2011's Most Popular Baby Names

2011's Most Popular Baby Names

Elisabeth Wilborn
May 15, 2012

If you're currently pregnant or considering it, you may be surprised that the Social Security Administration website is one of the best resources for expecting parents. Yesterday they released the top 1000 baby names of 2011. Here are the new top names, and the surprise fast risers.

First, top of the pops. Sophia eclipsed Isabella for the #1 spot, while Jacob refuses to fade into the twilight (couldn't help myself). Mason shot up from the #12 spot to #2, but chances are good you still know more Jaydens and Aidens.

Stylish names on the rise, you ask? There's the Design Mom effect, with a big uptick in both Olive and June . This taps into a greater force at work, what I like to call Old People Chic. Hazel, Elsie, Abel and Abram made some of the biggest leaps. The cat is also out of the bag on Declan, Nico, Dexter, and Milo, Willow, Gemma, Cora, Alice, Penelope, and Scarlett. Children's literature also had a remarkable influence. Atticus, Archer and Harper soared.

It won't come as any surprise that celebrities and reality television stars are the biggest influencers. Mila, of Mila Kunis fame, was the hottest star for girls. Question is, are they pronouncing that with a long or short I? Iker honors Spanish soccer goalie Iker Casillas (evidencing as well the growth of that sport in this country). Watch too for baby Adeles (after the singer) or some variation thereof (think Adelyn, Adeline, etc.)

Let the Trendspotting begin:

Is it cold in here? BRRRRRR... I ask because "Br" is a terrifyingly popular prefix. Brantley and Briella were the fastest risers in the ranks. Parents are also turned to Brynlee, Brynn, Bristol, Braylen and even Bruce in droves. Let's not forget the BR in the middle. Aubrey and her divergent spellings had a very strong showing.

Yndings: Raelynn, Adalynn, Londyn and Adelyn are just a few (I had to copy and paste those for fear I'd forget the spellings).

People continue to be kray kray for K. Kieran is lovely, but from whence is Kason? Karter and Karson koming to a preskool near you...

Granted, none of this may reflect what is happening in your area. Across the country we see hot pockets of names that mirror tastes of differing sociological communities. Parents are also more wise than ever to the great diversity of names, and chances are even if your own child's name is on the rise nationally, they're likely still the only one in their class. So don't worry about all this statistical stuff too much.

NPR also had an interesting piece by Alan Greenblatt this week about naming differences in "red" and "blue" states: Baby Names: The Latest Partisan Divide?

Are there any names you do hear over and over again?

See more: Social Security Administration

(Want to continue to get your baby name fix? In my other life I am a name blogger at You Can't Call It "It"! )

(Image: Flickr user Sam Ilić licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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