2012's Most Popular Baby Names

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Here's a little Friday fun: it's that time of year when the Social Security Administration releases the most popular baby names of the past year. It's always a fun barometer of the parenting Zeitgeist. Here are some highlights including a fast-rising name attributable to "Game of Thrones"...

Jacob held the top spot for boy names for the 14th year running! Sophia came as the most popular girl name for the second year in a row.

Top Girl names of 2012:

  1. Sophia
  2. Emma
  3. Isabella
  4. Olivia
  5. Ava
  6. Emily
  7. Abigail
  8. Mia
  9. Madison
  10. Elizabeth
Top Boy names of 2012:
  1. Jacob
  2. Mason
  3. Ethan
  4. Noah
  5. William
  6. Liam
  7. Jayden
  8. Michael
  9. Alexander
  10. Aiden

More fun than the most popular names are the names that are considered "fast risers" - meaning, they made big jumps in popularity within the last year. A few favorites:

Arya: likely attributable to the sword fighting character in "Game of Thrones".

Major: possibly honors the military (so the SSA speculates) or could be a nod to Major Novogratz on HGTV's "Home by Novogratz".

Gael and Perla: reflect the country's growing Spanish-speaking population.

Iker: seems like a bit of one upmanship. "Hi, I'm Ike." "Oh yeah, I'm even more Ike than you."

Remington: could this signal a "Remington Steele" revival? Please say yes. 

Messiah (4th fastest rising boy name!): all I can say is...fascinating!


Read more:
Social Security Administration

(Images: Krystal Krehbiel from My Room: WilliamMade by Bird from My Room: EmmaAlana from My Room: SophiaLife in Graz/Pittsburgh from Alexander's DIY'd with Love Room)


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As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.

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