The most popular baby names 2018 update is here!
The US Social Security Administration has released all of the data for births from January 1st through December 31st of 2017.
What jumps out first?
Most Popular Baby Names 2018: The Top Ten
As I mentioned yesterday, we don’t often see big changes in the Top Ten. But this year proved more exciting than the last few reveals.
- The #1 girls’ name remains unchanged. It’s still Emma! But on the boys’ side? Liam overtook Noah.
- On the girls’ side, Amelia and Evelyn cracked the list, replacing Emily and Harper. I called these two newcomers!
- Meanwhile, for the boys, Ethan left the Top Ten and Oliver entered – just like I guessed.
- But the big surprise? LOGAN! A long-time favorite, Logan rocketed into the US Top Ten at #5. I think that one’s down to Wolverine, or more specifically, the March 2017 release of Logan, starring Hugh Jackman as the box-office dominating member of the X-Men.
Most Popular Baby Names 2018: The Top 100
The Top 100 is ever-changing, and this year was no exception.
- For the girls, I predicted that Everly and Emilia would crack the Top 100, and they did! My long-shot for girls, Nova, also made it, as did Maverick … though I missed on my other boys’ predictions.
- Jameson also had a big rise, to reach #100.
Most Popular Baby Names 2018: The Top 1000
- I’ll do a full analysis in the coming weeks. But a quick glance at my 2018 Trendwatch shows that Caspian entered the rankings at #868; Decker at #995; Kaiser at #929; and Reign at #961 for boys.
- For the girls, Egypt entered at #974; Florence at #980; Marlowe at #981; Octavia at #593 – that might be the hottest debut; and Opal at #859.
Most Popular Baby Names 2018: Pop Culture Influence
- This is one that always requires a deep dive! But a quick glance at my watch list reveals that Nala now ranks at #768!
- The big story is going to be Logan, of course, rocketing into the Top Ten.
Most Popular Baby Names 2018: Random Thoughts
- Jaxx, with the double-x, just made it onto the list at #1000.
- Alaric, a name I watched for years, finally cracked the list at #994!
- More fun debuts or returns: Ledger, Achilles, Brixton, Wells, Alistair, and Gatlin for boys; Luella, Oaklynn, Melania, and Dream for girls.
- Nova, in the girls’ Top 100, is now also in the boys’ Top 1000.
Most Popular Baby Names 2018: Thoughts & Observations
Why do the most popular baby names 2018 matter? One thing always strikes me: if you love baby names, you read about them all the time, and you’ve probably developed good radar for what’s a rising – or fading – name.
But the majority of people first ponder names around the time they start a family. Newcomers to the name game turn to lists – or articles and vlogs and books informed by those lists. And so a name that makes the Top 100, for example, probably attracts their attention, simply because everyone is aware of it. Even media outlets that cover such information only casually will often focus their name coverage on these names.
In fact, it creates a funny loop. First time parents – especially those who don’t yet know many families with young children – will perceive names like Lincoln or Paisley as fresh and new. And they are! No one had those names back in the 1990s, when today’s parents were in kindergarten. Except they’re not, because of course they’re Top 100 picks, well established for children born in recent years.
What strikes me most about this list? As parents search for names, the influence of pop culture is dramatic. Logan’s spike into the US Top Ten is one example. The debut of Dream in the Top 1000 is another good example. In many ways, this is nothing new – we’ve always taken our children’s names from the wider culture. But it’s faster today, with names rising and falling in response to dozens of trends. At the same time, it’s splintered – because there are more sources competing for our attention than ever before.
More on the Most Popular Baby Names 2018 coming over the next few days and weeks! But for now, tell me: did anything jump out at you from today’s new list?
Astrid is the most popular it’s ever been (714). I like to see it getting more love!
Oh my Alessia! From 1,000+ in 2015, then 828 in 2016 and now 625 in 2017…
Where is the complete list for the 2017 names. I see the top ten only. Thanks.
Lisa, scroll down to popular names by birth year. Select 2017, and then use the drop-down menu to change it “Top 1000.”
Sorry there’s no way to direct link to the full list!
C in DC says
Octavia (The 100) and Alaric (Vampire Diaries) are characters on CW programs.
As a whole, with a few exceptions, the top ten list could be a list for Top Ten Colonial America. Everything old becomes new again.
The rise of Ensley and Ensleigh interested me. The ratings for that show may not be what they used to be, but those Teen Mom babies sure do influence name trends!
SO true, Leah!
Wow! Logan did jump high! I didn’t see that coming! Great report, Abby! Keep them coming!
Ezekiel in the top100 with a huge increase
Also, do you know if they release a list of middle names? I would love to see the popularity data on middle names if it’s available anywhere.
Nope, never! I *so* wish they did …
Checked on my favorites first, obviously—Sylvie fell about 40 spots! Shocked but relieved. I really thought that one would start jumping up.
While Logan skyrocketing into #10 is big news, I also think the fall of Michael out of the top ten for the first time since 1942 is big news too!
You’re so right!
Aren’t these 2017 most popular names, which they just happen to release in 2018? Can you clarify? This May Social Security list does NOT include any 2018 data, correct?
Only 2017 data.
I too think it’s confusing to call them top 2018 names when the SSA calls them the top names of 2017 and every other name blog I’ve come across calls them that too. Also, when you look at international baby name stats (like on behindthenamedotcom), this data will be referred to as top names of 2017. And the third point: 1/3 of the babies who will be born in 2018 have already been born and named. The changes in baby name popularity for 2018 –this year’s data –is already taking place.
For me, that includes a grandson born in March and named Oliver, whose name I was pretty sure would show up in the Top 10 for last year — and it did! A close friend is anticipating another grandson in July; his name will be Oliver too. (Both will be known as “Ollie”.)
It *is* confusing to anyone in the know. BUT if you’re searching for the information as a newcomer, a post that reads “Most Popular Baby Names 2017” sounds old – and not likely to be helpful in May 2018. And a post that just reads “Most Popular Baby Names” gets lost with all of the other posts written year after year after year. So in deference to people who are new to all of this, I’ve decided to refer to the updates by the year they’re released. But in content – Name of the Day posts and lists, I do refer to it by the calendar year. Which makes it … more confusing? Less? Not sure …
Correct. The data reflects births between 1/1/2017 and 12/31/2017.
I title things with 2018 mainly because that tends to be the way newcomers search for information. Terms like “popular names 2018” or “baby names 2018” is pretty common. Plus, a few years ago it felt like my predictions and year in review posts didn’t make any sense, because they didn’t all line up with the calendar year. It feels confusing either way, though, doesn’t it?
In content, like Name of the Day posts or lists, I always defer to the year used by the Social Security Administration data. Which, of course, might muddy things even further …