Friday, May 09, 2014

The End of an Era for Jacob? Noah Way

The Social Security Administration released its 2013 baby-name data this morning, so it's been a pretty exciting day for naming enthusiasts. (Basically, this is Christmas for me.)


The biggest shock is the end of Jacob's 14-year reign at the the top of the boys' chart. Noah is now No. 1, helped less by the new "Noah" movie (which didn't come out until March) than by a broader shift toward Old Testament names.

The top 10 for boys...
1. Noah
2. Liam
3. Jacob
4. Mason
5. William
6. Ethan
7. Michael
8. Alexander
9. Jayden
10. Daniel

Perhaps the larger surprise is that there has been so little turnover at the top of the boy's list. As Nameberry notes, "Noah becomes only the seventh name to EVER make Number 1 for boys, and only the third name at the top of the boys’ list in 60 years. Michael held the top spot for boys from 1954 until 1999, when Jacob took over."

On the girls' side, there were fewer upsets this year. Sophia remains No. 1, and the rest of the ranking is similar. (Somehow Madison is still on the top-10 list.)

1. Sophia
2. Emma
3. Olivia
4. Isabella
5. Ava
6. Mia
7. Emily
8. Abigail
9. Madison
10. Elizabeth

Harper, meanwhile, continued its rocket ride to the top. This name barely registered a decade ago (it didn't hit the top 1,000 until 2004) and yet it's now 16th. Amazing.

Naming purists should rejoice: There are really only three names on either top-10 list that raise any objections: Mason, Jayden and Madison. As I've said before, America mostly exhibits very good taste in names.

Think about it: Abigail is holding tough at eighth, roughly the position it's held for a dozen years. A generation of girls named Abigail in circa-2014 America — how awesome is that?

And Khaleesi, which has attracted some parents, has yet to reach the top 1,000. Whew.