Recent Family News
Jacob, Sophia among most popular baby namesPreparing for the arrival of a new baby takes a lot of work. In addition to purchasing a lot of new or used baby gear, furniture and clothing, preparing the nursery and ensuring the home is safe for a little one, choosing the perfect name is often at the top of many expectant parents' to-do lists.
Those looking for a unique moniker for their child may want to stay away from the most common names of 2011, as identified by the U.S. Social Security Administration.
The government agency, which has been tracking names since 1880, says this year's list includes many that have been popular for the past several years.
For the 13th consecutive year, Jacob is the most popular boy name, according to the agency. Others in the top 10 include Mason, William, Jayden, Noah, Michael, Ethan, Alexander, Aiden and Daniel.
The name Sophia took the top spot on the girls' list this year, beating out Isabella, which had reigned supreme for the past two years. Other popular names for baby girls include Emma, Olivia, Ava, Emily, Abigail, Madison, Mia and Chloe.
Experts say many factors affect the popularity of a name, including popular culture. For instance, Mason may be gaining popularity due to the fact reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian named her son Mason two years ago.
"It shows what we're paying attention to, what we're thinking about," Laura Wattenberg, creator of the website babynamewizard.com, told the Associated Press. "Today, you can't walk through a supermarket without learning more than you hoped to know about the Kardashian family. That's just reality."
Other popular sources for names include the Bible and family.