WASHINGTON – Noah sailed past Jacob to become the most popular baby name for boys in 2013, ending Jacob’s 14-year run at the top. Sophia was the most popular baby name for girls for the third consecutive year.
The Social Security Administration announced the most popular baby names Friday. Noah was followed by Liam, Jacob, Mason and William. Sophia was followed by Emma, Olivia, Isabella and Ava.
The rise of Noah and Liam highlights a trend toward more smooth-sounding baby names, said Laura Wattenberg, creator of Babynamewizard.com.
“You compare Jacob with all its hard, punchy consonants, versus Noah and Liam, you can really see where style is heading,” she said.
About 21,000 newborns were named Sophia last year. In 1950, more than 80,000 were named Linda, the top name for girls that year.
Jacob first rose to No. 1 in 1999. In the 45 years before that, Michael was king for all but one.
Mary dominated the first half of the 20th century. But in the past two decades, Emily, Emma, Isabella and Jessica have all spent time at the top.
The Social Security Administration’s website provides lists of the top 1,000 baby names for each year, dating to 1880..
Social Security also charts the fastest-rising names each year. These names may not be in the top 10 or even the top 100, but they moved up more spots than any other.
For girls, the runaway winner was Daleyza, which jumped a whopping 3,130 spots, to No. 585. Daleyza is the name of the young daughter of Larry Hernandez, a singer who stars in the Spanish-language reality TV show “Larrymania.”
For boys, the fastest rising name was Jayceon, which jumped 845 spots, to No. 206. Two hip-hop artists are named Jayceon. One simply goes by the name Jayceon. The other, Jayceon Terrell Taylor, is a rapper who goes by the stage name The Game.