The 20 Most (and Least) Popular Baby Names Right Now


The Social Security Administration has provided its annual list of popular baby names. The list is compiled from data on all U.S. births in 2018 and gives stats on the top 1000 baby names of that year. Most commonly used girls’ and boys’ names were chosen by as many as 20,000+ families  — while those at the bottom of the list were selected by less than 300.

We’ve pulled out the top 20 on the list for both sexes, as well as the bottom 20. Of course, there were names less popular than those at the bottom of this list (since all monikers are not included), but it’s still interesting to compare trends.

Picking out the perfect name is something that many parents struggle with when they find out they are pregnant. Some parents have a name picked out for their future children before they even get pregnant, but then decide to change the name at the 11th hour because someone they know (and don’t like) has the same name or because it simply became too popular. Others struggle with the perfect name that fits their child’s yet-to-be-determined personality. And others simply don’t want to choose a name that is super popular so that their children don’t have to go by first name and last initial throughout their entire school careers.

The name your child has is important. Research shows that what you name your child can have an effect on their success or failure in life. Uncommon names, names that are difficult to pronounce, or names that are spelled differently from the common spelling may play a part in how your child is perceived in the world- both as a child and as an adult. Name experts (yes, that’s a thing) state that having a name that has the following characteristics will favor your child as they progress through life. According to an article on Business Insider based on research studies conducted all over the country, there are certain characteristics of a person’s name that might benefit them:

  • An easily pronounced name will be favored more professionally and socially
  • A more common name results in higher hiring rates
  • “White-sounding” names are more likely to get hired- this applies to a full moniker of both first and last name versus just a first name
  • A name with a letter closer to the beginning of the alphabet might get into better schools
  • Using a middle initial makes you appear smarter
  • A noble name might mean a top-tier position in your professional career
  • Women with gender-neutral names might b more successful in tech industries
  • Men with short first names are more likely to have CEO positions

Research has also shown that unfavorable names are associated with different traits, even if those traits are not true of the individual person:

  • Uncommon names often carry a bias of juvenile delinquency
  • A name with a first letter at the end of the alphabet tend to be impulse spenders

If you are trying to find the perfect name for your new baby, you might want to take all of these traits and biases into account. If you are completely stuck on what might be a good name, a good place to check for popularity (and for a slew of ideas) is the Social Security Administration baby name registrar. Here are the top 20 girl and boy names from 2018 as well as the bottom 20 girl and boy names of 2018.

It is important to note that similar names with common spellings are not combined, but are shown separately as they appear in the master list. You can find the full list on the Social Security Administration’s baby name page right here.

Names Are Listed As: Rank out of 1000, name, number of babies born with that name in 2014

The Top 20 Girl Names of 2018

  1. Emma, 18688
  2. Olivia, 17921
  3. Ava,  14924
  4. Isabella, 14464
  5. Sophia,  13928
  6. Charlotte,  12940
  7. Mia,  12642
  8. Amelia,  12301
  9. Madison, 10247
  10. Harper,  10582
  11. Evelyn,  10376
  12. Abigail,  9796
  13. Elizabeth,  8513
  14. Mila,  8162
  15. Ella,  8055
  16. Avery,  8053
  17. Sofia,  7621
  18. Camila,  7473
  19. Aria,  7394
  20. Scarlett,  7182

The Top 20 Boy Names of 2018

  1. Liam,  19837
  2. Noah,  18267
  3. William,  14516
  4. James,  13525
  5. Oliver,  13389
  6. Benjamin,  13381
  7. Elijah,  12886
  8. Lucas,  12585
  9. Mason,  12435
  10. Logan,  12352
  11. Alexander,  11989
  12. Ethan,  11854
  13. Jacob,  11770
  14. Michael,  11620
  15. Daniel,  11173
  16. Henry,  10649
  17. Jackson, 10323
  18. Sebastian,  10054
  19. Aiden,  9979
  20. Matthew,  9925

The Least Common Girl Names of 2018

  1. Micah,  268
  2. Novah,  268
  3. Zora,  268
  4. Ann,  267
  5. Jana,  267
  6. Taliyah,  267
  7. Vada,  265
  8. Giavanna,  264
  9. Ingrid,  264
  10. Valery, 264
  11. Azaria,  263
  12. Emmarie,  263
  13. Esperanza, 263
  14. Kailyn,  262
  15. Aiyana,  261
  16. Keilani, 261
  17. Austyn,  260
  18. Whitley,  260
  19. Elina,  259
  20. Kimora,  259

The Least Common Boy Names of 2014

  1. Torin,  210
  2. Benedict,  209
  3. Bowie,  209
  4. Deangelo,  209
  5. Genesis,  209
  6. Harlem,  208
  7. Kalel,  209
  8. Kylen, 209
  9. Bishop,  208
  10. Immanuel,  208
  11. Lian,  208
  12. Zavier,  208
  13. Archie,  207
  14. Davian,  207
  15. Gus, 207
  16. Kabir, 207
  17. Korbyn,  207
  18. Randall,  207
  19. Benton,  206
  20. Coleman,  206

Naming your child is an important task and it is something that they will, for the most part, carry for their whole lives. Many parents do not realize the repercussions that the name they choose for their child might impact them later on, and that’s why over 5% of parents have namer’s remorse–the regret of naming their child a unique name at birth. Be sure to do your research and find a name that you like as well as one that will serve your child as they get older- they are the ones that have to live with it after all.

Image: Jamie Solorio

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