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Friday May 10, 2002

Jim Courtney, Press Officer

For Immediate Release

410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

Social Security Online


News Release

Social Security Administration Announces "Emily" and "Jacob"
As the Most Popular Baby Names

Just in time for Mother's Day, Jo Anne Barnhart, Commissioner of Social Security, announced the top female baby name in the United States for 2001 was Emily; for baby boys it was Jacob. The Social Security Administration (SSA) delivers this "birth announcement" based on all Social Security card applications for children born last year.

"Each year, SSA produces the list of the top baby names, and people love to see where their names and those of their family members rank," said Commissioner Barnhart. "This has become one of Social Security's most popular announcements."

The top ten boys and girls names for 2001 are:




For Emily and Jacob, it's a repeat appearance at the top of the list. Emily has been the most popular girls' name each year since 1996. Before that, it was Jessica, which sat atop the list from 1989 to 1995. Jacob has been the top boys' name for the past three years. Prior to that, Michael was the most popular name each year from 1964 to 1998.

A list of the 1000 most popular baby names for 2001, as well as the most popular baby names for each state, can be found at by clicking the link to the Most Popular Names.

SSA started compiling baby name lists in 1997. Today, the SSA website offers lists of baby names for each year since 1880.

Regardless of what name a parent chooses, all newborns need a Social Security number. The easiest way for parents to apply for a baby's Social Security number (SSN) is through a process known as Enumeration at Birth. This automatic service enables parents to apply for an SSN at the same time they fill out the birth certificate information at the hospital. Enumeration at Birth, which saves parents time and makes a trip to the local Social Security office unnecessary, is available free of charge in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. Last year, approximately four million babies received their Social Security numbers this way.

"Enumeration at Birth offers parents an opportunity to request a Social Security number for their newborn as part of the birth registration process," Commissioner Barnhart said. "The main reason to get an SSN for a newborn is so the child can be claimed as a dependent on the parents' tax return. Even though this may not be the first thing new parents are thinking about after having a baby, it is quick, easy, and convenient."

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