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Published: Saturday, 5/13/2006

Name-game winners spelled out for 2005


When children born in 2005 head to kindergarten in a few years, a lot of them will be raising their hands when the teacher calls out "Emily" or "Jacob." In border states, it will be hard to miss Jose, Angel, and Mia.

For the 10th year running, Emily is the most popular name for infant girls in the United States, according to figures this Mother's Day weekend from the Social Security Administration.

(To see the entire list, as well as a ranking by state, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/babynames.)

"The whole question was whether Emma going to beat out Emily this time," said Cleveland Evans, a professor at Bellevue University in Nebraska and president of the American Names Society. Emma was No. 2 on the nationwide list, but it remains the most popular girl's name in Ohio, Michigan, and Lucas County.

Biblical names dominate the boys' list. Jacob is the most popular nationwide, as it has been since 1999, and it is also the top boy's name in Ohio, Michigan, and Lucas County.

Other top picks for boys are Michael, Joshua, Matthew, Andrew, Daniel, Christopher, and Joseph.

"There's a lot more men mentioned in the Bible than women," Mr. Evans said. Maybe that's why the girls' list includes so many nonbiblical names such as Madison.

New to the top 10 lists this year are Anthony at No. 8 for boys and Ava at No. 9 for girls. Anthony jumped up from the 11th spot. In 1990, Ava was ranked 952.

The agency also releases separate lists for each state, and the most popular names in states along the U.S.-Mexico border reflect the impact of immigration. Jose is the most popular name for boys in Texas; in Arizona, it's Angel. Mia is the second most popular name for girls in those two states and fifth in California.

The agency has compiled the 1,000 most popular names since 1997.

Spelling variations of the same name are counted separately, so there are entries for Kaitlyn, Katelyn, and Kaitlin.

The top 10 for girls in Ohio: in 2005: Emma, Madison, Olivia, Emily, Ava, Hannah, Abigail, Alexis, Grace, and Isabella. For boys in Ohio: Jacob, Andrew, Ethan, Michael, Logan, Nicholas, Matthew, Tyler, William, and Joshua.

The top 10 for girls in Michigan in 2005: Emma, Emily, Madison, Ava, Olivia, Grace, Abigail, Hannah, Alexis, and Isabella. For boys: Jacob, Andrew, Ethan, Joshua, Michael, Tyler, Joseph, Alexander, Ryan, and Matthew.

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