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BabyCenter released its annual global list of top 100 baby names for 2012, and Aiden took the top boys’ spot for the 8th consecutive year, while Sophia sits at the top for girls for the 3rd year in a row.

Aiden and Sophia may still hold the crown for “world’s most popular baby names”, but Mad Men’s Betty, several characters from Fifty Shades of Grey, and even Apple products are moving up the list, fast.

Several trending names made headway this year, including the Fifty Shades of Grey-inspired Anastasia, rising by 10%, Ana moving up 35 spots, and Grey rinsing by nearly 20%. Christian, however, actually declined in popularity.

BabyCenter’s global editor in chief, Linda Murray, told Today: “Earlier this year we heard moms telling us… <<this book is an aphrodisiac>>, and it’s helping them get pregnant. So it was not a surprise to see these names coming up the list.”

“I’m wondering how the moms are going to explain the inspiration for these names in a few years,” she added.

However, the biggest gain in the top 100 was the name Betty, up 54% this year thanks to Betty Draper’s character on Mad Men, coupled with a growing trend in old-fashioned names.

But BabyCenter also pointed out that technology, namely the iPhone, is also having a big effect on 2012 trending baby names.

Apple, the name of Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter, is up 15% for girls, while Mac is up 12%, and Siri, the name of Apple’s talking personal assistant, jumped 5% on the girls list.

Linda Murray explained: “This was a surprise to us this year. We hadn’t seen Apple rise when Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter, but people love their technology.”

The top 100 name list is based on the names of 450,000 babies born this year to mothers worldwide registered with the BabyCenter website.

Filling the other spots on the top ten girls list are Emma, Olivia, Isabella, Ava, Lily, Zoe, Chloe, Madison, and making a debut in the list, Mia.

After Aiden on the boy’s top ten came Jackson, Ethan, Liam, Mason, Noah, Lucas, Jacob, Jayden and also making a debut this year, Jack.

BabyCenter released its annual global list of top 100 baby names for 2012, and Aiden and Sophia still hold the crown

BabyCenter released its annual global list of top 100 baby names for 2012, and Aiden and Sophia still hold the crown

Linda Murry said: “Moms really like feminine names and we see a lot of crossover.

“These names work for a lot of ethnicities, so I think that’s why they’re in the top ten.”

As for Aiden reigning supreme, she said: “Part of the reason it stays number one is you can spell it in 45 different way. Moms love it.”

The UK has also been a strong influence, with young royal names up in popularity.

Harry is up 57% from the 2011 list, and Kate Middleton’s sister, Pippa, increased by 35%.

Linda Murray said: “People love Harry and Pippa. They’re less in the spotlight than Will and Kate.”

Political names have always been popular, but this year’s election saw no boost to the names Barack, Mitt, Joe or Paul. Instead, past presidential names were favored, including Reagan for girl’s, jumping 46%, and Kennedy, Carter, Lincoln and Nixon rising in the rankings.


1. Sophia

2. Emma

3. Olivia

4. Isabella

5. Ava

6. Lily

7. Zoe

8. Chloe

9. Mia

10. Madison


1. Aiden

2. Jackson

3. Ethan

4. Liam

5. Mason

6. Noah

7. Lucas

8. Jacob

9. Jayden

10. Jack