Least popular baby names of 2014
At long last, the Social Security Administration has released the most popular baby names for 2014. It's no surprise that Noah and Emma occupy the top spots, and it's to be expected that Mason, Jayden and Sophia are ranked high, too. What is fascinating, however, is the group of names that hovers at the bottom of the list... the least popular.
OK, so least popular is a slight exaggeration. What we really mean are those names at the very bottom of the SSA's list. It ranks only the top 1,000 boy and top 1,000 girl monikers — there are no doubt a great many more names that are even less popular that don't even make it onto the charts.
The least popular names by our definition were still used hundreds of times, but that's not much, considering that the year's most popular names were chosen tens of thousands of times: 19,144 boys were named Noah and 20,799 girls were named Emma.
For boys, three names tied for the bottom spot: Leif, the gender-neutral Reagan and Rylen were each given to just 205 babies in 2014. They come in alphabetically on Social Security's list at No. 98, No. 99 and No.100, respectively.
Leif entered the SSA rankings back in 1959 and peaked in 1979. Even then, however, it achieved a chart ranking of just No. 638. It's worth noting, however, that Leif fell off the charts completely in 1988 and did not return until 2014. Will it make a stronger showing in the next few years? Only time will tell.
Like its fellow bottom-dwellers, Reagan represents 0.010 percent of total male births in 2014. For the first 96 years that the SSA reported baby name popularity, Reagan wasn't on the list at all. It entered the charts in 1996, enjoyed its best rank in 2004 (when it was No. 596). But while it wasn't a favorite option for parents of baby boys, it was significantly more popular for girls last year (2,882 parents named their daughters Reagan).
Rylen is a newcomer. It first appeared on the charts in 2011, coming in at No. 851. It fell to No. 952 in 2012 and fell off the charts completely in 2013. It is at the very bottom of the list for 2014.
For girls, the lowest-ranked names were Kaelynn and Kai. Each was given to 262 baby girls last year.
Kaelynn, even when combined with the alternative spelling "Kaelyn," has not been able to get a foothold among U.S. parents. The name first entered the chart in 2009 at No. 963 and went up as high as No. 910 the following year. Don't expect to see this name among the top 1,000 in 2015.
Kai, traditionally, is a baby name bestowed upon sons. In fact, on the SSA chart for boys, Kai enjoys a prominent rank of No. 177. Some parents decided in 2010 to make Kai a unisex name, but the concept has not really taken off. Since that year, it has ranked No. 956, No. 887, No. 916, No. 910 and No. 1,000.
Here is a look at other names that are struggling at the bottom of the SSA's list.
More unpopular baby names for boys
More unpopular names for girls