The Most Popular Baby Names of 2010

May 5th 2011

The Social Security Administration has released the official rankings of the most popular baby names in America for 2010, The new top 10:

1 Jacob Isabella
2 Ethan Sophia
3 Michael Emma
4 Jayden Olivia
5 William Ava
6 Alexander Emily
7 Noah Abigail
8 Daniel Madison
9 Aiden Chloe
10 Anthony Mia

For convenient reference, I've posted the full list of the top 1000 baby names, with the current rank, number of babies and previous year's rank. I'll be analyzing the data throughout the days to come, here and on Twitter -- follow @BabyNameWizard!


By Kari
May 5, 2011 9:17 AM

I'm surprised Aiden is still rising.

May 5, 2011 9:28 AM

Actually, the number of Aidens fell! Ranks can be deceiving.

By Allison (not verified)
May 5, 2011 9:32 AM

I can't believe Madison is still on there...

By knp
May 5, 2011 9:36 AM

Early! Yay! (but I have SOOO much work to do today...)

By knp
May 5, 2011 9:41 AM

I haven't checked the number of births, but has anyone seen how far Khloe jumped up the rankings?

(Yay, my fave g name isn't on there yet! And my fave b name dropped in ranking!)

By Manda (not verified)
May 5, 2011 9:42 AM

Can't believe I didn't realize Quinn would be such a riser. I was dead wrong on Malia.

May 5, 2011 9:42 AM

Lovely! Thank you for some fun!

By moll
May 5, 2011 9:45 AM

Looks like some names made big jumps in the rankings (Stella, for instance). I was surprised to see Melanie climb a bit, I thought of it as more of an 80s/90s rising name that was now on the decline.
So busy today, but can't wait to look at some of the changes - and see how the ranking changes correspond to the changes in the number of babies born with the name.

By Kari
May 5, 2011 9:45 AM

I'm not surprised with Quinn, because of the popularity of Glee.

By Alison1981 (not verified)
May 5, 2011 9:54 AM

What's with Avery? It's pretty but I don't know what made it so popular. On the Boy side, I noticed Jasper had a big jump. I'm pleased to see some of my favs likes Jonas and Beckett far down on the list. Maybe the Jonas Brothers attention is finally gone. I bet Catherine will get a hit next year b/c of the royal wedding

By Alison1981 (not verified)
May 5, 2011 10:05 AM

What's with Avery? It's pretty but I don't know what made it so popular. On the Boy side, I noticed Jasper had a big jump. I'm pleased to see some of my favs likes Jonas and Beckett far down on the list. Maybe the Jonas Brothers attention is finally gone. I bet Catherine will get a hit next year b/c of the royal wedding

By Erin dotmyiis (not verified)
May 5, 2011 10:35 AM

Can anyone explain this "Maci" phenomenon?? The other spellings didn't move so tremendously!!

By JulieRB (not verified)
May 5, 2011 10:35 AM

Adalyn/Adalynn/Adelynn and Charley/Charley/Charlie (female) made significant jumps. Jaden/Jaiden/Jaidyn/Jadyn (female) all dropped significantly. Can someone please explain the reasons for these fluctuations?

By Maci (not verified)
May 5, 2011 10:41 AM

Maci would be because of Teen Mom's Maci, mother of Bentley.

By Guest lauren (not verified)
May 5, 2011 10:42 AM

Yay it's up! I'm a little sad to see Magdalena fall out of the top 1000.

By Barnacle (not verified)
May 5, 2011 10:49 AM

If I may slip a name advice question in (not good timing with the top 1000 released, I know!):

We have a boy due any day now. We had been planning on calling him Edmond in order to get to the nn Ned, but we are leaning toward going for an old favorite, Eamon, which we think we can still nn Ned since it's the Irish form of Edmond (and, in fact, there is a precedent for this). Our only concern is whether the name Eamon sounds too much like Aidan. Aidan is a fine name but it's so trendy/popular that it oozes trendiness to me. Just wondering if Eamon sounds like part of that whole Aidan phenomenon to you guys or not.

Thanks... and sorry to step into the SSA festivities!

