Noah beats Jacob as most popular name

Photo / Getty Images
Photo / Getty Images

Noah was the most popular baby name for boys in the United States in 2013, knocking Jacob off the top spot after an epic 14-year run.

Data released by the Social Security Administration showed that Jacob had fallen to third place, while Liam was in second place. Mason and William completed the top five.

Sophia was the most popular baby name for girls for the third straight year. It 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

"You compare Jacob with all its hard, punchy consonants, versus Noah and Liam, you can really see where style is heading," she said.

Ms Wattenberg added that the most popular baby names aren't as popular as in previous years. Just over 18,000 baby boys were named Noah last year, but when James was the top name in 1950, there were more than 86,000 newborns with that name.

Similarly, about 21,000 newborns were named Sophia last year, but in 1950, more than 80,000 were named Linda, the top name for girls that year.

"In the past, most parents were picking from a pretty well-defined set of names," Ms Wattenberg said.

"Literally for hundreds of years, the English royal names dominated. You had John and Mary and James and Elizabeth.

"Today we get names everywhere."

The Social Security Administration's website provides lists of the top 1,000 baby names for each year, going back to 1880. The top baby names that year were John and Mary. John is now number 27 and Mary has fallen to number 121.

Top 10 Kiwi Baby Names
Girls (previous year)

1. Charlotte (4)

2. Emily (3)

3. Ruby (5)

4. Sophie (2)

5. Olivia (1)

6. Isla (12)

7. Amelia (8)

8. Ava (10)

9. Isabella (6)

10. Ella (7)


Boys (previous year)

1. Oliver (2)

2. Jack (1)

3. James (11)

4. William (3)

5. Mason (5)

6. Liam (4)

7. Samuel (6)

8. Lucas (8)

9. Noah (10)

10. Thomas (25)

Source: Department of Internal Affairs

- The Independent, with additional reporting by Associated Press and APNZ

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