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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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When it came to choosing names for their new little bundles of joy, Jacob and Sophia topped the list in 2012, according to Social Security.

It was the 14th year in a row Jacob topped the list for boys and the second year for Sophia. There is, however, 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.

The top 10 names chosen for boys are Jacob, Mason, Ethan, Noah, William, Liam, Jayden, Michael, Alexander and Aiden.

The girls’ top 10 list includes Sophia, Emma, Isabella, Olivia, Ava, Emily, Abigail, Mia, Madison and Elizabeth.

For all the top baby names of 2012, visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/babynames/.

Social Security also notes many pop-culture naming trends on the “change in popularity” list. 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. “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,” said Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. One also might trace Major’s increase in popularity to a cable TV show – “Home by Novogratz” – 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.

Colvin reminds those checking out the baby names at www.socialsecurity.gov to create a “My Social Security” account – a personalized online account that people can use beginning in their working years and continue accessing 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.

Individuals 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 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 help plan for their retirement.