Surprises in the 2018 Top Ten Names!

When the new top 1000 name list comes out (usually just before Mother's Day), it's like Christmas for baby name enthusiasts like me! This years' top ten list had quite a few changes! I can't wait to talk with you about them!

So here's the new list!

Did this list surprise you? It surprised me! If it didn't surprise you, let's compare it to the 2016 top ten names list. 

In fact, let's go even further back and look at the top ten lists for the past 4 years.

Actually, lets take it back one more year to 2013.

So what did I find surprising about the 2017 top ten list? Let's start with the boys.

Overall fluctuation- So the girls top ten list tend to fluctuate quite a bit. Traditionally, many people are more willing to give their daughters more trendy names, but choose more classic names for their sons. That means that popular names for girls change more often. However, I think we may be seeing two patterns that are contributing to more fluctuation in boys names. First, I think more people are choosing trendier names for their sons as well as their daughters these days. I think that's the main factor that we're seeing. And second, more classic and old-fashioned names are making a comeback overall.

Liam and Noah- Like I was saying above, the boys list is fluctuating more. Liam even took over the top spot this year! Boys top names usually have more longevity than Noah had. Noah was the the number one boy name from 2013 until 2016, just four years. Jacob was the top name before Noah, and it was number one from 1991 to 2012. That's 13 years. Before Jacob, there was Michael and Michael was number one from 1954 until 1998, with the exception of 1960. That's 43 years!!! Wow! So, the shift in shorter times as the number one boys name, I think, reflects the trend towards choosing trendier names for boys.

Liam and William- So Liam is number one and William, the longer form of Liam, number three. So, that's 18,728 Liams and 14,904 Williams, many of whom will most likely go by Liam. That's a lot of Liams. While it's too popular for me personally to want to consider today, Liam was on my list about ten or twelve years ago. I definitely think its a handsome name!

Logan- Other than seeing Liam as number one, seeing Logan in the top ten was the biggest surprise to me. In 2016, Logan was number 18, and on a downward trend. I was not expecting it to shoot up to number five in 2017! I guess it might not have come as such a surprise if I'd paid more attention to the 2017 box office. I knew that the movie Logan was a big hit, but I didn't go to see it myself, so I underestimated it's potential impact on baby name trends! I grew up with a handful of Logans in the 90's, so when I picture a Logan, I picture someone my age, not a baby. Logan entered the U.S. top 100 in the same year that I was born, 1991 and rose to number thirteen in 2014, and then began a slight decline, before suddenly jumped up to number five! I'm very curious to see what becomes of Logan in the next few years!

Elijah- I was surprised last year when Elijah made into the top ten for the first time and even more surprised this year when it had continued to rise this year. Previously, the number of births for Elijah seemed to indicate a downturn. I guess the numbers don't always add up! I know that a growing number of little Elijahs reflects what I'm seeing in my own social circles (I can easily think of 6 under the age of 7), but that's usually not the best indicator of nationwide trends. I'm also very curious to see what happens to Elijah in next decade or so. I wonder if it has the momentum to make it to the number one spot!

Oliver- I guess I wasn't terribly shocked to see Oliver in the top ten. I knew it was rising and I knew I kept meeting more and more of them! I was more surprised to see so much change to the boys list all at once!

No Michael- This one isn't so surprising. Every name declines in popularity at some point. However Michael leaving the top ten is monumental. Michael has been a constant feature on the boys top ten list since 1943. With Michael being so popular for so long, everyone knows a Michael, probably several Michaels. You probably have an Uncle Mike, don't you? Or it's your dad's name. Or maybe a brother or a cousin. Just a guess. This mega-popularity is probably now adding to its decline. Unless you are using it to honor a specific family member, you have to deal with A LOT of personal and pop culture associations with the name Michael. That being said, using it to honor a family member and its general status as a classic name, will likely keep it in the top 20 for a long time.

Now let's discuss the top ten girls names!

Emma's hanging on!- Like I mentioned before, there's usually a lot more fluctuation in the top girls names than the top boys names, so I'm a little surprised to see Emma hanging on. I was very confident that Olivia was going to take the top spot years ago, but so far I've been wrong. I'm not sure which name will be the next number one. Maybe Amelia? But I'm not sure it will be anytime soon...

Amelia- The classic, old-fashioned sounding Amelia is now more popular than it has ever been. Amelia has been steadily rising in the ranks over the past several years, so it's no surprise that it's now in the top ten. What's surprising is that it's more popular now than in 1880, the first year available on the SSA's website. In 2017, Amelia was number eight and 11,800 little Amelias were born. In 1880, Amelia was number ninety-six and two hundred twenty-one little Amelias were born. The number eight name in 1880 was Alice, and 1,414 of them were born that year. 

Evelyn- Evelyn was the other new name on the top ten list this year. Similar to Amelia, Evelyn is an old-fashioned name that is now more popular than it has ever been! Evelyn did make the top ten one other time in 1915, at number ten.

No Harper- Harper made the top ten for the first time in 2015 and remained at number 10 in 2016. It dipped to number eleven in 2017, which surprised me because I thought it would continue to rise.

Did anything surprise you about the new top ten list? 

Name game! Make a name combo with a top ten name as the first name, paired with an uncommon name in the middle name spot! Let me know your answers in the comments!

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