Most Popular Baby Names of 2009: Jacob & Isabella

Filed under: Baby Names

The U.S. government has announced the nation's most popular baby names. America, here's your Top 10:

1. Jacob
2. Ethan
3. Michael
4. Alexander
5. William
6. Joshua
7. Daniel
8. Jayden
9. Noah
10 Anthony

1. Isabella
2. Emma
3. Olivia
4. Sophia
5. Ava
6. Emily
7. Madison
8. Abigail
9. Chloe
10. Mia

The big news is Isabella, ending a 13-year run of Em- names -- Emily and Emma -- at the top of the girls' charts. It's not a surprising development. Isabella has ranked in the top 10 since 2004, with countless other -bella names trailing in its wake. The Twilight phenomenon can't hurt, either. (Team Edward can't be pleased seeing Jacob and Isabella as king and queen of the baby name prom.) And Isabella has been one of the hottest names for Hollywood babies, too.

So the name itself isn't a surprise. The amazing part is the way it took the crown: with a huge surge up to 22,000 babies born, thousands more than the year before. As a rule, mega-hit names just don't do that. For decades, the popularity of the top names has been dropping, as modern parents try to make their kids' names stand out. Even more amazing, Isabella beat out Jacob to become America's true #1 name. That makes it the first female champion since Linda edged James all the way back in 1940. You go, girl.

My colleagues at and will be crunching through the full name rankings, and reporting more on hot risers and fallers and celebrity name impact. In the meantime, what do you think of America's favorite names?

Related: Think You Know Baby Name Trends?

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