For some parents, the most difficult challenge of having a newborn is not changing their diapers or rocking them to sleep; it’s naming the damn baby.
Close to a decade ago, Ancestry conducted an independent study that found nearly half of all Americans were named after a family member. But now that parents are going more unique routes in finding a name (hey, research shows that your name can determine your success) the sky’s the limit. Especially now, when celebrity kids are named everything from “Charlie Wolf” (THREE celebrity kids nabbed that one, in fact) to “North,” it seems like even names are dictated by fashion. Still, there’s only one way to tell for sure what the most popular names are in any given year — and after much anticipation, BabyCenter’s annual report on this year’s most popular baby names has officially been released.
For over a decade, the most popular girl’s name has been (and still is) Sophia. On the boy’s list, Liam finally pushed out Jackson after its six consecutive years as the most popular name. According to the Atlantic, these names rank high because they have long vowels and smooth consonants — plenty pleasing to the ear.
Celebrities and royals have a hand in name popularity, too. Most notably, Buzzfeed reports that Keanu (meaning “cool breeze over the mountains” in Hawaiian, natch) Reeves had a huge impact on the baby name charts this year; the name’s popularity increased by a whopping 24%. Plus, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry also set off a ripple effect when they named their son Archie (not Archibald, mind you). The nickname even sparked popularity among other two-syllable, often-nickname monikers such as Cassie, Tori, Izzy, and Ricky. Though all of those kids will probably probably get this a lot: “Is your name short for something?”
And now that ‘90s babies are having babies of their own (yikes), they’re beckoning us back to the days of Clueless and Friends. Brittany — which regularly ranked in the top 10 girl names throughout the ’90s — saw a 33% increase this year, while names like Jonathan, Nicole, Amanda, and Christopher also rose through the ranks.
Then there’s the seven Bachelor couples who had babies this year and chose names like Brooks, Hayes, and Ruth; those also experienced a major uptick. Muhammed, which has always been a popular Arabic boy’s name, made the top 10 list. Aaliyah, an Arabic girl’s name, also scored in the top 10.
The fastest climbing name, though? It’s definitely Isla (pronounced “eye-la” FYI). The name rose from 74 in 2018 all the way up to 36 this year.
2019’s Most Popular Boy Names:
- Liam (the new #1)
- Muhammad (New to the top 10 this year)
2019’s Most Popular Girl Names:
- Sophia (Ranked No. 1 for the 10th consecutive year)
- Aaliyah (New to the top 10 this year)
Even with this new data, don’t let the baby name lists deter you from naming your baby that one wacky name you’ve been dreaming of since you were little.