By StellaCoralie (not verified)
May 5, 2011 11:02 AM

I don't think Eamon has the same feel as the -adens at all. It's a good, strong choice. Congratulations!

By Leahbfc (not verified)
May 5, 2011 11:14 AM

I'm pleased that my Dor0thy is still uncommon (though a little surprised it has resisted the old-lady style shift - perhaps too many Golden girls reruns is keeping it out of the top 1000?), still hoping that the J0nas Bros. break up asap so my J0nas doesn't end up traumatized by them, and irritated that my Lillian (which I knew was popular but it was a family name so we used it eyes wide open that it was common) has gone up AGAIN.

May 5, 2011 1:12 PM

Laura, thanks for listing the 2010 Top 1000 rankings along with the 2009 ranks -- very helpful. One of the first names I looked at on the SSA website was Esme, the name of a niece born in 2010. Esme made the Top 1000 in 2010 for the first time! I see that the name came up on your list as having the same rank -- #921 -- in 2009. Shouldn't that be "NA" or something of the sort to indicate it wasn't in the 2009 Top 1000? Were there any other names that made the Top 1000 for the first time in 2010?

May 5, 2011 1:46 PM

Whoa, I just noticed something.

I thought that in most years, the top name-getting boys have far more numbers than the top name-getting girls; i.e. the boys are more likely to have a top name than the girls are.

This year, however, more girls received top-3 names than boys received top-3 names. It switches back out quickly, but is this a real bucking from trend, or am I simply mistaken?

By Kraznar (not verified)
May 5, 2011 1:53 PM

Boring. I want to see the list of unique names.

May 5, 2011 2:11 PM

The most unique names are here:

Start at the bottom of the girls' and boys' lists with names that were given to only 5 babies in 2010. There is a huge list of names in "Beyond the Top 1000". Enjoy!

By Birgitte (not verified)
May 5, 2011 2:25 PM

Shucks! My favorite g name went up 100 places this year (50 last year).

By Salamundi (not verified)
May 5, 2011 3:11 PM

Linnaeus, Isabella was more common than Jacob last year too (I'm not sure about the top three). That was last year's big news :p

By Amy3
May 5, 2011 5:31 PM

Yay! Can't wait to read the other two posts and any analysis that follows. Such a fun time of year!

@Barnacle, I don't lump Eamon in with the -aden names. I like Aidan; it's too bad that sound has grown so outlandishly popular.

By moll
May 5, 2011 5:57 PM

Alison1981: I think Avery's popularity is in part associated with the popularity of Ava, as well as the popularity of first names that can also be surnames
JulieRB: Ad- names have been popular for several years - Adeline, Adelaide, Addison, Addalee. There's also a trend towards.. how to say... already-popular names with the starting consonant removed? Vowels are hot. EG, Madeline/Adeline (yes, I know Adeline is an independent name), Madison/Addison, Kayla/Ayla. Adalyn fits in with that. I also would guess that quite a few new parents already know a little Maddie or two, so Addie might sound fresher, and Adalyn might be a name some parents use to get to the nickname they want.
Barnacle: I don't lump Eamon in with the -aden names at all, maybe a few people would if they didn't know its origin, but that's it. I might associate it with the larger Celtic trend though - Liam, Seamus, Declan, etc. It's a wonderful name, and Ted is a great nickname!

By Kern (not verified)
May 5, 2011 6:42 PM

Barnacle, I think Eamon is totally distinct from Aiden. I don't get Ned as a nickname for it, though, quite...

May 5, 2011 6:54 PM

@Barnacle, I really like Eamon so would be happy to see you use it! I see it differently to the Aiden/Aden names but it may get misheard occaisionally (not a big deal).

By Barnacle (not verified)
May 5, 2011 6:59 PM

Thanks for the feedback on Eamon, everyone! Yeah, there's a way in which Ned is a stretch--the thinking is Eamon = Edmund, and Ned is a nn for Edmund, so we think we can still get away with it. Is that crazy? I figure people often stretch to find nicknames. There actually is a precedent for this one--I found a famous Irish guy from the early 20th c whose name was Eamon but went by Ned.

