Most popular baby names in America
It’s a question expecting parents get on a regular basis: Have they figured out a name yet? Naming a child is a massive responsibility, one that will impact how people see the child throughout the rest of their lives. Some research suggests that a person’s name can influence many different factors in their lives, from their profession to their choice of spouse to whether or not they’re accepted to a particular school (though more recent findings have called into question a few of those conclusions).
To help understand which names dominate today, Stacker looked to data from the Social Security Administration, which ranks names by the number of babies born in 2019.
Some parents stick to family names, some look to classic and timeless names that will never go out of fashion, others favor unique names that may raise a few eyebrows, and some parents even let their children choose. Additionally, various cultures have different naming traditions—for example, parents in the days of early Christianity were encouraged to name their children after early church figures, while in some Jewish cultures, it’s taboo to name your child after a living relative.
Naming trends follow a fascinating path throughout American history. Today, America’s diverse population has led to a wide variety in baby names that reflect historical figures, religious and cultural preferences, and pop culture.
Read on to find out if your name, the names of your children, or other family and friends land on this list of the most popular names in the U.S.
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#50. Hudson (for boys)
- Babies born in 2019: 6,462 (1.2% decrease from 2018)
The name Hudson translates to “son of Hudd,” Hudd being a medieval nickname for both Richard and Hugh. Hudson just barely made the cutoff in the list of America’s top 1,000 names in 1995, but the next year it experienced a massive jump in popularity and has mostly continued its rise over the past couple of decades.
#50. Bella (for girls)
- Babies born in 2019: 4,354 (3.6% decrease from 2018)
The name Bella started to rise to the top of the charts in 2010, thanks to the "Twilight" book and movie series. Its origin is Latin and is a form of the name "Belle,” meaning beauty.
#49. Ezra (for boys)
- Babies born in 2019: 6,489 (8.2% increase from 2018)
The Hebrew name Ezra, translating to “help,” has continued to rise in popularity every year since 2003 and made a considerable jump in popularity from 2018 to 2019. A heroic figure in the Bible, Ezra has also had a place in popular culture over the years, from children’s author Ezra Jack Keats who published “The Snowy Day” in 1962 to Ezra Fitz in the young adult novel series (and consequent hit TV show) “Pretty Little Liars,” which was on the air from 2010 to 2017.
#49. Audrey (for girls)
- Babies born in 2019: 4,430 (5.0% decrease from 2018)
Audrey is a name that has been around since the time of Shakespeare and means "noble strength.” It was originally derived from Saint Audrey, and became more popular because of Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn. It has stayed high on the list ever since the 19th century, but saw a surge in the 2000s.
#48. Joshua (for boys)
#48. Lucy (for girls)
- Babies born in 2019: 4,444 (2.1% increase from 2018)
The name Lucy has been rising in popularity fairly steadily since 1978 when it ranked #588 in America—the name did see quite a bit of love in the first half of the 20th century, but 2019 proved to be Lucy’s peak thus far. The name is engrained in the arts and entertainment world from the classic TV show “I Love Lucy” to the Beatles’ song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." One potential link to the name’s recent climb is actress Lucy Hale from “Pretty Little Liars.” The first year the TV show was on the air in 2010 the name shot up 26 spots in SSA’s ranking.
#47. Thomas (for boys)
- Babies born in 2019: 6,612 (2.5% decrease from 2018)
In Aramaic, Thomas means “twin.” The name has biblical ties, too. In the New Testament, it's Thomas the apostle who doubted the return of Jesus, inspiring the term “doubting Thomas.”
#47. Addison (for girls)
- Babies born in 2019: 4,473 (14.0% decrease from 2018)
Addison is English in origin and translates to mean "Adam,” which in Hebrew means earth. It was mildly popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but it reached its peak in 2007. That is the year that the character Addison Montgomery-Shepherd was introduced in the hit television show "Grey’s Anatomy,” which could be part of why it rose in popularity.
#46. Andrew (for boys)
- Babies born in 2019: 6,757 (6.6% decrease from 2018)
The name Andrew has biblical roots, and means “manly.” It's often shortened to Andy or Drew, both of which also made it to the top 500 names of 2017.
#46. Willow (for girls)
- Babies born in 2019: 4,566 (17.7% increase from 2018)
Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith welcomed their daughter Willow into the world in 2000; that year the name ranked #760 on the list of most popular names for girls in the U.S. By 2002 it reached #504 and has mostly continued to climb as Pink named her daughter Willow in 2011 and actress Willow Shield played Primrose Everdeen in the first film in “The Hunger Games” franchise in 2012.
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