Why, where and because of whom is my name popular?

popular names

What are the most popular names for babies in the United States right now? What are parents currently naming their kids, and why? It can be so interesting to see what names make their way into the top 10 lists each year, especially when you consider what made that name popular.

Many parents draw their name inspiration from celebrities, choose biblical names or find a name with a special meaning. Others simply find a name that sounds good and doesn’t belong to someone they hated in high school. Regardless of what your naming style is, getting an idea of what the top baby names are can be very helpful. Plus, it is interesting to see why those names have gained so much popularity and earned those spots on the list.

Maybe you are curious about what the most popular names are to get ideas for your baby’s name, or you want to know what names to avoid if you prefer names that are less common. Either way, check out the names below!

Top 10 Most Popular Boy’s Names

  1. Liam

Liam is currently the number one most popular name for boys in the United States, and it has been in the top 10 for the past few years. The name is of Irish descent, and many speculate that it has risen in popularity because of the large number of Irish people in the United States who wish to give their child a name that represents their ethnicity.

Also, celebrities such as Liam Hemsworth, Liam Payne and Liam Neeson have likely influenced the popularity of the name over the last few years as well.

  1. Noah

The name Noah climbed dramatically in popularity during the 1990’s. Noah is a biblical name from the Old Testament and has risen in popularity along with other biblical names such as Elijah and Abraham. The name contains soft sounds, which is becoming very popular for current boys’ names.  

  1. William

A classic name that has been popular for hundreds of years in the English-speaking world, William takes the number three spot on the list. The name is a popular choice because it is both contemporary and conservative, plus the nickname ‘Will’ is considered stylish, thanks in part to actor Will Smith.

  1. James

James is an extremely popular and well-loved name for a variety of different reasons. The name is found in the bible, it was used by kings in England and Scotland, and it has been used by six U.S. presidents. Additionally, celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker have named their kids James.

  1. Logan

The name Logan has been rising in popularity since the 1970’s and reached the top 5 in 2017 for the first time. One of the biggest reasons that the name is said to have become so popular is due to X-Men’s character Wolverine, also known as Logan in the movies and most of his comic books.

  1. Benjamin

Benjamin is another biblical name that has been popular for decades, but first reached the top 10 in 2015. Celebrities John Travolta and Tom Brady both have sons named Benjamin, which has certainly helped to keep Benjamin a top favorite in the U.S.  

  1. Mason

The name Mason was first created as an occupational surname meaning “worker in stone.” The name received a lot of attention when reality-star Kourtney Kardashian chose it for her son in 2009, and many other celebrities including Melissa Joan Hart have used it as well.

  1. Elijah

You may have noticed already that many of the boy names on this list are biblical, and Elijah is no exception. Elijah was the name of a prophet in the Old Testament, and it is currently a classic yet fashionable choice for many parents. While it was not a popular choice throughout the 20th century, it increased in popularity after Cher used it for her son in 1976.

  1. Oliver:

Oliver has risen in the charts along with its sister name, Olivia, which is in the top 10 names for girl’s list. It received the most attention after the popular book-turned-movie Love Story premiered in 1970, which has a main character named Oliver.

  1. Jacob:

The Twilight phenomenon in the early 2000’s drastically increased the number of baby boy’s named Jacob in the United States. The name was already popular beforehand and held onto the first spot from the years 1999 to 2012.

Top 10 Most Popular Girl’s Names

  1. Emma

Emma has held the spot of number one most popular girls name for four years in a row. The name’s rise to fame is largely thanks to the popular TV series Friends, when Rachel and Ross named their baby Emma. The name also remains popular due to its timeless nature and femininity.

  1. Olivia

Olivia is a Shakespearean name that is popular in many different western countries. It has likely gained increased popularity due to its frequent usage in TV shows, such as Law & Order SVU with main character Olivia Benson.

  1. Ava

Ava is a simple and pretty name that many parents have used for their baby girls in the past decade. After many celebrities named their daughters Ava, including Reese Witherspoon and Josh Gad, the name dramatically rose in popularity.

  1. Isabella

Twilight is also to blame for this popular name because of the lead character Isabella ‘Bella’ Swan. In addition, the name is popular across cultures, so it appeals to parents everywhere.

  1. Sophia

Sophia is a popular name that has been used in many novels and TV shows, including The Walking Dead and Orange is the New Black. Because the name is classic and feminine, it is remained popular for years.

  1. Mia

Mia owes a lot of its success to actress Mia Farrow, popular for her soap opera Peyton Place in the 1960’s. Like Isabella, Mia is a multicultural name that appeals to families all over the world.

  1. Charlotte

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge named their daughter Charlotte in 2015, which helped push this name even further into the spotlight. It has also gained attention from being featured in TV shows such as Revenge and Lost, and the popularity of the nickname ‘Charlie’ has also contributed to its place in the top 10 as well.

  1. Amelia

The name Amelia has been used in many different places and by many different people, including in Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors and even in the Harry Potter books. It is also in the top 10 for a handful of different countries, including Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and more.

  1. Evelyn

This name reached the top 10 for the first time in 2017 after having been fairly unpopular since the 1930’s. It has been used by a handful of celebrities, including Bruce Willis and Carey Mulligan.  

  1. Abigail

Abigail is a biblical name from the Old Testament that is widely considered both vintage and cute. It has been the name of two First Ladies and is has also been popularized in various TV shows and movies over the years. The fun nickname ‘Abby’ has also helped this name stay in the top 10.