When I was pregnant with our first, my husband and I immediate agreed on two names, one for a boy and one for a girl. I wasn’t too concerned about the fact that we couldn’t settle on a middle name until the 9th month, because at least we could call our baby by name before she was in our arms.
Unfortunately, we used up our naming luck with the first. When I was pregnant with my second daughter, we simply could not decide on a name. The poor baby spent her first two days trying on various names, until we chose one that we liked (partially because it had plenty of nick-name options, so we weren’t locked in).
Whether you’re looking for the perfect baby name or just enjoy seeing what’s popular these days, it’s always interesting to see what other people are naming their little bundles of joy. This week, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) released the most popular baby names of 2019 this week, giving you the perfect excuse for a weekend distraction back to a simpler time when you could focus on debating baby names, because you weren’t distracted by a global pandemic.
Liam and Olivia were the most popular names for little boys and girls born in 2019.
The top ten girls’ names, in descending order, were: Olivia, Emma, Ava, Sophia, Isabella, Charlotte, Amelia, Mia, Harper and Evelyn. For boys, the most popular names, in descending order, were: Liam, Noah, Oliver, William, Elijah, James, Benjamin, Lucas, Mason and Ethan.
Each year, the SSA compiles a list of the 1,000 most popular names. Names within the top 1,000 list apply to just over 72% of infants born in the U.S. during a year — a percentage that has been stable for the past 10 years. In addition to releasing the most popular names, the administration also compiles data including the names that have had the most significant changes in popularity.
The boy names that saw the biggest jumps in 2019 were Sekani, Ermias, Amias, Kyro, Ambrose, Aziel, Eliel, Seven, Atreus, Archie. Salem, which saw a big jump among girls as well, was in the 11th spot. The names that saw the biggest drops were Jaxtyn, Brysen, Chad, Bowie, Coen, Imran, Payton, Jaxen, Deshawn and Konnor.
The girl names with the biggest spikes in popularity are Amoura, Theodora, Navy, Emani, Yaritza, Alaia, Alaiya, Oakleigh, Ainhoa and Salem. The girl names that fell the most in popularity were Emmarie, Saniyah, Tatiana, Zhavia, Jayden, Aislinn, Aiyana, Avalyn, Emilee and Avah.
Data from the SSA can be used to see how Americans’ taste in baby names has changed since the 1880s. Then, the most popular names for boys were John, William and James; while girls were most likely to be named Mary, Anna or Emma.
By the 1920s, the top boy names were Robert, John and James. The most popular girls names were Mary, Dorothy and Helen. In the 1950s, James, Michael and Robert were most popular for boys, while Mary, Linda and Patricia were most popular for girls.
By the 1970s, parents were experimenting a bit more: Michael, Christopher and Jason were top picks for baby boys, while Jennifer, Amy and Melissa were popular for girls. The 1980s saw Michael, Christopher and Matthew become popular, and keep their hold through the 1990s.
For girls, Jessica, Jennifer and Amanda were the most popular picks in the 1980s, while Jessica, Ashley and Emily took top place during the 90s.
Next year, we’ll be waiting to see which pandemic-inspired names jump onto the list. In five year you just might be inviting little Corona over to a playdate!