The baby nursery is starting to reflect Minnesota’s growing diversity.
For the first time, Mohamed has made the list of the state’s most popular baby boy names, in at No. 98.
The updated list, released Tuesday by the U.S. Social Security Administration, ranks Minnesota’s top 100 baby names for boys and girls.
The name, in its several variations, is one of the most popular worldwide for Muslim parents. It has risen on Minnesota’s list as the state’s population has rapidly changed. From 2000 to 2010, the number of residents of color grew 55 percent, and Minnesota’s fast-growing Somali population is the largest in the United States.
Still, there are 97 other boys’ names ahead of Mohamed.
Among this year’s trends: surnames as first names such as Bentley and Griffin and girls’ names that end in ‘a.’ Olivia, Sophia, Emma, Ava and Isabella are the top five girls’ names, while the top boys’ names are more traditional — Mason, William, Jacob, Liam and Benjamin.
For parents like Andi Egbert, who is expecting her second child, the annual list is all the buzz to see what’s hot or not in her son’s future preschool class.
“We didn’t want to be in the top 10, but we wanted to be in the top 100, nothing too exotic,” she said of naming her baby boy, due in fewer than two weeks. “There’s a lot more interest [in popular baby name lists] with a technologically savvy generation of parents.”
She and her husband used the list, released each year, to help settle on a name for their first child, wary of her becoming one of numerous Laurens at school. So they chose what was then No. 27: Morgan.
“I like to do my due diligence,” said Egbert, who has not just a personal fascination with the data, but a professional one as a research analyst specialist at the Minnesota State Demographic Center.
The appearance of Mohamed on the list for the first time in Minnesota is part of a greater diversity of names overall, more mixed than decades ago.
For instance, in 1981, Minnesota had more than 1,000 each of Jennifer and Michael.
Now, even the most popular names only total about 400 babies.
“They have a much more challenging job today,” Egbert said of those who make personalized baby name gifts.
Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141