The Most Popular Baby Names in America for 2014

May 8th 2015

The Social Security Administration has released the official rankings of the most popular baby names in America for 2014. Noah reigns for a second year as the #1 boys' name, while Emma regains the girls' crown for the first time since 2008.

This marks Emma's 12th straight year in the top 3. That's some terrific staying power in an age of fast-changing name trends. It's the bridge name between two styles: the gentle antiques that it first rose to popularity with, like Hannah and Abigail, and today's smooth, miniature "raindrop names" like Mia and Liam. Here's the rest of the new top 10: 

RANK     BOYS   GIRLS  
1  Noah  Emma
2  Liam  Olivia
3  Mason  Sophia 
4  Jacob  Isabella
5  William  Ava
6  Ethan  Mia
7  Michael  Emily
8  Alexander        Abigail
9  James  Madison
10  Daniel  Charlotte

 

Each list features just one new addition. Charlotte makes its top-10 debut on the girl's side, a warm welcome for Britain's new princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. (Though the name Charlotte replaces is none other than Elizabeth!) For boys James replaces Jayden, giving the list a more classic look. James was the #1 name of the 1940s, but this marks its first top-10 ranking in more than two decades.

Check out the full top thousand names, and stay tuned for more name news and analysis including the fastest-rising names of the year.

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Comments

1
May 8, 2015 11:16 AM

Geekery really has gone mainstream: both Khaleesi and Anakin made the top 1000! 

2
May 8, 2015 12:22 PM

Heh, my name actually rose in the rankings. The overall trend is still downwards, though; I guess 'Martha' still doesn't hit that ready-to-be-revived sweet spot.

3
May 8, 2015 12:51 PM

My GGB triplets will be 2 next month, and the girls are Emma and Abigail. Hope they don't hate me when they have to use a last initial in school. :~)

 

 

4
May 8, 2015 2:17 PM

As the mother of a nearly ten year old Wren, I was really surprised to see how it has shot up from last year to this year.  I'm also amazed (and after 10 years of BNW following, I shouldn't be) at how few babies it takes to have a top-1000 name.

5
May 9, 2015 9:09 PM

These lists always drive me nuts because they rank by spelling, not by name.  Sophia is Sofia, Jayden is Jaeden is Jaden (the name is said the same, so it's not an accurate ranking in my mind as to a name's popularity). I would prefer to see this list with alternate spellings lumped together to show the true popularity of a name.

6
May 15, 2015 11:24 PM

@Biscuit, the problem is that grouping names is Really Really Hard. If you're gonna group by pronunciation, whose pronunciation? Are Carolyn and Caroline two different names pronounced differently (/care-oh-lynn/ vs. /care-oh-line/), or different spellings of the same name (there are lots of Carolyns out there who pronounce their name as /care-oh-line/, and vice versa)? How about Lila and Lilah - is one /lee-lah/ and one /lie-lah/, or are they both the same? What about names that are clearly the same name -- say, Martha and Marta -- but are (probably) pronounced differently? I mean, Amabel and Mabel are at heart the same name, but then again, they're about as different as night and day. Where do you draw the line?

All that said, there have been efforts in past years to come up with grouped popularity statistics. Check out namenerds.com for one such site. Note that because it's so much work to group the spellings, they tend to lag behind - they don't yet have the 2014 data, and won't for some time yet.

7
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