THE RISE OF NOAH: Here Are The New Most Popular Baby Names In America

The high school classes graduating in 2032 are going to have a disproportionate number of Noahs and Sophias.

The Social Security Administration compiles the most popular names for newborns every year based on their naturally very comprehensive records of births.

We were curious to see what the recent history of these names looked like, so for the ten most popular names for each gender in 2013, we took SSA’s data on the per cent of all babies of each gender born with those names over the last ten years.

Here are the boys’ names:

The ten most popular boys’ names started out in very different places a decade ago. Noah, this year’s most popular name, became steadily more common over the last ten years. Liam, the second most popular boys’ name, wasn’t even in the top 100 in 2004, and then saw a surge in the late 2000s.

The third most popular name for boys, Jacob, was dominant in the late nineties and 2000s. 2013 was the first year since 1998 in which Jacob wasn’t the most popular name.

While they started out at very different levels, the ten most popular boys’ names of 2013 are all pretty close to each other now. About 0.90% of all baby boys were named Jacob, only a little more than the 0.71% of boys named Daniel, the tenth most popular name.

Here’s how the popularity of 2013’s top girls’ names changed since 2004:

While the top ten boys’ names were all pretty close to each other in popularity, the girls’ names were much more spread out. Holding the number place for the third year in the row, Sophia was the name chosen for 1.10% of baby girls in 2013, while 0.49% of baby girls got the tenth most popular name, Elizabeth, making Sophias more than twice as common as Elizabeths.

One other interesting feature of girls’ names is the trajectory of Isabella. The first movie in the “Twilight” franchise came out in 2008, and the saga’s protagonist’s name dominated baby girls’ names for the next two years.

Overall, American baby names have gotten less concentrated over time. About 8.16% of baby boys in 2013 were named one of the ten most popular names, and 7.91% of girls got one of the top ten from their list.

In 1950, on the other hand, 33.27% of baby boys had names in the top ten, and 23.48% of baby girls did as well:

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