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2011's Top Baby Names and Trends

2011's Top Baby Names and Trends

2011's Top Baby Names and Trends

Curious which baby names were most common in 2011? We were, too! We've looked at the names Circle of Moms members chose for over 25,000 babies born last year. Below, a tally of 2011's most commonly-given names, plus our thoughts on emerging trends and predictions for 2012.

(For last year's trends and predictions, see Top 10 Baby Names of 2010)

Most Common Baby Names of 2011

Top 10 Boy Baby Names of 2011

  1. Liam
  2. Jacob
  3. Mason
  4. Ethan
  5. Aiden
  6. Logan
  7. Noah
  8. Jayden
  9. Lucas
  10. Joshua

Top 10 Girl Baby Names of 2011

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


2011 Trends and 2012 Predictions

Top 10 Most Common Boy and Girl Names

2011 brought almost no change in the top 10 names for either boys or girls. On the girls' side, the names are exactly the same as they were in 2010, and on the boys' side, only one new name  made the list: Lucas at #9, which pushed out Tyler.

There was, however, some movement within the Top 10's. Logan fell from it's #1 rank in 2010 to #6, while Liam climbed from #5 to #1. Similarly, Sophia jumped from #5 to #1 on the girls' list, while Isabella, Olivia and Chloe each fell two spots from their 2010 rankings.

For the rest of our trends and predictions, we looked deeper, taking the year's top 100 most common names into consideration.

A Decline in Gender Neutral Names for Girls

In 2011, gender-neutral names certainly seem to have become less common for girls, with the names Taylor, Morgan, Bailey, Payton, and Avery all falling substantially from their 2010 rankings. There was less of a clear trend on the boys' side: Taylor, Blake, and Parker all fell on the charts, but Hayden and Cameron became more common.

A Rise in Spiritual and Religious Names

Another 2011 baby name trend that jumped out at us as we looked deeper into the top 100 girls names was the increasing popularity of both spiritual names and names with a Biblical connection. Faith jumped a whopping 58 spots and Eva 35, while Trinity, Serenity, Sarah, Gabriella, and Nevaeh (heaven spelled backwards) all became more common. Elizabeth, Grace, Hannah, and Anna all increased or stayed the same. The only name that didn't seem to fit this pattern was Leah, which dropped 18 spots.

In contrast, the boys' list shows less of a clear spiritual or religious trend. Joseph, Levi, and Adam fell slightly; Isaiah, Christian, Mathew, Eli, and Jeremiah all rose slightly; and Luke plummeted while Gabriel soared.


Traditional Boys Names Surge

One interesting trend we did notice for baby boy names was a surge in more traditional names. Most notably, John lept 49 spots to #45, Christopher 36 spots to #28, and Henry 25 spots to #73. Other traditional boys' names in the top 100 list that saw an increase in popularity include David, Samuel, James, Thomas, Andrew, Matthew, and Benjamin.

Alternate Spellings Continue to Be Popular

The trend of creative spellings for baby names is still alive and well for girls names  so much so that multiple variations of several names made it into the top 100 girls' names of 2011. Sophia, Sophie, and Sofia are all in there, as are Lily and Lilly, Zoe and Zoey, Aubrey and Aubree, Mia and Mya, Arianna and Ariana, and Olivia and Aliva.

A Rise in Names from the Natural World

More parents also looked for inspiration to the natural world in 2011 when naming their girls. Most notably, Savannah increased 17 spot from #36 to #15, Aurora catapulted up 27 spots from #92 to #65, and Autumn increased 18 spots from #71 to #53. Other names in the top 100 that saw increases include Violet, Summer, Ruby, and Amber. The two exceptions to this pattern were Brooke and Jasmine, which both fell over 15 spots.


Waning Celeb Effect

Is Twilight fever finally dying down? The top 2011 baby girl names certainly lead us to believe so, with Bella plummeting 62 spots, from #33 in 2010 to #95 in 2011. Other girls' names with celebrity ties that fell in popularity in 2011 include Khloe (Khloe Kardashian) and Arianna (Arianna Huffington). On the boys' side, we wonder if the 26-spot fall of the name Charlie had anything to do with Charlie Sheen's antics...

Predictions: What We Expect to See in 2012

 So, which names will you be surprised to hear more often in 2012? We think Lillian will continue her climb, as well as Savannah, Victoria, Aubrey, Samantha, and Gabriella.

For boys, we're guessing Benjamin and James will inch closer to the top 10, while Joshua and Jayden may fall out. Further down the list, we think the rise of traditional names will continue, with names like John, Henry, and David continuing to be more common. You may also hear of a lot more newborns named Hunter and Gabriel

Related Reading

The Debate on "Stealing" Baby Names

When Baby Names Get Too Creative

Top 10 Baby Names of 2010

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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