The Most Popular Baby Names of 2011

In May, the Social Security Administration (SAA) reveals the previous year’s top names. This morning the most popular monikers of 2011 were announced, with Sophia and Jacob earning the top slots. Get the full list, as well as what the names mean, from Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond  of Nameberry.

Sophia captures the top spot for girl names, unseating Isabella, while Jacob has held onto first place for boy names for the last 13 years. The only newcomer to the Top Ten for both sexes is Mason, up from #12 last year to second place on the boys’ list this year. Anthony fell off the Top Ten.

The full Top Ten lists for both sexes are:


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


1. Jacob
2. Mason
3. William
4. Jayden
5. Noah
6. Michael
7. Ethan
8. Alexander
9. Aiden
10. Daniel

The celebrity influence remains strong, with Mason, the name of Kourtney Kardashian’s little boy, and Harper, the well-publicized name of the Beckhams’ daughter, among the fastest rising popular names.

Other names leaping up the list thanks to celebrity influence are Briella from the Style Network’s reality show Glam Fairy and Brantley inspired by the country singer Brantley Gilbert, along with Angelique, from Dark Shadows, and the unlikely Iker, name of Spanish soccer star Iker Casillas Fernandez.

Sophia is a Greek Name meaning “wisdom” while Jacob is an Old Testament name that means “supplanter.” Variations Sofia, Sophie, Jake, and Jacoby, along with cousin name James, are also popular, though the SSA counts all spellings and variations separately. Aiden and Jayden, if all spellings were taken together, would be the Number 1 and 2 boys’ names, according to the SSA. (See all of the top names for 2011.)

Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran are the creators of the baby name site Nameberry and the authors of ten bestselling books about names, including Cool Names for Babies and The Baby Name Bible.

Photo: Baby via Lev Dolgachov/

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  1. by angel

    On May 14, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    The name Jacob being popular has nothing to do with the Old Testament. It’s popular because of Jacob from Twilight just like Isabella is popular because of Bella from Twilight. DUH!

  2. by tabitha

    On May 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Angel you must have missed the part of the article that said Jacob has been the number one name for 13 years. Nothing to do with twilight

  3. by Shawna

    On May 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Love that my little ones name didn’t make the list!!!! That’s what I wanted, unique :)

  4. by Janice

    On May 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I have 3 grandchildren mitchel-8,Matthew-5,Sophia-11 1/2 months I think all the baby names mean something to every parent even if we are not movie stars.just saying we all think our grand babies,children names are special no matter who we are…

  5. by Carlene

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    I agree with Janet. I think all baby names mean something to every parent. My son, William, was named after his dad and my dad. There were Williams on both sides of our families even in the 1600′s. My daughter, Patricia, was named afterTricia Nixon. We call her Tricia. I mailed a photo and letter to Pat Nixon.I received a letter and photo from the White House. That was 1970. I think names are so interesting.

  6. by Aurora

    On May 15, 2012 at 7:09 am

    I always said that if I had a girl I would name her Sofia, so now it is the most popular name. I had my baby in 2010 at 37 yrs. old, so I named her Sofia. Back in the day there were not many – it is still a beautiful, elegant name .

  7. by jordan

    On September 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Being a mom I love my childrens names even though their names have made the list before that this year they did not. My kids names are Joe-8 Lisa-4 Blake-3 and Goldie-2 I love them so much they all mean alot to me.