Jacob Holds Top Spot Since 1999
Jacob and Sophia are repeat champions as America's most popular baby names for 2012. This is the fourteenth year in a row Jacob tops the list for boys and the second year for Sophia.
There is a new couple in the top 10 this year--Elizabeth and Liam replace Chloe and Daniel. Elizabeth has been here before, but this is the first time Liam breaks into the top 10. Perhaps Liam's new found success can be attributed to Liam Neeson's recent major roles in "Battleship" and the popular "Taken," "The Chronicles of Narnia," and "Clash of the Titans" franchises.
For all the top baby names of 2012, go to Social Security's website www.socialsecurity.gov. Here are the top ten boys and girls names for 2012:
Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, reminds people to create a my Social Security account while having fun with baby names on www.socialsecurity.gov. Social Security's website has the top-rated online services in the U.S., including the services available with a my Social Security account, a personalized online account that people can use beginning in their working years and continuing throughout the time they receive Social Security benefits.
More than 60 million Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients can now access their benefit verification letter, payment history, and earnings record instantly using their online account. Social Security beneficiaries also can change their address and start or change direct deposit information online.
People age 18 and older who are not receiving benefits can sign up for a my Social Security account to get a personalized online Social Security Statement. The online Statement provides eligible workers with secure and convenient access to their Social Security earnings and benefit information, and estimates of future benefits they can use to plan for their retirement.
People age 18 and older can sign up for an account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Once there, they must be able to provide information about themselves and answers to questions that only they are likely to know. After completing the secure verification process, people can create a my Social Security account with a unique user name and password to access their information.
Now back to the list. Many pop-culture naming trends appear in a popular feature of Social Security's baby names website--the "change in popularity" page. This year's winners for biggest jump in popularity in the Top 500 are Major and Arya.
The fastest riser on the girls' list may have been influenced by the popular cable TV series "Game of Thrones." Arya is the daughter of a leader of one of the Seven Kingdoms. She also is an expert sword fighter, so doubt her influence on the popular names list at your own risk.
For the boys, parents may associate Major with the military title. Acting Commissioner Colvin added "I have no doubt Major's rising popularity as a boy's name is in tribute to the brave members of the U.S. military, and maybe we'll see more boys named General in the future." You also might trace Major's increase in popularity to a cable TV show. "Home by Novogratz" is a popular home design show featuring Major Novogratz, the youngest son of designers Robert and Cortney.
The second fastest riser for boys was Gael, and for girls, Perla. Both names most likely are on the rise due to the increase in the Spanish-speaking population in the United States. Perla is the Latinized version of Pearl and is popular among Hispanic-Americans. Gael's popularity could be tied to Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal.
Social Security started compiling baby name lists in 1997, and the agency's website offers lists of baby names for each year since 1880. Social Security is America's source for most popular baby names because parents supply this information to the agency when applying for a child's Social Security number at the time of the child's birth.