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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nonmember avatar kaylee

Both of my kids' names are on the list. Ethan & Elizabeth.

Mom2f... Mom2fourlove

It looks like my daughters name is on the babys bracelet. Does it say Yasmina?

wdenise wdenise

My son's name is in the top #10 but my favorite girl's name wasn't listed! Woo-hoo!

Vegeta Vegeta

Lol Trunks and Bulla will never be on those lists.


Surprised Katherine wasn't on the list, and not because of the Duchess,just because I always thought it was one of those old classics like Elizabeth.

nonmember avatar MammaMel

FYI...Aria is also a Pretty Little Liars character...a show that young moms are into...

femal... femaleMIKE

My son to be's name is not on the list. whew

Jessica Hollander

My sons name is not on the list but then again as i looked at the popularity i nthe last 100 years he hasnt made the list lol. Harland


nonmember avatar Maureen

Bella is short for Isabella, so it would make sense that Bella is not more popular, but Isabella is.

Christina M Becker

My son's name is Caedyn, I liked Kayden but not the spelling so I switched it up.

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