Speed Reads

The Name Game

Noah, Sophia are 2013's top baby names

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The last time a name other than Michael or Jacob was the most popular baby name for boys born in the U.S. — 1960 — President Obama hadn't been born yet, and Russia was our No. 1 geopolitical foe. Some things haven't changed, but in a decades-in-the-making surprise, the Social Security Administration declared Noah to be the most popular boy's name of 2013, followed by Liam. Jacob dropped to third place, while Michael languished in seventh position, after 55 years as either the first or second most popular name for boys.

For girls, Sophia reigned supreme in 2013, followed by Emma and Isabella; while the popularity of girls' names has fluctuated more widely over the decades, this continues a trend for Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Isabella, and Ava to duke it out for the pole position.

The real fun in the SSA baby name report, however, comes from its list of fastest-rising baby names: Jayceon — rapper and reality TV star The Game's given name — won that contest for the boys, while Daleyza — the name of Mexican regional singer Larry Hernandez's daughter, who appears on his popular reality show — rose an astonishing 3130 spots in the ranking from 2012. Other names you'll soon be hearing mothers scream more often on your local playground include Zayn, Azariah, and Kalel for boys, and Jurnee, Everleigh, and Gwyneth for girls.

If you're expecting a baby and looking for some new (or old) ideas, or you just have an extra hour or nine to browse the last century-plus of baby name trends in the U.S., head on over to the SSA's baby name website. You can also check out the video below for 2013's top 10 baby name countdown. --Mike Barry