Top Baby Names 2013: Noah the New Number 1!

baby name Noah

Noah has unseated Jacob to become the new Number 1 name for boys – the first new top boys’ choice of the 21st century.

The boys’ side of the list claims all the hottest news, in a turnaround from the usual pattern in which girls’ names dominate the trend shifts.  Liam leapfrogs up to second place in only his second year on the Top 10, above father name William.  And the boys’ roster includes the only new entrant to the Top 10, longtime favorite Daniel, elbowing aside the trendier Aiden.

The girls’ Top 10 is comparatively stable, with Sophia and Emma maintaining their status of Number 1 and Number 2.  Olivia and Isabella switched places at 3 and 4, while Mia moved up and the traditional Emily and Abigail slid down.

The full Top 1000 baby names list for 2013, is now up on Nameberry here.

The focus on fashion changes for boys’ names with relative stability for girls is evidence of a larger shift in baby name style for both genders.  Boys are less often named for fathers and other family members and more often given names influenced by current styles and culture, while girls’ names are becoming more serious and more deeply rooted in tradition.  The result: Greater gender equality in baby names.

The 2013 US Top 10 baby names, announced exclusively on The Today Show this morning, are:

Noah becomes only the seventh name to EVER make Number 1 for boys, and only the third name at the top of the boys’ list in 60 years.  Michael held the top spot for boys from 1954 until 1999, when Jacob took over.

Noah is the well-known appellation of the popular biblical figure who built the ark and saved the animals – and was also played by Russell Crowe in his own movie this year, which may have influenced the name’s rise to stardom.

Liam, an Irish short form of William, entered the Top 10 for the first time last year.  Liam’s popularity has largely been fueled by actor Liam Neeson, though One Direction’s Liam Payne is making it fashionable with a new generation.

Sophia stands at Number 1 for the third year in a row.  A Greek name meaning wisdom, Sophia’s antecedents include a goddess, a saint, several royals, and a film legend.  The name is also popular via its Latin Sofia spelling.

One pattern evident in this year’s Top 10 is the popularity of names that have both deep roots and a sleek modern feel.  Noah, Liam, Emma, Ava, and Mia all share these appealing qualities.

Both Sophia and Noah appeal to a wide range of parents from different regions of the country, different ethnic groups, a variety of education and economic levels.  That’s what it takes to be the top name!

Noah, which entered the Top 100 in 1996 and the Top 10 only in 2009, is a Hebrew name that means both rest and wandering.   An international star, Noah is also popular in Britain, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands.  In Israel, the unrelated homonym Noa is the Number 1 name for girls, while the also-unrelated Noam is Number 1 for boys.

Daniel, which bumped Aiden, has actually been a frequent visitor to the Top 10 since the 1970s.

Pop culture continues to influence the Top 10 baby names.  Alexander may have hopped one rung up the ladder thanks to its use as a middle name for Britain’s young Prince George.  And Mia, which jumped two places, was the choice of another British royal, Zara Phillips.

Mason, in the spotlight thanks to Kourtney Kardashian’s young son, slipped from Number 2 to fourth place.

New entrants to the Top 100 include, for girls, Sadie, Penelope, Mila, Nora, Paisley, Nicole, and Ruby.  For boys, new names in the Top 100 are Camden, Lincoln, and Jaxson,

Names moving fastest up the list for girls, all jumping onto the Top 1000, are:

Daleyza, which increased over 3000 places to make Number 585.

Marjorie, vintage favorite rose 735 places to make Number 910.

Lennon, Beatles surname rises 700 spots on the girls’ side of the list, to Number 923.

Jurnee, Kree8tiv spelling of a word name rises 571 places to Number 896.

Everly and Everleigh, Everly made the Top 1000 last year and now stands at 383, with Everleigh on for the first time at 865.

Henley.  Another -ley ending name rises to Number 831.

Freya, Ancient Norse goddess name, popular in Britain, on the list for the first time in the US at 908.

Neriah, rises to Number 954.

Oakley.  Yet another -ley ender, up to 928.

Mabel, Gwyneth, India, Saylor, and Ireland are other notable choices that make the 2013 Top 1000 for girls in 2013.

On the boys’ side, names rising the fastest are:

Jayceon, a name trying to have it all and succeeding in many parents’ eyes, rising a whopping 845 places to not only make the Top 1000 but enter at Number 206!

