The 2015 Top Ten list will be released in just a few more weeks!
The US Social Security Administration will release the new Top Ten – actually the Top 1000 list, along with all of the supporting data – around Mother’s Day – which is really, really soon.
I love a good round of baby name predictions, and I’ve published plenty:
- Here are my 2015 predictions and my review of how I did.
- And my list for 2016.
- One of my favorite things to do is guess which names will break into the US Top 1000, and I used to include them in my regular predictions posts. In 2016, I started posting them separately, and you can read a review of how I did with my 2015 list.
This year, I thought I’d pause and take a look specifically at the 2015 Top Ten list.
If you’re new to following the numbers, those dates might get a little bit confusing. In May 2016, we’ll get the numbers for children born between January 1st and December 31st of 2015. So the 2016 list is actually the 2015 list, and parents naming children in early 2016 are actually using data from 2014, which can presents some challenges.
Let’s review the current US Top Ten, and see if we can crunch some numbers – and do some crystal ball gazing – to guess what the new Top Ten might look like.
2015 Top Ten List: Boys
Here’s the 2014 Top Ten List: Noah, Liam, Mason, Jacob, William, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, James, and Daniel.
And here’s what I’m guessing will happen when we see the 2015 Top Ten list:
- Noah will remain #1. While parents are more creative with our boys’ names than ever before, I haven’t detected any slowdown in the use of Noah. In raw numbers, Noah continued to gain rapidly in use in 2014. The fact that it’s #1 in the US doesn’t seem to deter many parents.
- Liam, Mason, James, and William will remain in the Top Ten. Let’s break that down a little more.
- Yes, some high profile celebrity birth announcements have given the name James to girls. But like Noah, James rose significantly in raw numbers, even though it doesn’t seem like it’s gaining. That’s probably because it’s such a classic that we sort of assume it’s always been just that common. James actually re-entered the US Top Ten for the first time since 1992 in 2014. I wouldn’t be surprise to see another jump in the 2015 Top Ten.
- There’s a similar story to William. It’s easy to miss that classic names for boys are subject to trends, but it’s true that they do come in and out of favor.
- Jacob will continue falling. While parents are still naming their boys Jacob, this former Top Ten favorite is no longer on top.
- Ethan and Michael will fall, too. Both names were flat in terms of ranking in 2014, but I think they’re both showing signs of a modest decline in use.
- My first guess was that Alexander would fall. Except when I looked at the list as a group, Alexander almost has to stay in the Top Ten and climb a spot or two.
- Daniel will leave the Top Ten. This is tough call, because Daniel is boosted by use in Spanish-speaking families. But Daniel was flat in terms of rank in 2014, and actually fell slightly in terms of raw numbers. So I’m thinking that Daniel will be nudged out of the 2015 Top Ten list.
- I think Ethan and Michael could also leave the 2015 Top Ten list. Alexander, I think, will be safe – it’s one of the names that actually gained in 2014. I’m guessing it will come in at #9 or #10.
- The names most likely to replace Daniel? And maybe Ethan or Michael, too? Definitely Benjamin! Benjamin has the same bilingual appeal, but also speaks to the parents choosing William, James, and Alexander.
- Other than Benjamin, I’m not sure what might make it into the 2015 Top Ten. Elijah is right there, but it actually fell in terms of raw numbers in 2014. So I’ll say Logan or Lucas. There’s also Oliver, a name that soared in 2014. But it would have to really explode to climb as high as the 2015 Top Ten.
I’d put my list in this order:
2015 Top Ten List: Girls
The 2014 Top Ten list is as follows: Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Isabella, Ava, Mia, Emily, Abigail, Madison, and Charlotte.
Here are my guesses for the 2015 Top Ten list:
- Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Isabella, Ava, and Mia will all remain in the 2015 Top Ten.
- Isabella and Sophia will fall, at least a place or two.
- I have a hard time imagining Emma holding on to the #1 spot. But I’m equally doubtful that there’s a good challenger name waiting in the wings. I’m tempted to bet on Olivia right now, though the model I came up with last year says that Olivia has missed the window for a #1 name.
- If the model is correct – and I have my doubts – our eyes should be on Mia. Mia has lots going for it,including culture-spanning appeal, and rose modestly in terms of raw numbers in 2014.
- Charlotte entered the US Top Ten for the first time in 2014, and isn’t going anywhere – except, probably for up a few spots. I doubt we’re looking at next year’s #1 name, though.
- Most likely to leave the Top Ten: Madison. I think Abigail and Emily are at the end of their runs, too.
- I’m expecting Harper to crack the 2015 Top Ten for sure and certain. Other names I’m watching closely? Amelia and Evelyn. I think we could see all in the 2015 Top Ten – though that would be a big shake-up for just a single year.
And so my list?
Now get out your crystal balls, and tell me: what are your guesses for the new 2015 Top Ten?