Sophia and Jacob repeat as America’s most popular baby names for 2012. In fact, Jacob has held sway for 14 years in a row!

That’s just one snippet of the vast amount of information — some of it fun — that’s on the Social Security Administration website. We here at the Law Offices of Neil H. Good obviously tend to focus on it as a source of information for those applying for Social Security Disability benefits. But we like the fun stuff, too, including what’s popular in the world of baby names. 2012’s top 10 for boys: Jacob, Mason, Ethan, Noah, William, Liam, Jayden, Michael, Alexander and Aiden.

For girls: Sophia, Emma, Isabella, Olivia, Ava, Emily, Abigail, Mia, Madison and Elizabeth.

The SSA, in its press release on the lists, noted the influence of pop culture in the change in popularity page, a popular feature on the baby names website. This year’s winners for the biggest jump in popularity in the Top 500: “Major” and “Arya.”

The fastest riser on the girls’ list may have been influenced by the popular cable TV series “Game of Thrones.”

For the boys, parents may associate Major with the military title. Acting Commissioner Colvin added “I have no doubt Major’s rising popularity as a boy’s name is in tribute to the brave members of the U.S. military, and maybe we’ll see more boys named General in the future.”You also might trace Major’s increase in popularity to a cable TV show. “Home by Novogratz” is a popular home design show featuring Major Novogratz, the youngest son of designers Robert and Cortney.

No. 2 on the trends list was Gael for boys and Perla for girls. The SSA believes both names likely are on the rise because of the changing demographics and the increase in the country’s Spanish-speaking population. “Perla is the Latinized version of Pearl and is popular among Hispanic-Americans. Gael’s popularity could be tied to Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal.”

And don’t look now, but Marilyn is now in the top 500, as is Messiah. So is Armani.

There’s lots more in the world of names on the Social Security Administration site.

Visitors to the site can find the most popular names for a particular year (as long as it’s after 1879).

A quick check of a name’s popularity is also possible. Jacob led the list for boys in 2009. Type that name in on the “popularity of a name” feature, and you quickly learn it was also No. 1 in 2008, and ’07 and … every year since 1999.

Poor “Ethel,” on the other hand. According to the Social Security Administration website, “Ethel is not in the top 1,000 names for any year of birth in the last 13 years.” It’s a fate shared by Agnes, Beth and Bill as well.

For more, including popular names in U.S. Territories, popular names by decade, names for twins and background information, visit And have fun.