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05.05.11

Top 20 Baby Names of 2010

Sophia and Aiden are all the rage—and Teen Mom, Glee, Twilight, and Real Housewives are influencing new parents. Baby-naming expert Pamela Redmond Satran—coauthor of Beyond Ava & Aiden—breaks down the new official government rankings.

Jacob and Isabella held onto their spots at the top of the U.S. most popular names list, according to 2010 statistics released by the Social Security Administration on Thursday.

There’s a new girls’ name in second place, Sophia, while Aiden moves onto the boys’ Top 10, unseating Joshua. Here’s the complete Top 10:

BOYS
1) Jacob
2) Ethan
3) Michael
4) Jayden
5) William
6) Alexander
7) Noah
8) Daniel
9) Aiden
10) Anthony

GIRLS
1) Isabella
2) Sophia
3) Emma
4) Olivia
5) Ava
6) Emily
7) Abigail
8) Madison
9) Chloe
10) Mia

The 2010 Top 10 list shows Jayden, Noah, and Abigail moving up, with Alexander, Emma, Olivia, and Madison shifting down. Jacob, with support from the Twilight franchise, has been the No. 1 boys’ name for a dozen years while this is Isabella’s second year in the top spot.

Pop culture continues to be an important influence on baby name trends, with names Maci and Bentley from Teen Mom making the biggest leaps up the popularity ladder. The second biggest jump for boys’ names was Kellan, inspired by Kellan Lutz, the actor who plays Emmett Cullen in the Twilight series, while Tiana, the name of Disney’s first African-American princess, is one of the biggest risers for girls.

Celebrity baby name Knox, used by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for their twin son, is the third-fastest rising name for boys. Other hot boys’ names inspired by celebrities, their children, or the characters they play include: Enzo (Patricia Arquette and Annabeth Gish both used this for their sons), Easton (Jenna Elfman), Dexter (television’s genial serial killer), Cullen (surname of Twilight’s vampire family), and Armani (the designer). For girls, fast-rising celebrity-inspired names are Quinn (the character from Glee), Gia (daughter of Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice), Scarlett (Johansson and O’Hara), and Charlie (as in the young daughters of Rebecca Romijn and Julie Chen, not, we trust, Sheen).

Fastest falling names with a celebrity connection include Gael (Garcia Bernal), Jonas (Brothers), Rihanna (no last name), Marlee (Matlin) and Marley (the dog).

Elvis has fallen off the Top 1,000 for the first time since 1954, though Presley is holding steady at No. 274.

Pamela Redmond Satran, a founder of nameberry.com, is the coauthor of eight books about names, including Beyond Ava & Aiden and Cool Names.