There’s an important, yet surprisingly overlooked factor when it comes to tracking the most popular baby names: spelling.
Think about it, how many little Jackson’s do you think are running around right now, but they spell it Jaxon, Jaxson, or Jaxxon instead? That’s exactly what the experts at Nameberry have pointed out with their recent Playground Analysis of popular baby names in the US.
The research looked at every single name published by the Social Security Administration for 2019 (the most recent data available while we wait on the rest of 2020’s babies to be born). Their results will definitely make parents think differently about how trendy or unique their choice of name really is for their kiddos.
For example, the SSA lists Jackson as the 17th most popular boy’s name for 2019 — but Nameberry’s account for alternate spellings puts it in the number one slot. The same goes for little ladies, too. The SSA has Sophia ranked as the fourth most frequently picked name for girls in 2019. However, when also considering spellings like Sofia or Sofiya, it turns out to be the top pick.
Take a look to see what the actual most popular baby boy and girl names are, plus some of the alternate spellings:
Top 10 Baby Girl Names
- Sophia (Sofia, Sofiya, Sofija)
- Olivia (Alivia, Alyvia, Olyvia)
- Amelia (Emilia, Emelia, Amilia)
- Emma (Ema)
- Ava (Avah, Ayva, Ayvah)
- Isabella (Izabella, Isabela, Issabella)
- Aria (Arya, Ariyah, Ariah)
- Charlotte (Charlette)
- Mia (Miah, Miya, Miyah)
- Adeline (Adalynn, Adaline, Adilyn)
Top 10 Baby Boy Names
- Jackson (Jaxon, Jaxson, Jaxxon)
- Liam (Lyam)
- Noah (Noa)
- Aiden (Ayden, Aidan, Aden)
- Lucas (Lukas)
- Elijah (Alijah, Elyjah)
- Oliver (no alternates)
- Grayson (Greyson, Graysen, Gracen)
- William (no alternatives)
- James (no alternatives)
Along with shifting the SSA’s rankings around a bit, it’s interesting to see how parents apparently like to get more creative with baby girl name spellings than boys. Nameberry didn’t list any alternatives for Oliver, William, and James, which we guess means they like to stick to tradition with those classic choices.
That said, we wouldn’t be surprised to see an Olyver, Williem, or Jaymes pop up on the list next year!