Lifestyle

Sophia, Jacob most popular
baby names of 2011 in US

Sophia is the new most popular baby name for girls, while Jacob is the top name for boys for the 13th straight year in a new list of popular baby names in the US heavily influenced by religion and reality TV.

Isabella, which had been the top girl's name for two years, dropped to second place in 2011, according to the list released Monday by the government's Social Security Administration. Emma, Olivia and Ava rounded out the top five.

Mason jumped 10 spots to become the second most popular name for newborn boys last year, knocking Michael out of the top five for the first time in 63 years. Kourtney Kardashian, the reality TV star, gave birth to Mason in December 2009 following a heavily publicized pregnancy.

Rounding out the top five: William, Jayden and Noah. Michael came in sixth, his lowest ranking since 1948.

The Social Security Administration provides lists of baby names dating to 1880 on its website. The top two names that year were John and Mary. The list, which includes top baby names by state, draws millions of people. The agency hopes that people go to the website to see the baby names and stay to learn about other services, said Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue.

Top girl names tend to be more volatile — changing from year to year — while the top boy names are more stable, Astrue said. William, for example, has been a popular boy's name for more than 100 years, never falling out of the top 20. Mason is the exception, entering the top 100 for the first time in 1997.

On the girls' side, Sophia first cracked the top 100 in 1997. Isabella dropped off the list altogether from 1949 to 1990.

Social Security also tracks which names increase in popularity from year to year and which ones drop.

The fastest rising name for girls: Briella, which jumped 394 spots, to No. 497. Briella Calafiore stars in "Jerseylicious," a reality TV show about battling stylists at a beauty salon. She's also in a spinoff called "Glam Fairy."

Brantley was the fastest rising name for boys, jumping 416 spots to No. 320. Brantley Gilbert is a singer who had a No. 1 country hit called "Country Must Be Country Wide".

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