What are the most popular baby names in the US?
The US Social Security Administration has just released the 2015 data. Let’s start with the most popular names for girls and boys. More analysis coming later today!
The most popular baby names for girls in the US are:
- Emma – 2014 marks the triumphant return of Emma! A Top Ten name since 2002, a literary favorite, and, of course, Ross and Rachel’s baby on Friends, Emma briefly held the #1 spot in 2008. A few readers speculated that Emma would be back. I was a skeptic, but here she is!
- Olivia – Plenty of us thought that Olivia might just take the top spot in 2013. Not quite, but this Shakespearean name did eclipse Sophia to land at #2.
- Sophia – Elegant and timeless, Sophia stays in the Top Five, but slips to #3. Except this name really is much more popular than you might guess. Variant spelling Sofia rose to #12. Combined, Sophia/Sofia is easily far more popular than Emma.
- Isabella – Another former #1 name, the regal Isabella remains a Top Five favorite.
- Ava – With her short, sharp sound and plenty of Hollywood glam, mini name Ava is still going strong. Ava has ranked in the Top Ten every year since 2005.
- Mia – Mia is the third ends-in-ia name to rank in the Top Ten! Is this the age of -ia? Maybe so. Another influence? Like Sophia/Sofia, Isabella, and Emma, it’s popular with Spanish-speaking families.
- Emily – Polite and poetic, Emily is a good girl name that’s ranked in the Top Ten since 1991. Dorothy has more vintage style, and Everly is the new kid on the block, but Emily remains the reigning three-syllable, ends-in-y name for this generation.
- Abigail – An Old Testament favorite with an admirable First Lady and a great meaning – my father is joy. Like Emily, this one isn’t new to the top of the charts.
- Madison – After peaking at #2 in 2001/2002, Madison is starting to fade, sure to replaced by quickly rising surname names like Harper – which just missed the Top Ten, ranking #11 in 2014.
- Charlotte – It’s the Week of Charlotte! First a princess, and now the classic name breaks into the US Top Ten for the first time ever. I’d called Charlotte a future #1 name pre-princess. I’m thinking this could happen even sooner than my initial guess!
Exiting the Girls Top Ten: Elizabeth dropped to #11.
New Most Popular Baby Names for Boys
- Noah – I was positive that Liam would unseat Noah for the #1 place! But nope, Noah held on tight.
- Liam – Liam was the name I had tapped for #1. In some ways, it’s a longshot. The #1 name for boys in the US is almost always a Biblical name. (The sole exception? The Germanic Robert, the top name in the US for most of the 1920s and 30s.) But likable Liam is an Irish form of William, a name that feels classic with a twist, modern but rooted, and stylish without being trendy. It’s a winning combination.
- Mason – Mason was major even before the name was given to the firstborn Kardashian grandchild. Soundalike Jason peaked at #2 in the 1970s. If anything, the reality show family might be discouraging some parents from considering Mason for their sons.
- Jacob – Long-time #1 name Jacob has fallen to #4, but still sees plenty of use.
- William – Classic, regal William has been much in the spotlight over the last few years. He’s the boy who will be king, all grown up and raising a family of his own now. While there are many classic names, William is truly a name that’s never out of style.
- Ethan – Colonial Ethan has cooled in recent years, but remains a favorite for many parents.
- Michael – For the third year in a row, Michael is flat at #7. One thing that has changed over the years? Every Michael used to automatically be called Mikey or Mike. Now, the little Michaels that I know are Michael.
- Alexander – Ancient Alexander has been in the US Top Ten since 2008.
- James – Classic names rise and fall, and while James is more enduring than many, it’s nice to see this name back in the US Top Ten.
- Daniel – We all know the story of Daniel and the lion’s den. But this name doesn’t just owe its popularity to the Biblical tale. Daniel is the boys’ equivalent of Isabella and Mia – very popular with Spanish-speaking families.
Exiting the Boys Top Ten: Jayden, replaced by James. I think that should make some readers very happy!
If you had to use a Top Ten name, what would you use? I’d go with Alexander for a boy. (Oh, wait, I already did!) For a girl, I think Sophia would still win, because it’s a family name for us – even though it’s so very popular. How about you? Or would you automatically drop a name if it made the Top Ten?