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Top Baby Names 2019: The Playground Analysis

September 11, 2020 Kelli Brady
top baby names 2019

The Playground Analysis is here, and it’s new and improved! For the first time, I am able to bring you the analysis using all of the names published by the SSA and not just the Top 1000.

What Is The Playground Analysis?

Almost ten years ago now, when the SSA list came out, I felt as though the name at #1 was not truly as popular as the names more frequently heard on the playground. Then it hit me that maybe those kids were named the same name but given different spellings, and therefore were listed as different names on the SSA list. So I started grouping names together based on their sound, and thus the Playground Analysis was born.

This task can be very challenging at times. Not everyone will agree on the pronunciation of a spelling, nor will they agree on whether a spelling belongs to a particular primary name. A common example would be Madelyn versus Madeline. I have heard many people pronounce Madeline like I would pronounce Madelyn, so I tend to group all of these spellings together.

Another challenge is the cultural differences in name pronunciation. The L or double L in Camila/Camilla, for example, could be pronounced with an L sound or a Y sound. If it’s the latter, then alternate spellings like Kamiyah could also be included. However, since I am unsure of the pronunciation, I do not include that spelling with the main group.

I use my best judgment to make the groupings, and that may or may not influence the rankings. But, hopefully, it is done is such a way that we can all enjoy the fun of wondering what is truly the most popular name in the United States.

Without further ado, here are the lists! Names are given in their most popular form, together with their SSA rankings and total combined births, plus all variant spellings given to 50 babies or more.*

Top Girl Names 2019

Sophia remains at the top, just as she was in last year’s Playground Analysis. Taking alternative spellings into account, the difference between Sophia and the SSA #1 Olivia is a little over 1000 births.

When considering the PA Top 50, the largest jumps from the SSA list to the PA list are Adeline (#91 to #10), Kaylee (#114 to #45), Madelyn (#72 to #15), and Aaliyah (#70 to #24).

For those of us who feel as though the -line names are different from the -lyn names, if the variations of #10 Adeline are separated from the variations of Adalynn, Adalynn moves down to #20, while Adeline is pushed down to #86. Likewise, if the variations of #15 Madelyn are separated from the variations of Madeline, Madelyn moves down to #36, while Madeline is pushed down to #95.

1. Sophia (4), 21221 births – Sofia, Sofiya, Sofija

2. Olivia (1), 20197 births – Alivia, Alyvia, Olyvia

3. Amelia (7), 19008 births – Emilia, Emelia, Amilia, Ameliah

4. Emma (2), 17271 births – Ema

5. Ava (3), 15379 births – Avah, Ayva, Ayvah

6. Isabella (5), 15064 births – Izabella, Isabela, Izzabella, Issabella, Ysabella, Izabela

7. Aria (20), 13291 births – Arya, Ariyah, Ariah, Ariya, Aarya, Aryah, Aryia, Aaria, Aariyah

8. Charlotte (6), 13287 births – Charlette

9. Mia (8), 13169 births – Miah, Miya, Miyah

10. Adeline (91), 13161 births – Adalynn, Adalyn, Adelyn, Adaline, Adelynn, Addilyn, Addilynn, Adilene, Adilynn, Addalyn, Addalynn, Addelyn, Adilyn, Adalynne, Adalyne, Adelyne, Addelynn, Adelynne

11. Riley (30), 12327 births – Rylee, Ryleigh, Rylie, Rhylee, Rilee, Ryley, Reilly, Rylei, Rileigh, Rhyleigh, Rhiley

12. Evelyn (10), 12146 births – Evelynn, Evalyn, Evalynn, Evelin, Evelynne

13. Zoey (31), 11224 births – Zoe, Zoie, Zoee

14. Camila (15), 11113 births – Kamila, Camilla, Kamilah, Kamilla

15. Madelyn (72), 10786 births – Madeline, Madilyn, Madeleine, Madelynn, Madilynn, Madalyn, Madalynn, Maddilyn, Madelyne, Maddilynn

