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The List Is Out! These Are the Most Popular Baby Names of 2016


Over time, certain baby names fade out of style. But according to recent data, 2016 was overwhelmingly the year of reappearing classics from decades past.

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) annual list of popular baby names has been released, with “Emma” and “Noah” coming out on top. Emma is the most popular girl name in the United States for the third year in a row, having first won the title back in 2002. Meanwhile, this is the fourth time Noah has claimed the top spot.

Overall, the 10 most popular names didn’t change that much from last year’s results. For boys, Alexander fell off the list, while Mason and William moved up the rankings. For girls, Charlotte increased in popularity.

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But the noteworthy change comes with the name Elijah, which made it onto the list for the first time ever. We’re guessing this may have to do with some well-known figures in pop culture (think actor Elijah Wood.

It could also be the reason why Liam remains the second most popular name for boys, perhaps after Australian actor Liam Hemsworth, brother of fellow Hollywood star Chris Hemsworth.

The effects of pop culture were also felt with less traditional names, including Kylo for boys, which rose from spot 3,359 in 2015 to 901 last year. If you’re unfamiliar with the name, Kylo Ren was a new character introduced in the 2015 blockbuster hit Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a new film in the Star Wars franchise. The names Creed, Adonis, and Zayn also made major gains in 2016.

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For unconventional girl names, Kaylani, Saoirse, Ophelia, Alessia, and Royalty (which the SSA theorizes could be an homage to 2015 World Series winners the Kansas City Royals) all spiked in popularity.

As for names that decreased in popularity, the results showed Caitlin for girls and Jonael, Aadren, Triston, and Freddy for boys.

The SSA collects baby names from those listed on parents’ applications for social security cards. The organization has been releasing its list of popular names since 1997 but has collected names dating back to 1880.

So, what do you think of the most recent winners and losers? Check out the full top 10 lists below:

Most popular names for girls in 2016:

  1. Emma

  2. Olivia

  3. Ava

  4. Sophia

  5. Isabella

  6. Mia

  7. Charlotte

  8. Abigail

  9. Emily

  10. Harper

Most popular names for boys:

  1. Noah

  2. Liam

  3. William

  4. Mason

  5. James

  6. Benjamin

  7. Jacob

  8. Michael

  9. Elijah

  10. Ethan


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