Milan, Starbaby place name vaults up 650 spots to Number 542 for boys.

Atlas, Strong-arms its way onto the Top 1000 at Number 789.

Jayse, Respelling of a name that’s gotten extremely popular as Jace, makes the Top 1000 at 974.

Duke, Royal word name up 429 places to Number 718.

Castiel, rises 418 spots to Number 956.

Zayn, Zane respelling makes the Top 1000 at Number 900.

Thiago, On the Top 1000 last year but now jumping 374 places to Number 485.

Forrest, Hops onto the Top 1000 at Number 841.

Kyrie, Rises to Number 590 for boys.

Other boys’ names making the Top 1000, some of them for the first time, in 2013 are: Lochlan, Azariah, Gannon, Harlan, Anson, Magnus, and Enoch.

Notable are how many unisex choices are on the fastest-rising lists for both girls and boys.  For girls, these include: Lennon, Everly, Henley, Oakley, Dallas, Hunter, Saylor, Sutton, Monroe, Carter, Elliott, Blair, and Blake.

For boys, fast-rising unisex names include Milan, Jayse, Kyrie, Santana, Dilan, Marley, Remy, Oakley, and Niko.

Names that slipped off the Top 1000 in 2013 for girls include: Litzy, Gerladine, Marisa, Taraji, Adley, Jazzlyn, Maritza, Izabelle, Jaqueline, and Abbie.

For boys, names that disappeared from the Top 1000 include several spelling variations of popular names, such as Austyn, Masen, Jaidyn, Jarrett, Brennen, Devan, Karsen, Jaeden, and Donte.

best baby names

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Go here to pay what you want and download the new ebook in formats readable via computer, Kindle, iPad, and other devices — your choice.  Just like the price.  And just like your baby’s name.

Name your price for The Nameberry Guide to the Very Best Baby Names.  Click here to buy and download now. And please tell all your friends about our new book and our promotion!



It’s a tie! We have two winners who came closest to predicting the Top 20 names for 2013, and they are (drum roll!):

Orchid_Lover! and townsend2787

…who will each get a personalized, multi-patterned fabric banner from our store.

They both guessed 19 of the 20 names correctly, and though not in the exact order, they were pretty close (darn that Chloe and Aiden!).

It was a tough year for prognosticating, the main stumbling blocks being Noah and Liam’s surprise jumps into first and second place.  (Hats off also to luluemonmee—the only entrant who predicted Noah at the top!) The vast majority of boy votes went to Mason at Number 1.

Among the girls, Ella, Lily, Chloe and Charlotte were the biggest wannabees not to make it, and for the boys, the aforementioned Aiden, plus Elijah and James.

So congrats to the winners, and thank you all so much for participating!

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38 Responses to “Top Baby Names 2013: Noah the New Number 1!”

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Waverly123 Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 7:50 am

Yay for a new number 1 boys name! Noah is such a nice name, I completely understand how it made it to the top place!
Not at all surprised to see Zayn on the boys top 1000 list – Popular band One Direction has a member named Zayn, this would definitely have increased it’s popularity.
Daleyza jumping 3000 places is really cool! I’ve never even heard of the name!

CsprsSassyHrly Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 8:15 am

I wonder if young Nashville starlet Lennon Stella has anything to do with the name Lennon rising 700 spots on the girls’ side. I know she’s the reason I considered Lennon, and similar sounding Lennox, for a girl.

I’m also glad to see a new number one and even more excited that it was Noah, although I would’ve been fine with Alexander, Liam, Mason and Elijah in the top spot. Anything but Jacob.

I’m glad to see the -aiden trend seems to be dying down with Aiden falling out and Jayden dropping down.

Thank goodness the Kardashian influence over Mason seems to be going away. I’ve loved that name ever since Dead Like Me back in ’03 and was really disappointed when she used it because I knew people would follow her lead after discovering this great name.

larkub101 Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 8:17 am

Jurnee is rising? Good grief.

I agree, it’s refreshing to see Jacob given a break this year.

Sorceress Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 9:06 am

I guess Marjorie is up because of Game of thrones… which lead to conclusion they didn’t get that Margaery’s name isn’t Marjorie…

KateMP91 Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 9:38 am

I can’t believe Jacob was bumped to #3! AND I am so happy to see that Daniel has kicked Aiden off the top 10! YAY!

