|by Petr Kratochvil|
Jacob has been sitting at the top since 1999. Interestingly, the actual amount of babies being named Jacob has declined over the years despite the name holding steady at the #1 rank. In 1998, roughly 1.8% of boys born were named Jacob, and it was still second to Michael on the charts. In 2011, slightly less than 1% of all baby boys born were named Jacob, and the name still held its top rank. It was higher than 1% in 1990 when the name originally began its ascent to the throne.
The reason for this has been described as the "name diversity revolution". More and more names are being used that are not on the top 100 so the "top names" aren't used as frequently as they might have been a couple decades ago. It begs the question whether or not this list is accurate. On a state level, there is a greater variety of names that occupy the top slots.
Parents seem to really like the name Liam (#6). Some choose to use it as a full name, and others opt for the more classic William (#5).
As for the name Aiden (#10), many are speculating that this is actually the true #1 boy name when all of the spelling variations are combined such as Aidan, Ayden, Aydan, Aidenn, etc.
The top girl name, Sophia, has come back with a vengeance! An older name, it previously peaked at 132 in 1880. After a decline through the turn of the century, it remained in the 400-800 range through the mid-20th century. It jumped from #489 in 1975 to breaking into the Top 100 in 1997 at #94. It steadily gained popularity throughout the 2000s before taking the #1 spot in 2011.
Emma is another older name, popular in the 1800's that has risen to fame in the past decade. Isabella is one of the fastest climbing names in recent history. In 1990, it sat at #895, by 1995 it jumped to #174. In 2000, Isabella hit 45 and was crowned in 2009 as the number one name, losing its position to Sophia in 2011.
I could talk all day about the rise and fall of these Top 20 names, but I will stop there for now. Which of the top 20 names are your favorite? Would you use a popular name or do you tend to shy away? Let me know in the comments!