Earlier this year, the Social Security Administration released its list of 2016's most popular names, and recently, the top names by state have gone viral on social media. If you're wondering what the most popular baby names across the United States were last year (or if your child's moniker made the cut), never fear: a lovely state-by-state map is making the rounds online. And it only takes a glance to see that this was totally the year of Emma and Noah. (Don't those two sound like they belong in an adorable indie rom-com together? Can anyone make this happen, please?)
The popularity of those two names isn't exactly unique to 2016, however: Emma and Noah topped charts across the United States in 2015 and in 2014, as well, and the names Liam and Sophia have remained pretty consistent second-place contenders over those same years. In fact, the same top five names have been sticking around consistently since around 2009.
Top 5 Baby Names For Girls
- Emma: Most popular name since 2014
- Olivia: Ranking in at second place three years in a row
- Ava: Gained popularity in 2016
- Sophia: Moved down a spot
- Isabella: Now in fifth place, after two years in the spotlight in 2009 and 2010
If you look at state-by-state popularity, though, you can see that the West Coast is loving Mia, while Harper has become popular in three states. New Hampshire, for some reason, is the only state sticking solidly with the name Charlotte.
Now, onto the boys.
Top 5 Baby Names For Boys
- Noah: Has come a long way since it first entered the top five chart in last place in 2011
- Liam: Holding onto its second place spot for three years now
- William: A top contender since 2009
- Mason: Shot up in popularity in 2011
- James: First year among the top five
If you look at the list of top names by state, you'll also see that Elijah has snuck its way to the top in a few states, and Oliver is building in popularity. There are a couple of places where Benjamin has nabbed the top spot, and apparently many people in Vermont love the name Owen.
Since all we have is census data, there's no way to know if the popularity of celebrities like Emma Watson and Liam Hemsworth have something to do with the uptick in those names — but considering that Emma first entered the top 10 list after Watson was casted as Hermione Granger in 2001, the trend makes sense. Similarly, Charlotte's surge in popularity — it's on track to be the third most popular name in 2017 — also came after Princess Charlotte was born in the United Kingdom.
So far, it looks like Emma and Noah's reign might come to an end this year. According to Nameberry, Olivia and Atticus (another To Kill a Mockingbird reference, to match Harper) have been leading the list for 2017 so far. Other names making their way up the ranks for girls include Khaleesi (a name whose popularity should surprise absolutely zero Game of Thrones fans) and Luna (whose popularity could be due to both the Harry Potter character and Chrissy Teigen's daughter).
Among boys, there's been an increase in 2017 of the number of babies named Bodhi (a name that's shot up in popularity after showing up among celebrities, according to Nameberry) and Harvey (which has been popular in the United Kingdom for a few years now).
Rule the world while you can, Emmas and Noahs — your reign over baby name lists may soon come to an end.
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