Category: Number 1 baby names
The newest name in the Top 10 baby names is the Biblical Elijah, making the top ranks for the very first time. Elijah was the Old Testament prophet who rode to heaven in a chariot of fire. Last year’s newcomer Benjamin rose all the way to Number 6, while Charlotte vaulted to Number 7.
Perhaps the biggest news of 2016 is once-popular Caitlin‘s slide from the Top 1000, along with several of her spelling variations.
The entire Top 10 for girls remained the same, with some shifts in rank. Charlotte moved up the most, 3 places, with Ava, Isabella, and Mia each hopping up one place. Former Number 1 girls’ name Sophia slid to Number 4. Riley and Aria moved into the Top 25 names for girls.
Among baby boy names, Michael surprised the pundits by not only hanging on to his half-century spot in the Top 10 but moving up two places. Alexander left the Top 10 for boys. The 25 most popular boy names feature some surprises too, with Owen and Sebastian rising in the standings.
Classic boys’ names William and James also moved up, while Ethan, Mason, and longtime Number 1 Jacob moved down.
The Top 10 baby names for 2016 in the US, with comparisons to their standings in 2015, are:
A Shakespearean name meaning “olive tree,” Olivia is Number 2 on the official lists for both the U.S. and England. While it’s unfailingly on the Nameberry Top 10, this is Olivia‘s first appearance at the head of the list.
Ezra continues its reign as the Number 1 boys’ name, a position the Biblical name meaning “help” first claimed last year. Ezra barely squeaked onto the official US Top 100 in 2015, but we predict it may take over for Noah at the top of the list within the decade.
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A Nameberry reader recently asked: How long do baby names in the US Top 10 tend to remain in the Top 10?
Good question, we thought, and so with the help of our commando researcher Esmeralda Rocha, we did some investigation.
The short answer: It’s complicated. While girls’ names in the current Top 10 have been there fewer years on average – 12 years versus 14 for the boys – those numbers are skewed by the amazing durability of Emily at 24 years and, even more dramatically, Michael at 72. Take Emily and Michael out of the equation and the balance reverses, with girls’ names staying on top an average of 10 years versus only 7.5 for the boys!
But this doesn’t tell the whole story either, given that classic boys’ names such as William and James have been in the Top 10 for most of the 135-year history of the data, though they dipped out and returned only recently. And on the girls’ side, Elizabeth had been in the Top 10 most of those years, only to slip out in 2014.
Here, a closer look at the popularity durability of all the names of both genders in the current US Top 10.
There was a time when we thought—rightly or wrongly– of regional names in terms of stereotypes—prim and proper appellations in New England, sweetly feminissima Southern belles, Tex-Mex cowboys out west. Now, though, it sometimes seems that baby names have become more and more homogeneous across the United States, but if we really peruse the popularity figures for states’ local baby names we do find some regional differences and state eccentricities.
First, a look at which names were in first place and where they ruled:
Ava—Louisiana, South Dakota
Emma—Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Wyoming