The Top Baby Names of the Year

 

The Social Security Administration's annual list of the top baby names is out, along with the searchable database so you can see where your name rates... and where it rated the year you were born. 

This year's top names:

BOYS

  1. Noah
  2. Liam
  3. William 
  4. Mason 
  5. James

GIRLS

  1. Emma
  2. Olivia
  3. Ava
  4. Sophia
  5. Isabella

You obviously won't see huge changes from year to year, but over time, the popularity of one name or another changes significantly. And you can often guess someone's approximate age based on their name. For example, their are a lot of 30-year-old women named Jessica and Ashley. Those were the top two girls' names in 1986. The top two boys' names were Michael and Christopher.

A couple of observations: 

  • The popularity of the name Caitlyn (and several variations on that name) is way down. Yes, it probably has something to do with Caitlyn Jenner, and it may have nothing to do with people's prejudice about the person who used to be named Bruce. More likely, parents think about the names of their kids and the likelihood of them being hassled for the name. Because Caitlyn Jenner is a controversial figure, it's easy to understand why a parent wouldn't want to saddle a child with that name.
  • Donald continues to drop in popularity, too, but that's been happening for years. And for those keeping score, Hillary dropped out of the Top 1000 eight years earlier.
  • Biggest movers: KYLO is the name of a Star Wars character, and as a baby name, it's jumped up from the 3269th most popular (i.e., not popular) to #901. KEHLANI was an even bigger mover, from #3359 to #872. We're assuming it has to do with the singer?

I wouldn't read too much into why a name is given. It may not be because of some irrational love of a TV character or anyone in particular. I had a friend born in 1967 named Marlo. Her parent heard the name Marlo Thomas and liked it. They weren't obsessed with That Girl, the TV show in which she starred. And Madison came out of nowhere as a name following the movie Splash. Great movie, but most people just liked the name and were not naming their daughter after a mermaid. But there are lots of people named Reagan out there, as well, and they mostly seem to have Republican parents. So there's that.

Mason

Mason

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