Muhammad one of the most popular baby names in US for first time

For the first time the name Muhammad has cracked the top 10 list of most popular baby names for newborn boys in the United States, according to parenting website BabyCenter, which tracks the popularity of names.

The name, which can be spelled in several different ways, is popular among Muslims as an act of devotion to honor Islam’s founder. It has long been climbing BabyCenter’s annual list. This year it rose — from No. 14 in 2018 to No. 10 in 2019 — knocking Mason from the No. 10 spot.

Social Security data shows the name has climbed in popularity from 620 in 2000 to 345 in 2018, but the government agency does not combine its different spellings as BabyCenter does.

Some of this year’s top names include biblically inspired names such as Noah, Elijah and Lucas.

Pew Research Center estimates about 3.45 million Muslims of all ages were living in the U.S. in 2017 and Muslims made up about 1.1% of the total U.S. population. (RNS, TAB)