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Secondhand Newz

Name Popularity Fun to Track

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The Social Security Administration recently announced the most popular baby names in Arkansas for 2021.

It may be no surprise that Liam and Olivia topped the list for boys and girls. Liam was followed by Oliver, Elijah, Noah and Asher in the top five, while Emma, Amelia, Ave and Charlotte rounded out the top female names.

People are encouraged to visit www.socialsecurity.gov to see the top baby names for 2021. Of course, the agency hopes you will also sign up for an account to track your earnings and benefit projections. If that hasn’t scared you away, you can also use the site for all sorts of useful things like requesting a replacement Social Security card online if you meet certain requirements. If you already receive Social Security benefits, you can start or change direct deposit online, request a replacement SSA-1099, and if you need proof of their benefits, you can print or download a current Benefit Verification Letter from your account.

People not yet receiving benefits can use their online account to get a personalized Social Security Statement, which provides their earnings information as well as estimates of their future benefits. The portal also includes a retirement estimator and links to information about other online services, such as applications for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits.
But if nothing else, you can be amused searching through the list of names the agency began compiling in 1997, with names dating back to 1880. At the time of a child’s birth, parents supply the name to the agency when applying for a child’s Social Security card, thus making Social Security America’s source for the most popular baby names.

Nationwide, the top 10 boys names were Liam, Noah, Oliver, Elijah, James, William, Benjamin, Lucas, Henry and Theodore. For girls across the U.S., it was Olivia, Emma, Charlotte, Amelia, Ava, Sophia, Isabella, Mia, Evelyn and Harper.

While my husband’s name, Michael, has consistently been at the top of the list (still in the top 20 but out of the top 10 since 2017), mine was a hot flame that burned out quickly.

The name Lori entered the top 1,000 in 1946 and had a big jump in 1951 and then steadily climbed to a peak of popularity in 1963 as the 8th most popular name for girls. Five years after I was named, 1970, it dropped out of the top 20, and was out of the top 100 in 1983. By 2002 it was out of the top 1,000.

For 2001, the number of births with name Lori is 233, which represents 0.012 percent of total female births in 2001. At its most popular in 1963, 23,902 girls received the name.

It’s a personal preference, of course, about whether a common/uncommon name is desired. There’s a certain comfort in having a familiar name and finding others who coincidentally share your name. But it can also be fun to be unique, even if you have to spell your name EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. you give it to someone.
Even with my name, there are multiple variations so I still have to spell it frequently.

So what if my name is not popular anymore? I can only hope that doesn’t hold true for the person.

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Lori Freeze is news editor of the Stone County Leader. Write to her at lori@stonecountyleader.com.

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