By Barnacle (not verified)
May 5, 2011 7:08 PM

I've looked into it a bit more, and there does appear to be a healthy history of using Ned as a nickname for Eamon. Probably something that will require explaining, though.

By J.
May 5, 2011 9:16 PM

And the baffling Elijah continues to rise, breaking into the top 20. This name really surprises me. Who knew it would have such sticking power?

May 5, 2011 9:29 PM

Barnacle, I think it's fine to use Ned for Eamon. I wouldn't see the connection straight away either so you will probably have to explain it a bit but I can't see it's a problem. If you prefer Eamon over Edmond then go for the one you like better on the birth certificate as you may find one day that is the name he chooses to go by!

May 5, 2011 10:55 PM

Barnacle-I'm going to go against the grain and just say that I prefer Edmond over Eamon. Both of them sound similar and I do get the Ned nn but just prefer Edmond.

May 5, 2011 11:12 PM

Ok, so have been doing some data crunching of my favourite names and it seems that most of my favourite girls names all have about the same level of popularity (not in top 1000, roughly 100-200 babies per year). The exception is Juliet, which I already knew was becoming more popular and is still rising.

Good news is that Astrid, Cordelia, Clementine and Xanthe are all fairly low down on the list and are either very steady or haven't risen significantly over the past 5 years. I did notice though that Clementine doesn't seem to appear in 2009? Any explanation for this, maybe it's a data error as all the other years there are definitely more than 5 Clementines (2010, 132).

Boys names are a mixed bag. A few of my favourites are in the top 1000, although all fairly low down. A few are going up a bit so if this baby turns out to be a boy I'll relook at the data a bit more closely.

I did find it interesting when searching for numbers that August, Soren, Silas and Vaughn all appeared in the female stats as well. This really proves that parents will use pretty much anything on a girl!

By Allegr@ (not verified)
May 6, 2011 11:56 AM

I also think of it as an 80's name, but I do know of one little Mel@nie (18 mos maybe?) and the recent Movie "Hereafter" had a character by that name as well.

I don't associate the Aidan phenomenon w/ Eamon at all (great name), and the Ned connection seems easily strong enough. I am also an Edmond/Edmund fan, but expect it to rise w/ the Narnia movies.

I would assume that the switch of what you call "top name-getting girls" surpassing "top name-getting boys" is simply a reflection of the trend to give girls more classic, timeless names, and boys more unusual, stylish quirky ones.

May 6, 2011 12:10 PM

Hmm. Puzzled, and a little sad, that my favorite boys' name (I'm due any day now) has jumped about thirty or more slots between '09 and '10.

By KristinW (not verified)
May 6, 2011 12:24 PM

Yes!!! Ruby fell in popularity, and there were 243 fewer Rubys born in 2010 than 2009! Yes! I was so worried it would keep soaring up, but it looks like it's holding steady. Hurray!

By Irish-Mama (not verified)
May 6, 2011 1:08 PM

I absolutely love Eamon. I don't think it sounds very much like Aiden at all. I would personally chose Eamon over Edmond, though my children all have Irish/Gaelic names with Gaelic spellings. I can definitely see an Eamon being called Ned. I really think it would be a good choice especially if you want to avoid nn like Ed or Eddy.

May 6, 2011 1:49 PM


That's the point. It used to be that people would try to give their boys classic names and their girls fresh names. If this is the case, it's a reversion of a previous trend, and very interesting.

May 6, 2011 3:48 PM

I know this has nothing to do with anything but..sometimes I wonder what I will call my children...and I know that all their middle names will be from Greek mythology..and some of their first name too. Anyway I wanted to see what people thought of my choices.. Girls:
Ivy Persephone, Thaleia(pronounced as Thalia)Artemis, and Esme/Naya/Arielle or Briseis(pronounced Bree-say-is)Athena (which of the four do you think is better as first name?)
Boys: Eros Perseus, Emmet Heracles, Aiden Achilles.
Sorry for the inconvenience!

