Amy Graff as “Muhammad makes list of top 10 baby names in the U.S. for the first time” for SFGate
BabyCenter released list of top 100 baby names for boys and girls in 2019. Sophia is No. 1 on the girls list and Liam on the boys.
Sophia still reigns as queen, but Jackson has lost his crown as king.
The parenting website BabyCenter released its annual list of 100 most popular baby names for girls and boys in the United States, and for the 10th year in a row, Sophia is at the top. Liam knocked Jackson out of the No. 1 spot that he had held onto for six years straight.
The online parenting and pregnancy destination compiled the names of babies born to some 600,000 registered U.S. users in 2019 and combined those that sound the same but have different spellings (such as Sophia and Sofia) to create a true measure of popularity. The Social Security Administration also generates a list, pulling from the names of all babies born in the U.S., but the agency treats each unique spelling as a separate name.
Almost all of last year’s top-10 darlings are still favorites this year, with a few exceptions. Revealing a rise in Arabic names, Muhammad and Aaliyah made the top 10 for the first time, replacing Mason and Layla.
Muhammad is considered the most popular name in the world, and UK news site Independent says it is “given to an estimated 150 million men and boys.”
“Muhammad’s been rising on BabyCenter top baby name lists around the world, so we knew it would soon break into the U.S. top 10,” Linda Murray, BabyCenter’s global editor in chief, said in a press statement. “Muslim families often choose Muhammad for firstborn sons to honor the prophet and bring blessings to the child. The name also has multiple spellings, and that helps a name get into the top 10.”
Last year and in 2017, Muhammad ranked No. 14 on BabyCenter’s list. This year, it saw a 29 percent jump in popularity to make No. 10. It first entered the top 100 in 2013 and has been climbing ever since.
The Social Security data shows Muhammad went from No. 620 in 2000 to No. 345 in 2018, but if the agency also combined variant spellings such as Mohammad, Mohammed and Muhammad in its count, the overall ranking would be higher.
Find the ranking of the top 10 for girls and boys below:
BabyCenter also analyzes naming trends, drawing links between names that have climbed up the list and pop culture. BabyCenter’s trend-spotters noticed Keanu Reeves’ dominance on the big screen has crept into the minds of new parents; the actor’s moniker had a 24-percent increase in popularity.
It’s probably no surprise the wildly popular “Star Wars” movie franchise is impacting baby names. While Cassian from “Rogue One,” Rex from “The Clone Wars,” and Kiera and Kira (as in Qi’ra) from “Solo” are all up, Luke and Anakin from the “Skywalker” saga are down. The exception: Leia saw a 30-percent boost.
But today’s parents aren’t entirely rejecting nostalgia. BabyCenter noticed ’90s names are back, just like scrunchies and Birkenstocks. Brittany saw an impressive 33-percent bump and Nicole, Amber, Amanda, Lauren, Jessica, Stephanie, and Rachel are all up. Among boys, more babies are being named Jonathan, Christopher, Nicholas, and Austin.
BabyCenter found “The Bachelor” may be another pop culture influence. One example provided was Ruth. Season 22 contestant Bekah Martinez and boyfriend Grayston Leonard chose the name for their baby girl, and it saw a 10 percent increase. But we think Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg may have also played a part in this.