2011.

Tracy said...

I have an acquaintance who named her boy/girl twins (just 1 week older than B&H) Maci & Mason. UGGGGGHHHH. We took to naming our boy/girl twins as naming 2 separate individuals - because they are! We chose Hannah's name first. We initially had Henry at the top of our boy's list, but partly because we didn't want 2 H names (but mostly because he didn't look like Henry), we chose Ben. Turns out Ben & Hannah are both in the top 25 for their year of birth, which is fine. And probably why it feels like their names go so well together! :)

Tracy said...

PS: To Leslie above, my daughter's middle name is Beatrice! (It was my beloved grandma's middle name.)

Mel@Mellywood's Mansion said...

My boys all have common names Samuel, jack, and max, my girls, Elizabeth which is kind of popular but old fashioned and Madeleine wasn't popular here but seems to be elsewhere. I just choose name I liked except for Samuel, who was named after my beloved grandpa

Sara said...

Love this post. We are in the midst of picking a name for our second and I tend to like not as popular names too. Now I am going to check out popular names by state.

Amy of While Wearing Heels said...

What an incredibly fascinating post. I have one of the most common names, from when I was born...AMY. I always grew up Amy S. I swore, when I had kids, I would try and name them something less common so they never had to be a name and an initial and, now, here I am with a 4 year old daughter named Grace...a very common name that I absolutely adore.

Jessica Ambrose said...

My oldest daughter's name is Emma named after my grandmother...we hear her name in the mall all the time from other parents. My name is Jessica which I believe it was number 1 in the 80s for quite a few years...needless to say...I had several Jessica's in my class throughout my schooling. Found you through Reese's sidebar :)(

Jamie said...

Naming a human is so hard! I am pregnant now and think we are going with Nathaniel but it is such a tough choice!

Libby said...

I think this is a pretty cool sight. My name - Elisabeth - for 1976 was #16, but as always, it's never spelled correctly. My parents gave me a biblical name, but apparently no one else has our regular KJV. lol

Kera said...

Haha thanks for sharing this! I also think the SSA website is pretty cool. You wouldn't think they'd have all that information about top baby names since it's a government site. Your part about the twin names is funny. I'm opposed to even naming my children that are not twins names starting with the same letter, so I think twin names like Oliver and Olivia is a bit much. Or names that rhyme lol. My daughter Sofia was born in 2011 and the top girl name then was Sophia. I always like different or unique names so it's funny that we chose the top baby name. At least it's with an "f" though right?

Shoshanah said...

I always think lists like this are so interesting. And while we don't have any kids yet, the names I like for them tend to be unique ones. I'm guessing that's partly due to the fact I have such a unique name. I used to hate the fact I could never find my name on key chains and such in gift shops. But when I went to Israel on Birthright was so excited to see my name in print. One of my favorite pictures is me standing in from of a bar called "Shoshanah's Bar." So I guess a name really is only unique or popular depending on where you are.