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FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

December 27, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Washington’s top baby names: Mason ascendant, Sophia retains lead

Baby incubator exhibit, Alaska-Yukon-Pacific-Exposition, Seattle, 1909 (Photo: University of Washington Libraries)

The Washington State Department of Health released the top baby names for 2011, and there was some drama on the boys’ side.  The name Mason wasn’t even in the top-10 names for boys  in 2010 (it was 11th), but it surged into the No. 1 spot in 2011, knocking former top name Jacob back into 5th place.  Liam jumped into second place from eighth.  The situation for baby girl names, however, was much more static; for the second consecutive year, Sophia brushed aside all competition to remain the state’s most popular name for girls.  Oh well, there’s always next year, Olivia.

But the top baby names don’t dominate like they did just a few decades ago, as new parents increasingly choose more creative, less common names.  In 1980, 73 percent of boys names and 53 percent of girls names came from the top-100.  In 2011, less than half of boys and only a third of girls were given names from the top-100.

The Department of Health also reports that 86,929 babies were born in Washington last year.  With the economic downturn, the number of babies has been in a steady decline for the past four years; in 2008, 90,270 babies were born in Washington.

Here then are the top names for babies in Washington and the U.S. for 2011:

Source: Washington State Department of Health

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