Popular first names definitely divide minds: some love them, some find them boring and look for the exotic. Which first names are popular, is not so easy to answer, because the statistics change every year. But some names prove to be perennial favorites.
We examined and summarized a wide variety of databases on first name statistics in the United States. The result is a compelling list of the most popular boys’ and girls’ names. At the moment, short and more traditional names are the most trendy. Noah and Emma top the lists, followed by Liam and Olivia. Of all girls born in the last 10 years, 1.2% were named Emma, and among boys, 1.1% were named Noah. That is really a lot.
It is striking that, historically, boys’ names are subject to less change than girls’ names. James, Michael, and William have been prominent for over 100 years and will probably remain so. Emma, for example, was very popular in the 19th century, rather rare in the 20th, and the name is experiencing a strong resurgence again in the 21st century. Olivia and Sophia were never really popular even until 1990, but rather rarities.
Why a name is in demand and has many name bearers can be due to many reasons, such as trends, famous people and the beautiful sound. One reason is certainly also the meaning, because with it you can give the children a message for life. Sophia, for example, is ‘the wise’, Emma is ‘the great’, Noah stands for ‘rest’ or ‘repose and Liam is a ‘vehement protector’.
Feel free to browse our lists and you will have a helpful tool to find the right name for your child. Choosing a name can be fun and does not have to be nerve-wracking. And if you’re someone who dislikes commonly popular names, this list is great for helping you rule them out.