Although it’s always fun to see which baby names the celebs are choosing, the yearly release of the top 10 boy and girl names from Social Security is the ultimate authority on baby naming, because it shows what parents are actually naming their kids. So which names topped the charts in 2011?
For boys, Jacob still reigns supreme—and has since 1999, when it hit the number one spot. Sure, the Twilight craze may have contributed to its enduring popularity, but it’s also a strong, easy name for boys, with Jake as a cute nickname option. Stay tuned for 2012, though: the name Mason may usurp Jacob next year for the top spot, probably thanks to Kourtney Kardashian, who chose it for her son. Mason, which ranked 12th in 2010, zoomed onto the top 10 list in 2011, and is currently the second most popular boy name.
Another boy name on the upswing: the slightly formal but classic William, now in third place, up from fifth in 2010. Aside from its historical popularity, William also lends itself to the cute Liam as a nickname. Plus, Prince William’s much-watched wedding last year could have something to do with the name’s boost in popularity.