Most Popular Baby Names List for 2013 Topped by Noah, Sophia

Friday, 09 May 2014 06:07 PM

By Ken Mandel

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One of the most popular baby names had its longtime winning streaks broken as the Social Security Administration announced Friday the list of top names for 2013.

Noah snapped Jacob's 14-year streak as the top baby boy's name in 2013, while Sophia entered its third straight year as the girls' most common moniker.

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Jacob fell to third behind Liam on the list for boys, marking the first time since 1960 that Jacob or Michael wasn't the top boy's name.

For girls, Emma, Olivia, Isabella, and Ava rounded out the Top 5.

Released annually just before Mother's Day, the Social Security list is the most comprehensive because the data comes from information when parents apply for their child's Social Security number.

New parents requested 4 million numbers last year, the agency said.

Jacob enjoyed the top spot from 1999-2012, while Michael ruled for the previous 38 years, taking the mantle from 1960 chart-topper David.

Noah's ascension could be part of a trend away from harder consonants, author Bruce Lansky told USA Today.

"Parents are choosing softer names because the image of what they want in a son is a kinder, gentler, more considerate, and more empathetic son," said Lansky, who's written more than a dozen books on the subject.

"They're thinking soft and sensitive rather than hard and hyper-masculine. Not that Jacob is macho, but Jacob shortens to Jake, which is a macho name. Michael could be Mike."

Babynamewizard.com creator Laura Wattenberg told The Associated Press that even the most popular names aren't as popular as they were years ago. She noted that there were 18,000 Noahs and 21,000 Sohphias last year. In 1950, top names James and Linda were given to 86,000 and 80,000 newborns, respectively.

"In the past, most parents were picking from a pretty well-defined set of names," Wattenberg said. "Literally for hundreds of years, the English royal names dominated. You had John and Mary and James and Elizabeth. Today, we get names everywhere."

Popular culture is one place. For girls, Daleyza leapt 3,130 spots, to No. 585 on a list of 1,000 names. Daleyza is the name of the daughter of Spanish-language singer/reality TV star Larry Hernandez.

A year earlier, Arya shot from 711 to 413. That is the name of a beloved character from the HBO "Game of Thrones," the youngest daughter of the Stark family.

The quickest rising name was Jayceon, which jumped 845 spots to No. 206. That name is shared by two hip-hop artists.

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