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Published: Saturday, 11/24/2012

Mason, Emma lead the baby name game


DAYTON — The most popular baby names in Ohio last year were Mason for boys and Emma for girls, according to the Social Security Administration.

Mason dethroned Jacob, which had been the most popular name for newborn baby boys in the state since 1995. Isabella only enjoyed two years as top name for girls.

Emma reclaimed the top honors after a few down years.

Parents have many motivations for choosing what to name their children. Unusual may be the new normal.

In Ohio, Hayden, Ayden, Jaxson, Gage, and Camden all made the Top 100 most popular names for baby boys. Trinity, Makayla, Rylee, Alaina, and London all made the Top 100 list for baby girls.

Of course, the popularity of certain baby names changes over time.

Many children are named after family members. But many of the most popular names are from the Bible. Celebrities and pop culture also contribute to interest in particular baby names.

But one of the most prominent trends in naming children is the emphasis on uniqueness.

In Ohio, Bentley ranked 43rd for boys, Levi ranked 62nd, Ayden ranked 77th, and Kayden ranked 98th. For girls, Kennedy ranked 46th, Aaliyah ranked 58th, Rylee ranked 77th and Alivia ranked 98th.

U.S. parents today are much less likely to give their children common names.

In 1950, more than 30 percent of U.S. boys had one of the Top 10 most popular names.

By 2009, that had fallen to about 9 percent.

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