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Pop Culture Makes Mark on Social Security's Most Popular Baby Names List(Aquí en Español)
Emily has topped the list since 1996. Jacob has done so since 1999. Elizabeth returns to the top ten after a two year absence.
In addition to a list of the 1,000 most popular boys’ and girls’ names for 2007, the website has a list of the top 100 names for twins born in 2007. Jacob and Joshua are again the most popular twin’s names.
The Social Security website offers lists of baby names for each year since 1880. Social Security started compiling baby name lists in 1997.
Although “American Idol’s” Sanjaya did not influence this year’s list, other young celebrities influenced the naming of American children. The 2007 success of popular race car driver Danica Patrick undoubtedly inspired her first name moving from number 352 to number 307. Similarly, the name of the first pick in the 2007 NFL draft, Oakland Raiders’ quarterback JaMarcus Russell, rose from number 914 to number 743 on the boys’ list.
Shiloh, the youngest daughter of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, debuted on the list at number 804. Maddox, the name of their oldest child, has seen steady gains since first appearing on the list in 2003 at number 583 and now ranking at number 226. Suri, the name of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' daughter, did not make the list. But Britney Spears' second son is named Jayden, which ranked at number 18. Miley is new to the girls’ list this year, entering fairly high at number 278, attributable to the popularity of teen sensation Miley Cyrus.
For reasons likely to puzzle baby name experts around the world, American parents have become infatuated by names, particularly for their sons, that rhyme with the word “maiden.” These names for boys include: Jayden (No. 18); Aiden (No. 27); Aidan (No. 54); Jaden (No. 76); Caden (No. 92); Kaden (No. 98); Ayden (No.102); Braden (No.156); Cayden (No.175); Jaiden (No.191); Kaiden (No. 220); Aden (No. 264); Caiden (No. 286); Braeden (No. 325); Braydon (No. 361); Jaydon (No. 415); Jadon (No. 423); Braiden (No. 529); Zayden (No. 588); Jaeden (No. 593); Aydan (No. 598); Bradyn (No. 629); Kadin (No. 657); Jadyn (No. 696); Kaeden (No. 701); Jaydin (No. 757); Braedon (No. 805); Aidyn (No. 818); Haiden (No. 820); Jaidyn (No. 841); Kadyn (No. 878); Jaydan (No. 887); Raiden (No. 931); and Adin (No. 983). This startling trend was present, but less pronounced, with girls names: Jayden (No. 172); Jadyn (No. 319); Jaden (No. 335); Jaiden (No. 429); Kayden (No. 507); and Jaidyn (No. 561). Social Security spokesman Mark Lassiter indicated that the agency would resist any legislative efforts to standardize the spelling of these names.
Experts also may be surprised by the extent to which American parents are naming their daughters after spiritual and philosophical concepts. One of the most popular names for girls (rising this year to number 31) is Nevaeh, which is “Heaven” spelled backwards. The variant Neveah came in this year at number 891 and Heaven is number 263. Also represented were: Destiny (No. 41); Trinity (No. 72); Serenity (No. 126); Harmony (No. 315); Miracle (No. 461); Charity (No. 673); Journey (No. 692); Destini (No. 914); and Essence (No. 930). Cutting against this trend was Armani (No. 971).
American parents were far less likely to name their sons in this way, although the 2007 boys’ list does include Sincere (No. 622) and Messiah (No. 723).
Finally, Commissioner Astrue expressed his approval that Elvis has risen 85 spots from number 761 to number 676 and noted, “It is further proof that Elvis is not dead.” He further urged everyone celebrating Mother’s Day to “please go to www.socialsecurity.gov to find out more about prescription drug extra help, direct deposit and our easy-to-use online applications.”
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