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The day every baby name addict waits for all year is finally here, as the Social Security Administration released its list of Top 1000 Boy and Girl Names this morning. To many people’s surprise–including a sizable number of our contest entrants–Emma leapfrogged over Isabella–last year’s #2– to become the most popular girls’ name in the country for the first time. She won by a very narrow margin though–there were 18,587 baby Emmas born, and 18,377 Isabellas. The boys list saw very little change, in fact the top five names–Jacob, Michael, Ethan, Joshua and Daniel–were identical to last years.

We will be studying and analyzing the lists over the next days and weeks, but here are a few initial observations:

Chloe entered the Top 10 for the first time, displacing Hannah (as in Montana), which dropped from #9 to #15. On the other hand the name of the real Hannah Montana, Miley (a nickname invented by dad Billy Ray Cyrus) jumped 151 places. Some other girls’ names substantially on the rise: Aubrey, Brooklyn, Layla, Peyton and Payton, Genesis, Bella, Hayden, Marley, London, Piper, Lila, and the K-krazy-Kardarshian-influenced Khloe.

As for the boys, if both the Aiden and Aidan spellings were added together, that would have been the Number One name, topping Jacob. In addition, Jayden rose to just outside the Top Ten, and others on the upswing include Elijah and Eli, Brayden, Carter, Chase, Brody, Liam, Hayden (for both sexes), Colton, Levi, Oliver, Jonah, Miles, and Hudson.

You can access the entire list of 2,000 names on the Social Security site. An interesting feature they’ve added this year is the greatest changes in popularity from 2007 to 2008. (Highest for girls are Khloe, Marlee and Marely (!), and for boys, Jacoby, Kane and Beckett.)

CONTEST: We will be going through the entries over the weekend and announcing the winner on Monday.

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