Baby names: Popular baby names for 2001

Emily was the most popular name for girls born last year (2001), while Jacob topped the popularity list for boys, according to figures released this year by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The survey of the names of more than four million babies born in 2000 shows considerable shifts in popularity for girls, while the boys’ Top Ten remained the same as it was last year.

Emily topped the list of girls’ names for the sixth year in a row, with over 25,000 girls receiving the name. The Girls’ Top Ten reads:

1. Emily
2. Hannah
3. Madison
4. Ashley
5. Sarah
6. Alexis
7. Samantha
8. Jessica
9. Taylor
10. Elizabeth

According to Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran, authors of the bestselling baby name guide Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana, (St. Martin’s Press, 1999) as well as Baby Names Now, Madison is moving up the girls’ hit parade, while Alexis, Samantha, and Taylor are moving down.

“Madison as a name was only born in the 1980s, when the Daryl Hannah mermaid character in the movie Splash chose it for herself from a New York street sign,” says Rosenkrantz. “It helped ignite a craze for place names in general and has achieved tremendous popularity on its own.”

Madison has become such a widely favored name, in fact, that it hit the Number One Spot in Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming last year, according to SSA data.

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