STATE — The Social Security Administration recently announced the most popular baby names in New Jersey for 2009.
How does New Jersey compare to the rest of the country? Nationally, Isabella and Jacob were the most popular baby names.
This year’s winner for the biggest jump is Maliyah, which is likely related to the popularity of the First Family. Malia (the spelling used by the First Daughter), also is one of the top 10 fastest risers among girls names. Isla, the name of popular actress Isla Fisher was the second fastest riser among girls.
On the boy’s side, Cullen had the biggest increase, likely attributable to the popular character Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” novels and movies. King came in as the number three top mover for boys.
Many patterns of recent years continued. Religious names continue to be very popular, including the girl names Heaven at number 275 and Nevaeh (Heaven spelled backwards) at 34. Messiah was number 663 for boys. An extraordinary 3.7 percent of the Top 1000 boy names rhymed with the word “maiden” and names associated with cities, states, or countries were popular, particularly for girls.
The Social Security website, www.socialsecurity.gov, offers lists of baby names for each year since 1880. Social Security started compiling baby name lists in 1997.
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