Top Baby Name Trends Of 2016 Show Pop Culture Reigns Supreme

Picking a baby name is basically one of the most emotional choices you are ever going to make as a parent. Sure, there will be other milestones along the way, but your kid's name? That's forever. Everyone has an opinion on the name, and believe me, no one will be shy about sharing their opinion (my mom told me once that my favorite name for a girl was a "cat's name" and I won't tell you what it was so I don't pollute the waters for you). So while the top baby name trends of 2016 might seem like just another end of the year list, it's actually chock full of emotional choices for parents who struggled to come up with that One Perfect Name for their One Perfect Baby. Phew.

Although all of that being said, it seems like a lot of parents were basing their names off pop culture trends, so maybe it wasn't the same gut-wrenching decision for everyone else out there as it was for me (honestly, many, many sleepless nights). According to BabyCenter, loads of parents were into naming their little ones after characters from horror shows like The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, and American Horror Story. Names like Tyreese, Carol, Hershel, Dustin, Joyce, and Iris were all up considerably from 2015. Which means I might soon meet a baby named Joyce, something I never thought I would be able to say.

As a mother of four sons, this trend made me happy; women naming their daughters after some strong female icons. The 2016 presidential election might not have ended up in her favor, but that doesn't mean she won't have a gaggle of babies named after her; the name Hillary was 64 percent more popular in 2016 (by the way, President-elect Trump, you should know the name Donald only rose five percent. So you didn't win everything. Just sayin').

And while her father's name might not be winning any popularity awards, Ivanka Trump's name was trending with parents. Here's hoping her father didn't trademark the unique moniker "Ivanka" or parents could be in trouble.

Naturally, superhero names were popular too; Tony (as in Stark from Iron Man), Banner (Dr. Bruce Banner, the alter ego of The Incredible Hulk), and not surprisingly, Harley (Quinn) were all popular with parents this years as well. Weirdly, no one seemed to name their baby Dr. Strange. And I thought people liked him so much.

None of these names managed to crack the top 10 list of baby names for 2016, though. Although one pop culture character did manage to crack the list; Ned Stark's precocious daughter Arya Stark from Game of Thrones.

Names for girls:

  1. Sophia
  2. Emma
  3. Olivia
  4. Ava
  5. Mia
  6. Isabella
  7. Riley
  8. Arya
  9. Zoe
  10. Charlotte

And the names for the boys:

  1. Jackson
  2. Aiden
  3. Lucas
  4. Liam
  5. Noah
  6. Ethan
  7. Mason
  8. Caden
  9. Oliver
  10. Elijah

So there you have it; while some people appear to be pretty affected by pop culture and the world beyond, others are still sticking with the gold standards. And the world keeps spinning...