By Nichole (not verified)
May 6, 2011 5:32 PM

This list seems pretty deceiving. Since there are all those Kr8tyv spellings out there, I'd love to see this list grouped by spelling to get a true sense of name popularity. For example, Aiden is ranked #9, Ayden is #79, Aidan (the proper spelling)is #94... and there are more variations of this name (I know two Aidyn's). Grouping them together probably puts this name at #1 or #2 on the popularity list overall.

By Top 10 Name of the 70s (not verified)
May 6, 2011 5:43 PM

This list is such a surprise!
These names are mostly spelled correctly and nice, sensible ones - not the "kre8tiv" monikers I was coming to believe that the US was peopled with.

Not too many nouns or adjectives (Morroccan anyone??) or surnames -just honest-to-goodness first names - that could be given to a President or Supreme Court judge.

Well done - bulk-of-Americans! Maintain the rage against stoopid uneek speling. For the sake of the children...the little children! I beseech you!!

May 6, 2011 9:09 PM

@KristinW - I was also surprised that Ruby hasn't soared as much in the US. Here in Australia it is top 10 now, pretty much everywhere. It may not go quite as high in the US but certainly the UK it is also uber-popular.

May 6, 2011 9:35 PM

Re: The comments on how the gap between greater usage of popular names on boys vs. girls has narrowed or even reversed. I ran the math to see what percentage of babies received a top 10 name for the past three years, and here's the results:

2010: 8.37% of boys, 8.04% of girls
2009: 8.59% of boys, 7.85% of girls
2008: 8.84% of boys, 7.74% of girls

As you can tell, the percentage continues to go down for boys but is going up for girls (remember the overall trend in recent years has been downward).

Another sign of the quest for more creative names leveling off for girls but continuing for boys is that in 2010 there were two "modern" names in the boy's top 10 (Jayden and Aiden) but only one in the girl's (Madison, and that one is on the downhill slope now). Ten years earlier in 2000, the boys had only one in their top 10 (Tyler) while the girls had four (Madison, Ashley, Alexis, and Taylor). (I define "modern" as names which until recently have not had any significant history of usage as first names on the applicable gender; that's why for the 2000 list I consider Alexis "modern" but not Samantha, since the latter does have some usage prior to the 20th century and the former was considered a boy's name prior to modern times.)

Yet another sign is if you take a look at the updated NameVoyager without being narrowed down to a name or even a letter (but by gender) there continues to be an increase in the percentage of boys given a name less common than #1,000 (following the trend of recent years) but for girls between 2009 and 2010 that graph remained essentially flat as far as my eye could tell (it may go slightly one way or the other).

In the upcoming days (once I get my personal blog split up so some political-natured posts are not on the same blog as other discussions, like those about names) I will likely be posting about some insights on these and similar changing patterns.

By mommykish (not verified)
May 7, 2011 7:34 AM

Good Luck Charlie is a show on Disney. Perhaps that had something to do with Charlie's advance. The little girl who plays Charlie IS too cute!

May 7, 2011 3:23 PM

Chimu, I think there's definitely a database error about Clementine. Using the raw data files from the Beyond-the-Top-1000 data, here's Clementine for the past decade:

2009 in fact seemed to be the highest Clementine point.

May 7, 2011 10:09 PM

lucucbratix, thanks for that! yes, I thought it must be an error as it was a weird blip.

By Andre (not verified)
May 8, 2011 9:23 AM

Grouping the spellings together, you get Aiden #1, Jayden #2 and Kaden #5.

By Alexis in Melb (not verified)
May 9, 2011 2:50 AM

Wow! I had no idea, but then I am in Australia! Just for comparison here's the top names in Australia for 2010:



For boys Charlie was the fastest rising name and Cooper continues rising. The girls have pretty much been the same names (though in different orders) throughout the last 5-10 years.

It is funny that my sister-in-law just had twin boys and called them Ethan James and Jayden Riley, which left many family members scratching their heads and saying "...but isn't the proper name Aiden?"

By espie (not verified)
May 9, 2011 12:51 PM

Along the earlier comments re: combining different spellings, if you combine Sophia and Sofia, you have far-and-away more Sophias than Isabellas (26K vs 22K), making it the #1 name.