The official list of top baby names in the U.S. for 2012 was published in time for Mother’s Day and Irish ties are strong once again.
Jacob was the most popular boy's name for the twelfth year in a row and Sophia was the most popular for baby girls for the second year running.
A potential pop culture influence as "Liam," the first name of Irish actor Liam Neeson, broke into the top ten for the first time in 2012. It was the sixth most popular name for boys last year, steadily increasing in popularity from 113 in 2002, to 15 in 2011.
The U.S. Social Security Administration has been compiling the baby name lists since 1997 with data taken from Social Security number applications filed by parents.
“Perhaps Liam’s new found success can be attributed to Liam Neeson’s recent major roles in “Battleship” and the popular “Taken,” “The Chronicles of Narnia,” and “Clash of the Titans” franchises,” a statement from the government body said.
The Irish name Aiden has also retained its popularity as the tenth most common choice for baby boys in 2012.
Over the last 100 years, the male name Michael has held the top spot most often (44 times), while the female name Mary has been ranked number one 43 times over those years.
John is now ranked at 28 and Mary has fallen to 123 -- the lowest for both names.
The fastest riser on the girls’ list may have been influenced by the popular cable TV series “Game of Thrones,” which is filmed in Northern Ireland. Arya is the daughter of a leader of one of the Seven Kingdoms and was the year’s winners for biggest jump in popularity for newborn girls.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore