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America’s Parents Vote for Change on Social Security's Most Popular Baby Names List

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Friday, May 8, 2009 Mark Lassiter, Press Officer
For Immediate Release 410-965-8904


News Release

America’s Parents Vote for Change on Social Security's Most Popular Baby Names List

Emma overtakes Emily after a 12-year reign; Elvis slips


In 2008, American parents voted for change in naming their children.  After a 12-year reign as the most popular baby name, Emily has slipped to third on the list.  Emma is now the nation’s most popular name for girls.

The most popular boy’s name, Jacob, remained the same for the 10th year in a row.

Please click on the Most Popular Baby Names link at Social Security’s website -- -- to see all the top baby names for 2008.  Drum roll please…the Top 10 boys and girls names for 2008 are:

Top 10 Names for 2008
Rank Male name Female name
1 Jacob Emma
2 Michael Isabella
3 Ethan Emily
4 Joshua Madison
5 Daniel Ava
6 Alexander Olivia
7 Anthony Sophia
8 William Abigail
9 Christopher Elizabeth
10 Matthew Chloe
Note: Rank 1 is the most popular, rank 2 is the next most popular, and so forth.

The ascendancy of Emma means that Social Security spokesbaby Emily, who you should visit to say farewell at, will be retiring.  Emily indicated that she would not be requesting a recount and that she is busily preparing for nursery school.  She further added, “I also ask everyone checking out this year’s results at to look at the nearby information about the Medicare Extra Help Program--in case they know someone eligible for Medicare who could use up to $3,900 to help pay for medicine.” 

A brand new feature to the website this year is the “Change in Name Popularity” page.  This year’s winner for the biggest jump is Khloe, which is undoubtedly related to the popularity of Khloe Kardashian from the show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Khloe with a K increased 469 spots to number 196 in 2008, up from 665 in 2007 and 960 in 2006 (her first year on the list).  Also, Chloe with a C is in the Top 10 for the first time ever.  Another fast riser is Miley, moving up 152 spots to number 127 for 2008, a rather impressive increase given this is only her second year on the list.  On the downside for fans of Miley Cyrus’ fictional character, the name Hannah fell out of the Top 10 and landed down at number 17.  Jacoby had the biggest increase for the boys, moving up 200 spots to number 423.  Commissioner Michael Astrue, a die-hard Red Sox fan, attributed the rise of Jacoby to the appeal of last year’s star rookie centerfielder, Jacoby Ellsbury.

The name everybody is wondering about, Barack, did not make this year’s top 1,000 boy’s list, but it did set what is believed to be a record by skyrocketing more than 10,000 spots in rising from number 12,535 in 2007 to 2,409 in 2008.  Social Security’s sophisticated predictive models are forecasting an increase well into the top 1,000 for Barack for 2009.

In this year of change, many unfamiliar names debuted on the top 1,000 list.  These names include Isla (623), Mareli (718), Dayami (750), Nylah (821) and Jazlene (831) to name a few for the girls.  For the boys: Aaden (No. 343), Chace (655), Marley (764), Kash (779), Kymani (836), Ishaan (851), Jadiel (874) and Urijah (889).  Social Security officials expressed hope that parents were not naming their sons Marley after the badly behaved dog who starred in the movie “Marley and Me.”  Beckham also made the list for the first time, coming in at number 893—undoubtedly influenced by the arrival in the United States of British soccer star David Beckham.

And for all of you Elvis fans out there, here’s our annual update: Elvis is still shakin’ at number 713, but fell on the charts from 673 in 2007.

In addition to a list of the 1,000 most popular boys’ and girls’ names for 2008, the website has a list of the top 100 names for twins born in 2008.  Jacob and Joshua are the most popular twins’ names.

The Social Security website offers lists of baby names for each year since 1880.  Social Security started compiling baby name lists in 1997. 

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