The Biggest Changes on the 2016 SSA Baby Names List
Say hello once again to Noah and Emma, who made the top of the baby names list for the third year in a row. The Social Security Administration has released the data on what Americans named their babies in 2016, and at the top, it looks almost exactly the same as last year.
The top 10 names for boys were Noah, Liam, William, Mason, James, Benjamin, Jacob, Michael, Elijah, and Ethan. Elijah is new on the list (it was 11th last year) replacing Alexander (which is now at 11). For girls, the top names were Emma, Olivia, Ava, Sophia, Isabella, Mia, Charlotte, Abigail, Emily, and Harper, which were all on the top 10 for 2015.
The naming picture isn't all the same as last year, though. A look at the list of the top 1000 names reveals where things might be changing. On the girls list, Caitlyn took a nose dive, dropping off the top 1000 list from 598 the year before. Also dropping off the list were Caitlin, Katelynn, Kaitlynn, and Kaelynn, and Kaylin, Kaylynn, Katelyn, and Kaitlyn took significant tumbles.
However, another K name, Kehlani, made the biggest jump in popularity, making its debut on the top 1000 at 872 (from a previous 3359). The name Kaylani also made an impressive debut at 755, up from 1056 (Kehlani is the name of an up=and=coming singer/songwriter.)
A K name made a huge popularity jump in boys names as well. Debuting in the top 1000 at 901 is Kylo, as in Kylo Ren. Other names from the 2015 film The Force Awakens that moved up were Finn and Leia. Anakin was also up 132 places, to 778, the most popular it’s ever been. Another 2015 movie that seems to have made a name impact was Creed: The name debuted at 982, and Apollo moved up 167 places to 584.
Pop stars also had an effect on boys' names. A big boost was seen for Zayn, as in Zayn Malik. It was up 222 places to 421. Zayne, Zain, and Zane also moved up.
The rise of Harry by 101 places to 679 may have something to do with Zayn’s former bandmate Harry Styles, but could also have something to do with a resurgence of older, traditional names, some of which are back in the top 1000 after having disappeared for a while, including Ralph (now at 992), Alistair (at 882), and Howard (at 900).
Some traditional girls' names seem to be making a comeback too. There were big moves up the list for Mavis (789), Maxine (904), and Louise (897), which all rose about 200 places. To make room for them, some later, but once incredibly popular names like Kristen, Jenny, Denise, and Asia have now fallen out of the top 1000. For boys, the same has happened to Freddy, Tyrone, Deshawn, and Todd.