16. Layla (23), 10725 births – Laila, Leila, Leyla, Laylah, Lailah, Leilah, Leighla, Laela

17. Harper (9), 10442 births

18. Emily (12), 10026 births – Emely, Emilee, Emilie, Emmalee, Emmaleigh, Emalee

19. Abigail (11), 9612 births – Abbigail, Abigayle, Abigale

20. Elena (60), 9247 births – Alaina, Alayna, Elaina, Alena, Elayna, Aleyna, Aleina, Ellena

21. Chloe (24), 8747 births – Khloe, Khloee, Kloe

22. Avery (18), 8720 births – Averie, Averi, Avarie, Averee, Avary

23. Everly (43), 8623 births – Everleigh, Everlee, Everley, Everlie, Everli

24. Aaliyah (70), 8374 births – Aliyah, Aleah, Alia, Aliya, Aliah, Aleia, Aleyah, Aleigha, Alya, Aleya, Eliyah, Alea, Aaleyah, Aleeyah, Aleiah

25. Scarlett (21), 8335 births – Scarlet, Scarlette, Skarlett

26. Ella (13), 8274 births – Ela

27. Elizabeth (14), 8205 births – Elisabeth

28. Nora (29), 7876 births – Norah

29. Luna (16), 7812 births

30. Madison (26), 7771 births – Maddison, Madisyn, Madyson, Madisson

31. Aubrey (45), 7727 births – Aubree, Aubrie, Aubri, Aubreigh, Aubrei

32. Mila (19), 7711 births – Milah, Mela

33. Eliana (62), 7667 births – Elliana, Elianna, Ellianna, Eliyanah, Elyana, Elyanna, Ellyana, Elianah, Eliyana

34. Lily (34), 7603 births – Lilly, Lillie

35. Isla (57), 7183 births – Ayla, Aila, Ila, Iyla, Aylah, Eila, Aiyla, Iylah, Islah

36. Ariana (69), 7092 births – Arianna, Aryanna, Aryana, Ariyanna, Ariyana

37. Leah (44), 6869 births – Lia, Lea, Liah, Leigha, Liya, Liyah, Lya

38. Eleanor (27), 6804 births – Elinor, Eleanore, Elanor

39. Penelope (22), 6759 births

40. Hannah (32), 6516 births – Hanna, Hana

41. Victoria (25), 6429 births – Viktoria

42. Maya (64), 6360 births – Mya, Maia, Myah, Mayah, Maiya, Maja

43. Lillian (37), 6181 births – Lilian, Lilyann, Lillyann, Lilliann

44. Grace (28), 6089 births

45. Kaylee (114), 5889 births – Kayleigh, Kailey, Kaylie, Keily, Caylee, Kailee, Kaleigh, Kaley, Caleigh, Kayley, Kayli, Kaily, Cayleigh, Keyli, Caeli, Cailey, Kaileigh

46. Natalie (41), 5888 births – Nataly, Nathalie, Nathaly, Natalee, Natali

47. Ellie (35), 5793 births – Elly, Elli, Ellee

48. Paisley (53), 5758 births – Paislee, Paisleigh, Paizlee, Paizley

49. Violet (36), 5729 births – Violette, Violett

50. Brooklyn (52), 5710 births – Brooklynn, Brookelynn

Top Boy Names 2019

Jackson keeps his title for another year with more than 2000 boys given a variation of the name over #2 Liam (which is the SSA #1)! With the Jackson spelling ranked only #17, this seems surprising, but it may not come as a shock considering what you hear on the playground.

Big movers for boys in this Top 50 from the SSA list include Kayden (#97 to #12), Jace (#93 to #47), and Nicholas (#78 to #41).

