Drumroll, please. The Social Security Administration has released their 2008 name data.

The number one name for girls isn’t Emily! It’s Emma.

And despite those predicting the end of Madison, she actually inched up one spot, from #5 to #4.

For boys, there were fewer surprises. Andrew is out of the Top Ten, and Alexander is in.

I won’t have time to dig into the data this morning, but I’m sure we’re all eager to discuss.

What’s your biggest a-ha from the 2008 statistics?

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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  1. I was happy to see that some of my favorites, such as Zoe, Ariel, Miranda dropped ever so slightly. But unfortunately, the one my husband and I like the most – Lily, is not only hugely popular, it went up another three spots. Sigh. We just can’t agree on many names, and when we do it seems to be one like that.

    Claire, Fiona, Eva, Rose, Lucia, Eliana, and Elise are all others that I like that had slight gains up the ladder.

    I’m not very concerned with anything below 200, but the ones like Lily, that are now up to 24, worry me a little. I don’t personally know ANY Lilys, of any age (or anyone of any of the names I mention), but apparently they are out there.

  2. Ugh Gemma joined the charts this year. I’m so disappointed. Callum and Isla too. They’re all on my top 10 lists, and their arrival on the list upsets me.
    I don’t have any issues with popular names–Ava’s there too–but my favorite unpopular ones finally joining the Top 1000 really upsets me. I was hoping my Gemma, Callum, and Isla would be the only ones in their classes, schools, states, etc.

    1. Corrine – the differences between the US and here I find fascinating – Isla, Gemma and Callum are all Top100 picks down here!!

      Anyway, I don’t know much about the US rankings, but the top 10 seems closer to ours now, with the emergence of Chloe.

  3. I was thrilled to find that Louisa still hasn’t made the charts, but was surprised to see that June enter the chart at #863.

  4. Anyone else surprised by Matilda’s strong appearance? Popping in at 829. I have to say I’m really shocked to see her premiere so high, I thought she’d only peek in on the list somewhere in the 900s.

    I’m convinced that Heath and Matilda’s surprising results are tied to Mr. Ledger now. I don’t doubt that Matilda would have ranked this year, but her debut is pretty high! I know some friends are fretful over her showing so high…

    What do we all think?

    1. Yes Bek, I’m sure Heath and Matilda’s popularity are helped by Mr. Ledger. Too bad to see them soar, they are both good ones. Why can’t celebrities stick to ridiculous names the rest of us can just make fun of? I’ve forgiven Reese for using Ava but I’m still mad at Angelina for taking Vivienne!

  5. Not surprised at all to see Emily finally slip. I’ve been expecting that for at least 4 years now. Am dismayed by Alexander’s inexorable rise. *sigh* I so like it and now I’ll never ever use it.

    Maurice ROSE! 7 places from 412 to 405. I am impressed. 🙂 Simon fell 3, but Leo gained 11; but the biggest suprise for me is August. he jumped 126 spots, from 608 to 482. Surprise on these two, too: Anne rose, sweet, simple Anne (one of my favorites of all time), up to 499 from 519. Frances rose too, 28 points. From 824 to 796 but funnily enough isn’t on the list “Change in Popularity”: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/rankchange.html
    Which is a pretty fascinating read, on top of the regular list. My Josephine rose again:
    2008: 208
    2007: 223
    2006: 221
    2005: 229
    2004: 242
    So maybe sometime in the next 30 years she’ll reattain her previous heights?

    I am absolutely thrilled that Clementine, Cecily & Beatrix all are still not charting.

    Bruce fell yet again, down 37 points from 739 to 476. My name is now officially unpopular. from 184 to a sad 215. Down 31 points over the course of a year. Petrarch would cry! 🙂 Mary’s almost out of the top 100 completely, she now stands at 97. But am mildly surprised to see Iris falling, 317 to 341. I expected to see that one jump up a bit, what with the Lily craze still expanding. And finally, I must say, I am thrilled that Edgar fell from 168 to 193. Leaves him wide open for me! I’ should be working on Harriet, butr can’t muster much enthusiasm today. Bah! I’ll be poring over these lists today. Such fun! 😀

  6. I’m surprised Ethan was in the same spot…I kind of thought it would lose popularity. Nora and Clara moved up, too. I’d better get moving on making a baby girl before my favorite names become too overused! LOL. I could have predicted the rise of Chloe – and so could all of you , I’m sure. Thanks for sharing, Verity!

  7. Welcome Callum to the U.S. charts! He has just debuted at #976. I knew he’d be here soon.

  8. I was surprised to see Hannah fall so far (from #9 to #17) and Chloe enter the top 10 in her place. Chloe’s really cute, and I guess her top 10 status in England should have tipped me off that she was due here, but she just doesn’t seem like a top 10 name yet.

    Most of my favorite baby names seem to be slowly climbing. Clara gained 21 spots, Eleanor gained 9, Edward 22, Wesley 1. The operative word here is “slowly,” though, so I’m not too concerned.

    Frederick gained 6 spots — could this be a reversal of the decline it has been on since the early 70’s? I’d be happy if so — it’s such a great name.

    Julius lost 4 spots. Since it’s currently our #1 pick for a boys’ name, I’m glad its popularity is evening out a bit.

  9. I have to say my biggest disappointment is the rise Heath took. After being down in the 900s, he’s back up to 716! I can not believe it. I wondered if he would take a slight bump after Heath Ledger’s death, but I can not believe nearly 200 spots! ACK! NOOOOOO.

    Off to explore more, since most of my favorite names aren’t even ranked, it’s fun to explore in general and not stress too much 😉

    1. In four years, Adelaide has gone from 712 (a rather high ranking for a first-year debut) to 515!! I don’t see this one slowing down, either…. As a wise friend put it…it’s the power of Addie.