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Top 2012 baby names across the board in lakes area

Olivia and Jack were the most popular baby names in the nation — but what about names in the Brainerd lakes area?

No one particular boy’s or girl’s name stuck out as the most popular baby name in 2012. Hospitals in Brainerd, Aitkin and Staples each had different baby names that topped their lists and ranged from newer names to the traditional names — in both boy and girl names.

Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd’s No. 1 boy’s name in 2012 was Noah, where five babies were born with that name. Carter and Eli took second with four babies each with the names. Five names tied for the Top 3 with having three babies each named Blake, Ethan, Isaac, Logan and Samuel.

Brainerd did not have one specific girl’s name stick out as the most popular. However, there were four names that tied for the top name, having three babies each take the name of Ellie, Olivia, Payton and Sophia.

A total of 461 babies were born in 2012 at Essentia in Brainerd; 249 boys and 212 girls.

Mindy Pool, health unit coordinator at the Family Birth Place at Essentia, said 25 percent of the parents who come to the hospital don’t have a name in mind for their newborn. Pool said the parents like to wait to see what the baby looks like first.

Pool said about 10 years ago traditional baby names were popular at the Brainerd hospital. Then around 2008-09, the traditional names were not as popular and parents began coming up with trendier names. She said parents also would use the baby names that celebrities used for their children.

“People still use the traditional names, but also the trendy, unique names,” said Pool.

The No. 1 names at Lakewood Health Systems in Staples were Abigail and Parker. Other names that made the popular list for girls were Alaina, Alexis, Alivia, Avery, Elizabeth, Madison, Nora and Piper. On the boy’s list were Bentley, Easton, Elijah, Matthew, Avery, Hudson, Hunter, James, Jaxson, Joseph, Levi, Logan, Luke, William and Wyatt.

Sarah Baumgartner, Obstetrics (OB) manager at Lakewood, said “It’s fun to see the trends from year-to-year in baby names, and also how names in this region compare with the rest of the country ... Jacob is consistently at the top of the list nationwide for boys, but we didn’t have a Jacob in our Top 10 at Lakewood in 2012.”

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby had 281 births in 2012. The hospital had no name stick out as No. 1 for either gender, but the top boy’s names were Colton, Connor, Ethan, Tristan, Aiden, Blake, Elijah, Jackson, Kael, Liam, Levi, Malachi and Owen. The popular girl’s names were Amelia, Bailey, Brielle, Eliza, Grace, Isabel, Katrina, Madeline, Natalie, Quinn and Zoey.

Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin didn’t have many repeated names, except for the top two girls names, which were Brielle and Nevaeh. Other girls’ names included traditional ones such as Natalie, Sophia, Grace and Isabella as well as newer ones like Brooklyn, Keirah, Madison and Brynn. Riverwood had many traditional boys’ names, including Alex, Eric, Noah, Vincent, Darren, Gus and Zachary and a few newer ones such as Taydem, Easton, Madden and Hudson.

The Department of Internal Affairs released its most popular baby names in 2012 Thursday. The department reported that Olivia claimed the top spot for most popular girl’s name for the first time after having been a close second in recent years. Sophia was the second most popular name and Emily was third, moving up from being No. 9 in 2010 and 2011 as the most popular.

Jack made a comeback to being the No. 1 name in the nation, as last year it was the Top 10 name. Jack was the most popular boy’s name from 2005-09, it was reported. Oliver was the second most popular name and William was the third. Liam was the No. 1 boy’s name in 2011 and fell to No. 4 in 2012.

According to BabyCenter’s website, which compiles data from nearly half a million parents nationwide — the top 2012 names were Sophia for a girl’s name and Aiden for a boy’s name. Other top girl’s names were Emma, Olivia, Isabella, Ava, Lily, Zoe, Chloe, Mia and Madison. Other top boy’s names were Aiden, Jackson, Ethan, Liam, Mason, Noah, Lucas, Jacob, Jayden and Jack.

BabyCenter’s baby name lists are based on popularity ranking on a single spelling of a name. Meaning the name Sophia or Sofia are considered two different names.

The 2011 top names for boys were Aiden and Jackson and the top names for girls were Sophia and Emma.

According to BabyCenter’s website, seven in 10 babies born last year in the United States were BabyCenter babies.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at