Are once-popular names from the Bible vanishing from American society as time marches forward?
A look at rankings of baby names suggests a dwindling biblical trend in recent years.
According to BabyCenter.com, a popular pregnancy and parenting website based in San Francisco, there were just three boys names from the Bible in the top 10 list of baby names for 2012.
They are Ethan at No. 3, Noah at No. 6 and Jacob at No. 8.
But just 12 years ago in 2000, Bible names dominated the top 10 for boys, with Michael, Jacob and Matthew the top 3 choices, Joseph at No. 6, and Joshua and Andrew No. 8 and 9 respectively.
Out of the top 100 in 2012, there were 33 boys names from Scripture, compared to 36 names in 2000, but their positioning on the 2000 list was much higher.
Some of the names on the 2012 list include Elijah, James, Luke, Daniel, Gabriel, Nathan, Eli and Samuel.
Boys names that were on the 2000 list but not 2012 include Jared, Jesus and Marcus.
Going back to 1960, eight of the top ten boys names were from the Bible.
For girls, back in 2000, the No. 1 name in America was a biblical character Hannah. The only other one from Scripture to make the top 10 that year was Elizabeth, at No. 10.
In 2012, the only Bible name to make the top 10 is Chloe, mentioned only once in the First Book of Corinthians by the apostle Paul.
The name Paul, incidentally, has completely plunged out of the top 100 in 2012, having been ranked previously at No. 94 in 2000, and No. 18 in 1960.
In 2012, there were eight girls’ names based on biblical characters in the top 100: Chloe, Abigail, Hannah, Sarah, Anna, Elizabeth, Leah, and Julia. It’s nine if one includes Maria, the Spanish name for Mary.
In 2000, there were 11 making the top 100, with Rachel, Rebecca, Diana and Mary added to those just mentioned, but Leah not making the list.
This year’s top 10 names for girls features:
This year’s top 10 names for boys includes:
See the full list of top 100 baby names for 2012.