Isabella Ousts Emma as Most-Popular Name for Girls Born in U.S. Last Year

Isabella replaced Emma as the top name for baby girls born in the U.S. in 2009, while Jacob remained the most popular choice for boys for the 11th straight year, the Social Security Administration said today.

Maliyah, a variation on the name of President Barack Obama’s oldest daughter, had the biggest jump in popularity, rising to a ranking of 296 from 638 in 2008, the agency said in a statement. Her actual name, Malia, jumped to 192 from 345. Barack rose to 1,993 from 2,424 among boys’ names.

Cullen climbed the most among names for boys, jumping to 485 from 782, which the agency attributed to the popularity of the character Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” series of books and films about vampires.

The girl’s name Marely had the biggest drop, falling to 851 from 334, followed by Mylee and Lindsay. Brett, Jonas and Alvin had the largest decline among boys’ names.

Following Jacob among boys were Ethan, Michael, Alexander, William, Joshua, Daniel, Jayden, Noah and Anthony. On the girls’ side, Emma dropped to second, followed by Olivia, Sophia, Ava, Emily, Madison, Abigail, Chloe and Mia.

The agency started compiling lists of baby names in 1997.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York at

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