Giinkies Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 9:57 am

I just saw this on the Yahoo homepage and came here. Noah is a lovely name, I thought for sure Emma would take it for the girls, but Sophia is still perched up top.

LexieM Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 10:04 am

Super psyched to find that most of my favorites are dropping in popularity. (With the exception of two or three – good odds though)! STRIKE!

indiefendi Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 10:14 am

I do not understand why parents like the aden names so much?! The Jaydens, Cadens, etc. I don’t get it.

I love that Lennon is rising in popularity, I think Lennon Stella had something to do with that

I love Everly but not spelled Everleigh *cringe*

I’m shocked that Mila has made it into the top 100 so quickly!

I thought Emma was gonna usurp the crown this year hahahah

Zayn has everything to do with Zayn Malik from One Direction

What is so great about Penelope all of a sudden? I don’t understand the Olivia love either.

I hope in the next couple years the top 10 gets more exotic and interesting it’s the same thing every year!

Knelli Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 10:39 am

Yay for Castiel making it into the top 1000! 🙂

Knelli Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 10:39 am

Yay for Castiel making it into the top 1000! 🙂

Names4real Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 10:54 am

I did a quick combing of spellings and got these for the top ten.





frustratedauthor Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Now that Castiel is officially in the Top 1000, can we get it in the database?

I’m glad to FINALLY see Jacob out of the number 1 spot. It’s a lovely name, but it was time for some new blood. I’m loving that Atlas and Freya made big jumps.

CsprsSassyHrly could be right about Lennon. The first time I ever saw it as a reasonable name for a girl was when I saw it on Lennon Stella.

rosie024 Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Glad to see a few namesI love not in the top 1000!! Some of the names I just don’t get bbeing so popular…Nevaeh, River, Monroe, Elliot and Collins is #1000 for girls. Good grief!

nat108 Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 1:14 pm

It’s quite intriguing to see Kyrie rising for boys! I’m pretty sure most, if not all, of these parents are pronouncing it wrong but I like it that way too. There’s a basketball player named Kyrie Irving ‘kai-ree’ so I’m guessing he’s helping to boost it. The proper pronunciation ‘keer-ee-ay’ is lovely but doesn’t feel like a name

nilecappello Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Love to see changes in the boys’ list!

Llumeneres Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Glad to see Jacob finally off the #1 spot. Noah is great. Also, hooray for Daniel! It’s time something was done about all these -aden names.

Pleased to see Atlas, Freya, Marjorie and Castiel cracking the top 1000.

Some of the kree8tiv spellings, though… Jayceon? Oh, dear.

maggiemary Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Nooooooooooo – not Noah! 🙁

And I can’t believe Neveah is now placed higher than Sarah. What is wrong with people?!

MissyTee29 Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 2:41 pm

This reminds of the preschool class I worked with three years ago where we had 5 Noahs and 1 girl Noa! And I know three born in 2013 so no surprise its popularity has been soaring. In Jewish-American communities I’ve met so many little girl Noas- it seems parents are determined to use it for either gender.

Going to go comb through the whole list and see what else I like!

rollo Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Yes how could parents bear to call their child Nevaeah? It is the worst of the worst in my book.

Nymphalis antiopa Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Juniper is now in the 600’s? What the eff? And I still get weird looks when I say her name is anything other than a top 10er.

JH Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 3:59 pm

My son’s name moved up a bit, but is still in the low 100s. My girl and boy picks for number 2 are even higher…very high 200s and 400s. Woohoo!!

IcedChai Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 4:06 pm

The actress Jurnee Smollett had a lot of work in 2013, I imagine she was the inspiration for the spelling.

jackal Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 4:25 pm

I find it hilarious to imagine all the parents who thought: mmm Jayceon, like Jason but so unique! He’ll probably be the only Jayceon! And it turns out that no, morons are actually quite common. Good job, guys!

SparkleNinja18 Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 4:33 pm

I am so happy to see Jacob out of the top spot! Especially considering he has been up there my entire life (seriously, not joking. I turn 15 next week). Noah is a fine name and I love to see it at number 1!

