City Desk

D.C.’s Top Baby Names: Sophia, Ava, William, Alexander

Top D.C. baby names 2011The Social Security Administration's latest list of most popular baby names by state is out this morning.

According to the list—which reflects Social Security card applications from the previous year—D.C.'s top five names for boys in 2011 were  William, Alexander, Daniel, James, and Christopher.

For girls, the top names were Sophia, Ava, Elizabeth, Olivia, and Sofia. Drill a little deeper into the numbers and you'll find that Sophia/Sofia really runs away with the crown: With 50 Sophias and 34 Sofias, they account for more than twice the 41 Avas who entered the District's population last year.

Congratulations, or something parents of Sophia/Sofias: You're either perfectly tuned into the culture or a hideous example of herd-following. Either way, remember to add a last name when writing your daughter's name on her lunchbox in a few years.

The boys names, incidentally, showed little change from 2010, when William and Alexander also led the list, and Christopher was still at number five. Henry and John finished third and fourth.

For girls, though, last year's top finisher was Madison, while Charlotte and Ashley also made the list. Those names  dropped to 7, 11, and 24, respectively.

A glance further back in time reveals bigger changes: In 1980, Michael led the boys names; last year, it was number 13. Jennifer, the favorite D.C. girls name of 1980, didn't even make 2011's top 100.

More dramatically, the sheer numbers among the leading baby names have also tumbled–a reflection of the declining population of children in Washington, as well as a growing tendency to give kids unique names, leading to a less bunching at the top of the most common name list. The top boy name of 1980 was given to 366 newborns; by last year, the winner finished first with just 71.

Photo of Baby Names via Shutterstock

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