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Jacob and Sophia most popular baby names in 2011

For the 13th consecutive year, Jacob topped Social Security’s list for most popular boys’ names, while Sophia knocked Isabella to number two after a two-year stint at the top of the list for girls.

There is only one new name in the top 10 on either list this year. Mason rocketed to number two from outside of the top 10 to replace Anthony on the boys’ side.

The top 10 names for 2011 for boys include:
1. Jacob
2. Mason
3. William
4. Jayden
5. Noah
6. Michael
7. Ethan
8. Alexander
9. Aiden
10. Daniel
 The top 10 for girls include:
1. Sophia
2. Isabella
3. Emma
4. Olivia
5. Ava
6. Emily
7. Abigail
8. Madison
9. Mia
10. Chloe

Mason, a relatively popular name since the 1990s, had never cracked the top 25 until 2010, when it hit number 12. Some may attribute this year’s rise to number two to reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian’s son. Social Security notes, moreover, that Mason has been a regular top-five name in Wisconsin for many years, undoubtedly a tribute to strong-legged Green Bay Packer kicker Mason Crosby.

Many pop-culture naming trends appear in a popular feature of Social Security’s baby names website – the “Change in Name Popularity” page. This year’s winners for biggest jump in popularity in the Top 500 are Brantley and Briella.

The fastest riser on the girls’ list may come from Briella Calafiore, the blonde reality star hairdresser from cable TV’s “Jerseylicious” and its spinoff, “Glam Fairy.”

For the boys, there could be some controversy over Brantley – depending on whether you are a fan of college football or country music. Arguments could be made that the popularity of the name comes from John Brantley, the quarterback for perennial powerhouse The University of Florida, or from Brantley Gilbert, the singer with the number one country hit “Country Must Be Country Wide.” If you like both football and country music, you’re a winner either way.

The second fastest riser on the boys’ list is Iker. There may be some international influence here—Iker Casillas Fernandez is the well-known goalkeeper for both Real Madrid and the Spanish National Team. In 2010, Iker led Spain to a World Cup championship, just in time to influence the 2011 baby names list.

On the girls’ side, Angelique is the second biggest climber, but she may have gotten there with some magic. Angelique is the character name of a witch from the cult favorite “Dark Shadows.” She worked her witchcraft just in time for the blockbuster Hollywood remake of the 1960s TV show.

Social Security reports that there has been an Elvis sighting. Commissioner Michael J. Astrue announced that Elvis is back where he belongs, in the top 1,000. “Last year I was all shook up when Elvis dropped way down below the top 1,000, but Elvis is back into the promised land of the top 1,000, and that’s all right.” Elvis has been spotted at number 904 on the list.

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.

For all the top baby names of 2011, visit Social Security’s website www.socialsecurity.gov.

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