I agree with LexieM, I would love to see more variation in the top 10 for girls. It seems people are choosing names for their children from the top 10 list! But I would rather Sophia than Nevaeh, gag!

littlewren Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 4:59 pm

My girls’ predictions were 9/10 accurate for Top 10. Not too shabby. They were pretty off beyond that, though.

Marjorie is my grandma’s name, wasn’t expecting it to come back in style just yet. Neat though.

Jayceon leaping from off the list to #206 – you’ve got to be kidding me. Just no.

I was right about the rise of: June, Skye, Everly (whoa!), Milena; and the first appearance of: Aurelia (833), Wren (807), Elliott (g, 904), Liv (927), Ellison (947). Aurelia and Wren, at least, have definitely been bordering on it for a few years.
I was wrong about the rise of: Skyla (trendier than I thought), Sky, Annalee; and the first appearance of: Bentley (g), Lyra, Emmeline, and all the ones less used than Emmeline in 2012: Maren, Honesty, Arden, Clementine, Emme, Zooey, Grayson (g), Sylvie, Annaleigh. (I think some of these still may appear in the next few years, just not yet.)


maggiefromcanada Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Another interesting rising name is Neymar at 646. It went from not making the list to 703 last year and now 646. I can only imagine this is due to Brazilian soccer player Neymar, who plays with FC Barcelona.

I’m shocked that Zoey is now higher than Zoe. It’s nice to see Noah getting some love. It’s a great name!

hermioneameliastyles Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 5:32 pm

I thought Liam became popular because of Liam Payne.

CsprsSassyHrly Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I wonder if Nameberry is going to do another Playground list… Where they take the numerous spellings of names to find out what the real number 1 is. After all, Emma is number 2, but is she still there when Isabella/Isabela/Izabella/Izabela’s or Sophia/Sofia’s are added together?

Pam Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Yes! We are doing another Playground list. And yes! @hermioneameliastyles I think you are right about Liam Payne. Added him! Thanks

R_J Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 8:02 pm

I love this time of year–like Christmas for name nerds!

Keyla Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Jayceon is the rapper The Game’s real name. It’s pronounced Jay- See-Ahn and he has a reality show on Vh1. I doubt anyone named their child that in an attempt to be unique, especially since they all are more than likely aware that it’s the name of a celebrity. Even with The Game’s popularity, I was still surpised at Jayceon’s ascent, mathematically. Some people just hear names, like them, and then use them.

I LOVE Noah and it’s bittersweet to see it at the top spot. I am also pleasantly surprised that more boy names are being thrown into the mix 🙂

Orchid_Lover Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Hypatia made the list for the first time ever…no, not with 5 but with 11! Seems like a nice leap onto the list for an obscure name 🙂 Now, can we get Ismeria listed next year?

skizzo Says:

May 9th, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Ewww at Daniel back in the top10, it needs to go away, and take Michael, Alexander and William with him.

claraminta Says:

May 10th, 2014 at 1:58 am

It’s going to take a Long time getting used to Olivia being higher than Isabella.

Polina Says:

May 10th, 2014 at 8:14 am

Very upset to see Mila so high on the list and Mabel and Freya rising. I’d prefer my favorites to stay uncommon.

Never heard of Daleyza before. I suppose it’s either a modern invented name or a spelling variation? I’d love to learn more about it. Could you please add it to Nameberry database?

jamee29 Says:

May 10th, 2014 at 12:12 pm

I’m surprised by Noah. I thought it’s popularity spiked a few years ago. I do like it though! I’m also glad that Michael moved up a notch. I love Michael! I also like that Ava is still in the top 10 for girls. It has such a classy presence. I’m also thrilled that my favorite girls name isn’t back in the top 1,000! I can’t wait to use it someday!

DrHenry Says:

May 10th, 2014 at 5:40 pm

I like that my son has a uncommon name but at the same time I feel insecure about giving him a “strange” name now…. Considering Edmund didn’t make the top 1000.
How is it that something like Jurnee etc is more popular? Sorry that sounds snotty I know, it’s just a bit boggling. I have yet to sit down and enjoyingly peruse the whole list….

labelo Says:

May 13th, 2014 at 7:35 pm

I was surprised to see Marjorie make the top 1000! It’s one of my favorite names, though I prefer the Margery spelling. It’s been one of my favorite names for quite some time, but my husband thinks it sounds too terribly old-fashioned. Maybe this list will change his opinion 😉

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