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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.

Join The Conversation
PamelaHunter21596 PamelaHunter21596 4 years
I have 2 sets of children, boy/girl 29 & 27 and boy/girl 11 & 8. My older children have names reflecting the time they were born, and the person I was then...a child bride with a domineering, controlling husband who told me what they'd be named. My little ones now, are a product of who I became, a strong, independent, successful and educated woman. The older ones are Russell Allen and Jessica Nicole. The younger ones are Tristan Kyle and Fallon Sophia. You could probably have guessed their ages, without me even posting them, huh? hahahaha
JessicaForeman16850 JessicaForeman16850 4 years
i just found out im having a baby boy we are having a hard time finding a name you dont here of everyday help
AnnaLizaCanda AnnaLizaCanda 4 years
if I will be blessed with a daughter, i will name her addie.
AnonHumous AnonHumous 5 years
Name your child after types of metal: Aluminum, Nickel, Iron, Magnesium, Cobalt and Tin are all original and noble names.
DeanaRittenhouse DeanaRittenhouse 5 years
My daughters Olivia Rose and Sophie Diana were born in 2001 and 2002 when those names we not popular. I remember telling my father, I was leaning towards Olivia for a girl and Aiden for a boy and he said, "Olivia , that's such an old name and Aiden, is that a name?" 10 years later look at the list. If I were ever to have another girl i would go with Tessa.
JacquelineLopez45930 JacquelineLopez45930 5 years
My 8 yr old son is James William. We loved the name James and William is my hubby's name. The baby is 11mths she is named Jenna Olivia. Didn't want Jennifer because of my last name but liked really liked Jenna and Olivia. Debated that for her first name but glad we decided otherwise as Olivia is very popular now. I like that both their names start with a J like mine. My 2 adult step daughters names start with an L- Leah and Lyssa, like their mom. I liked Lilliana or Liana too but decided against them in the end.
AliciaONeill75440 AliciaONeill75440 5 years
I am 38 now with my own.two.children but when.I.was younger and even name was bery rare Alicia pronounced Alis ia) My daughter is Cara Mae and son is James Grey.
CoMMember13630991494351 CoMMember13630991494351 5 years
My sons name is Braylin and My twin girls names are Olivia and sophia
DeniseBeynen DeniseBeynen 5 years
My son will definatly have his fathers name for middle name and for a girl I like piper
RhondaEvitt RhondaEvitt 5 years
OOPS, typo error.. My 23yr old daughter CHELSEA called her 6mnth old babby girl IMADIYA SHANIE (pronounced Im-ad-i-ya and the Shanie is after babys Daddy who's called Shane.. Unique names are by far the best and despite my son MASON making the list there aren't many MASON'S aged 18 ♥
RhondaEvitt RhondaEvitt 5 years
I love unusual names.. My 23yr old daughter is called CHELSEA (it was unusual when she was born), my son MASON is 18, another son BRODIE is 15, my 11yr old daughter is called DONOVAN and my last son is called SONNY.. I picked every one and they suit them perfectly. My daughter 23yr old daughter CHELSEA had a baby girl 6mnths ago and named her IMADIYA (pronounced Im
CarolineGoodwin CarolineGoodwin 5 years
We have Maddie Olivia (Madeleine) and Alice Evie. Love their names!
BeverlyFansler BeverlyFansler 5 years
We have a girl--Sutton Shea. I love unique names.
JeffinyShutts JeffinyShutts 5 years
I actually look to make sure my babies names aren't in the top 100- Roark is my boy, and Sayla will be my unborn baby girl.
BernieJamero BernieJamero 5 years
The names of my children also didnt make the list. My daughters are named Justine Victoria and Jillian Camille. My son's name is Jaxon Eduardo (middle is after my dad)
nicoleChamberlain nicoleChamberlain 5 years
My beautiful 9 month olds name is Mya rose. I love her name!
GigiTagaanCarreon GigiTagaanCarreon 5 years
My 1st grandson's name is LOGAN, he was born on Feb. 01, 2011.
AshleyPage60144 AshleyPage60144 5 years
I love having a unique names... My daughters name is Liberty Bettina (4months) And my son Jeffrey Russell ( 3years) their middle names are mine and my husbands it is fun keeping family names going
NanBeery NanBeery 5 years
So glad my childrens names are not on the list, when I named my daughter Hanniah (pro;Hannah) it is the Hedrew spelling , and my son's name is Kai, which is also Hebrew for God giver of life. i alwqys liked names that were different. I am so glad Michael is not on the list!!! Have a wonderful day! Nan
TashidadeRoux TashidadeRoux 5 years
I am glad none of my children"s names made the list. I prefer names that are not common and with a meaning. All of my children's names are bilbical or African names. Jabari (7) is a swahili name, which means comforter or one who brings comfort(it also has another meaning depending on origin, Jadon (5) is from the book of Nehemiah in the bible, which means thankful or God has heard, Jahleel (2) is from Genesis and/or Numbers, which means wait/hope on/in God and my lil princess Adia (2 months) is a swahili name, which means God's gift. I love their names.
ToniArd ToniArd 5 years
I have 3 kids that are now teenagers. Tristen Aderson Hatchett(16) is named after my grandfather an yes he has 2 middle names. Mackenise Kate(14) is named after 5 different people.Maison Thomas is named after 4 different people. I want the twins to have their names start with the same letter but not be matching.
StellaHunter StellaHunter 5 years
My girls are all over twenty, Kylie Louise, Rebecca Nellie and Bronwyn Dulcie, all have traditional family connections
CherylBagenstose CherylBagenstose 5 years
Correction on typo...Heaven backwards is Nevaeh.My 4 year old grandson is Aidan and my 1 year old grandson is Brennan. If either had been a girl the name wouyld have been Taylor. My othere daughter had Liam picked for a boy and Lena (a family name) picked for a girl.
sophiavandenhoutsenders sophiavandenhoutsenders 5 years
we did think to gife our first daughter ,the name of nancy ,we were thinkig of nancy sinatra then our second daughter we named petra ,we di like that name ,fore if we did have a boy we wood name him peter like my brother inlow and my nephew .they were born in 1983 februari and in oktober 1984
LoriBarnes LoriBarnes 5 years
I like unusual names, as long as people can pronounce them. Mine at Tony, William and Adrianna, both my boys are in their twenties andy daughter is 14. The boys have family names and my daughters is unique to the family but so many people miss pronounce the way we say it.
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