Baby names: Popular baby names for 2001


Jacob hit Number One on the boys’ list for the second year in a row, toppling Michael from the top spot it held for four decades. The Boys’ Top Ten includes:

1. Jacob
2. Michael
3. Matthew
4. Joshua
5. Christopher
6. Nicholas
7. Andrew
8. Joseph
9. Daniel
10. Tyler

Boys’ names tend to undergo fewer popularity shifts than girls’ names do, according to Rosenkrantz and Satran. Still, say the authors, it’s unusual for any Top Ten list to remain unchanged from one year to the next.

Some states did break Jacob and Michael’s stranglehold on the top spot, however. Southerners seemed to love William, which topped the list in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Daniel was Number One in California, John in the District of Columbia, Joshua in Louisiana, and Matthew in Massachusetts.

On the national Top 20, there were two new entrants, Grace for girls and Alexander for boys. “These are two classic names that have seen an enormous revival over the past few years,” says Satran. “They’re among the names least popular a hundred years ago that are fashionable again today.”

This new appreciation for names popular at the turn of the last century is one of the baby-naming trends identified by Rosenkrantz and Satran, who have coauthored seven books on names published by St. Martin’s over the past 15 years.

Two of the “gently old-fashioned” girls’ names enjoying a huge burst in popularity are Abigail and Olivia, numbers 14 and 16 on the nationwide list and in the Top Five in some states. Girls’ names new to the Top 50 are Chloe, Sophia, Mackenzie, Isabella, and Andrea. For boys, new entrants on the Top 50 list are Isaiah - which is Number 3 in New Mexico - and Jack, the top name in England.

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