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And the most popular baby names for newborn boys and girls in 2011 were ... Jacob and Sophia.
Those two topped the new list released Monday by the Social Security Administration. The remaining top 5 for the boys: Mason, William, Jayden and Noah. And for the girls: Isabella, Emma, Olivia and Ava.
As the Associated Press points out, the highest climber at the top end of the list was Mason, which jumped 10 spots from the previous year, thanks in no doubt to a little help from reality television. For those who've somehow managed to avoid the E! network, Mason is the name of Kourtney Kardashian's son, born in late 2009. More than 19,000 newborns were named Mason last year, up nearly 4,600 from the previous year.
Sophia was the new No. 1 name for girls, switching places with Isabella, which had held the top spot for the previous two years. Outlets like Entertainment Weekly point to the Twilight series as the engine for Isabella’s rise in recent years. (The teenage vampire love story also may account for some of Jacob's more recent success.)
While many point to the rise of tabloid culture as the driver behind recent baby-name trends, Laura Wattenberg explained in Slate last year that naming patterns are actually quite complicated and are often rooted in historical trends already in place. Mason, for example, was already in the top 40 popular names for boys in 2009, before the Kardashians took ownership of it. Head here for the SSA’s breakdown of the most popular baby names since 1912, back when Mary and John topped the list.