1. Jackson (17), 22807 births – Jaxon, Jaxson, Jaxxon, Jaxen, Jaxsen, Jaxyn, Jaxsyn, Jaxin

2. Liam (1), 20768 births – Lyam

3. Noah (2), 19167 births – Noa

4. Aiden (20), 16739 births – Ayden, Aidan, Adan, Aden, Aydin, Aydan, Aidyn, Eiden, Aedan, Aaden, Eidan, Aayden, Aiyden, Adin

5. Lucas (8), 14290 births – Lukas

6. Elijah (5), 14115 births – Alijah, Elyjah

7. Oliver (3), 13958 births

8. Grayson (33), 13703 births – Greyson, Graysen, Greysen, Graycen, Gracen

9. William (4), 13564 births

10. James (6), 13132 births

11. Benjamin (7), 13015 births

12. Kayden (97), 12871 births – Kaiden, Kaden, Caden, Cayden, Caiden, Kaidyn, Kaeden, Kadyn, Kaedyn, Kaydon

13. Mason (9), 12162 births – Maison, Mayson, Masen, Masyn

14. Alexander (11), 11854 births – Alexzander, Aleksander

15. Ethan (10), 11645 births – Eithan

16. Mateo (26), 11297 births – Matteo, Matheo

17. Michael (14), 11197 births – Mikael, Micheal, Mikel, Mykel

18. Jacob (13), 11193 births – Jakob, Jaycob

19. Carter (30), 11094 births – Karter

20. Jayden (35), 10980 births – Jaden, Jaiden, Jaydon, Jadon, Jaidyn, Jaeden, Jaydan, Jadyn

21. Henry (12), 10717 births

22. Daniel (15), 10584 births

23. Logan (16), 10534 births

24. Sebastian (18), 10068 births – Sebastien, Sabastian

25. Matthew (23), 9595 births – Mathew

26. Jack (19), 9393 births

27. Owen (21), 9341 births

28. Samuel (22), 9319 births

29. Joseph (24), 9181 births – Josef

30. John (28), 9146 births – Jon

31. Levi (25), 9082 births – Levy

32. Isaac (34), 9009 births – Issac, Isaak, Izaac, Izaak

33. Julian (31), 8937 births – Julien

34. David (27), 8919 births

35. Wyatt (29), 8801 births

36. Luke (32), 8432 births – Luc

37. Josiah (45), 8422 births – Jasiah, Joziah, Jesiah, Jessiah, Jahsiah, Jaziah

38. Caleb (52), 8336 births – Kaleb, Kayleb

39. Dylan (39), 8304 births – Dillon, Dilan, Dillan

40. Theodore (36), 7928 births – Theodor

41. Nicholas (78), 7778 births – Nicolas, Nikolas, Niklaus, Nickolas

42. Lincoln (41), 7740 births – Linkin

43. Gabriel (37), 7704 births

44. Anthony (38), 7695 births

45. Christopher (44), 7606 births – Kristopher, Cristopher, Cristofer

46. Cameron (67), 7603 births – Kameron, Kamryn, Kamron, Camron, Camryn, Camren, Kamren, Kamran

47. Jace (93), 7555 births – Jayce, Jase, Jayse

48. Miles (75), 7494 births – Myles

49. Leo (40), 7486 births

50. Christian (57), 7369 births – Cristian, Kristian, Khristian, Cristhian

Of course, when looking at all of the possible spelling combinations, it’s no wonder that these names jump around so much! Does this reflect what you are hearing in your kids’ classrooms or on the playground?

*NB: All variant spellings given to more than 5 babies are included in the figures above, but we have only listed those with 50 or more births due to length.

About the author

NameFreak!

Kelli Brady is a stay at home mom of two who needed an outlet for her name obsession. She found it at NameFreak!, a blog dedicated to a wide variety of name-related whims and fancies. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Her eBook, Name-alytics, is a look at the history of the Top 100 names in the United States. Check it out at https://gumroad.com/l/name-alytics!

View all of NameFreak!'s articles

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