A Look at the Most Popular Baby Names in the Country

baby namesThe most popular baby names of 2012 are in! Compiled by the Social Security Administration, these are the names that people are really giving their babies in the U.S., as opposed to, you know, names that are just out there in the interwebs. The real deal. A lot of them are very familiar. Many people seem to be fine with giving their kid the same name everyone gave their kid 20 years ago. But there are some newbies inspired by popular culture on the list too.


See the full top 1000 list on Nameberry. Here are the top 20:


1. Jacob (most popular since 1999)

2. Mason (the name has been popular for awhile but has surged in popularity in 2010, the year after Kourtney Kardashian gave it to her son)

3. Ethan

4. Noah

5. William

6. Liam (making its top ten debut; overtaking Daniel)

7. Jayden (Britney Spears named her son this in 2006 and its popularity surged the year after)

8. Michael

9. Alexander

10. Aiden (began surging in popularity in 2003, the same year Aiden became Carrie's boyfriend on Sex & the City)


1. Sophia (overtook Isabella as most popular)

2. Emma (popular at the turn of the century, it was unpopular until the early 90s and began slowly making a comeback)

3. Isabella

4. Olivia

5. Ava (a huge spike in popularity starting in 2005)

6. Emily

7. Abigail

8. Mia

9. Madison (first ranked on the list in 1985, the year after Splash was released, which featured the mermaid character Madison)

10. Elizabeth (nudging Chloe out of the top ten, this name has hardly ever been out of the top 20 in over 100 years)

Some of the names rising the fastest in popularity include Major for boys and Arya/Aria for girls, possibly inspired by a character from Game of Thrones.

Some unexpected popular names:


Harper (#24)

Brooklyn (#29 -- popularity has been rising since 1990)

Aaliyah (#36)

Riley (#47)

Peyton (#53)

Genesis (#56)

Serenity (#58)

Aubree (#60)

Scarlett (#61 -- this name only regained popularity in 1992 and has been steadily climbing)

Makayla (#69)

Trinity (#93)

London (#94)

Piper (#98)


Brayden (#39)

Hunter (#45)

Levi (#55)

Jaxon (#66)

Ayden (#69)

Xavier (#81)

Bryson (#94)

Kayden (#99)

Ryder (#100)

Names I was surprised weren't higher:

Bella (#54 girls -- despite the Twilight franchise still being hot, this name has been declining in popularity since 2009)

Khloe (#55 girls -- this named peaked at #42 in 2010, and only first appeared on the list in 2006, one year after Keeping Up with the Kardashians premiered. On the other hand, Kourtney is #720 and Kim didn't rank in the top 1000.)

Anastasia (#342 -- despite being Fifty Shades of Grey's heroine, this name has steadily been declining in popularity since 2002)

Christian (#33 boys -- Fifty Shades' sex maniac hero's name has actually been losing popularity since 2006)

Is your baby's name on the list?


Image via kaatjevervoort/Flickr

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