American Names

The New Top 10 Most Popular Baby Names in America

It’s May 12th, 2023, the last Friday before Mothers’ Day. That means the Social Security Administration has just released its eagerly anticipated list of the most popular baby names in the United States of America! Excepting a COVID-related delay in 2020, SSA traditionally publishes the previous year’s baby name data for the entire country each May, going all the way down to just 5 recorded uses. Now, a name given to 5 babies is incredibly unique the 21st century, considering that the names that rank in the Top 10 (i.e., Emma, James, etc.) are currently given to anywhere between 9,000 and 21,000 babies. Those names, the most popular names in the U.S., are the names we’re going to talk about now.

Here were the Top 10 baby names given to American boys in 2022:

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. Oliver
  4. James
  5. Elijah
  6. William
  7. Henry
  8. Lucas
  9. Benjamin
  10. Theodore

And here are the top 10 baby names given to American girls in 2022:

  1. Olivia
  2. Emma
  3. Charlotte
  4. Amelia
  5. Sophia
  6. Isabella
  7. Ava
  8. Mia
  9. Evelyn
  10. Luna

Luna was the only entry, which meant that there was only one exit. In this case, as predicted, it overtook Harper. Harper now ranks #11 and is likely to continue falling now that it’s evidently past peak.

What kind of surprises are there with the 2022 Top 10? For me, the biggest surprise is just how stable it is. The top 3 names for both boys and girls didn’t move rankings at all. Liam, Noah, and Oliver are still the top 3 boys’ names, and the same goes for Olivia, Emma, and Charlotte on the girls’ side. In fact, for the girls’, the #4 name also remained the same: Amelia. The biggest change positive change within the top 10 (other than Luna’s ascendancy) was Henry rising from #9 to #7. Ava and Benjamin both dropped two spots, giving Isabella, Sophia, and Henry boosts. And James replaced Elijah in the top 4, though it carried that rank several years ago so that isn’t really a big deal.

How did my predictions match up? I was correct that Liam and Olivia would remain the top names, and as I previously mentioned here, I correctly assumed Luna would reach the top 10. I was also right about Harper likely falling out. However, I was wrong about Jack’s possible entry, though; Jack not only didn’t reach the top 10, it fell from #11 to #15. Nothing left the boys’ top 10, which meant nothing could replace it. If Benjamin weren’t such a classic, we could have easily seen Mateo reach the top 10 this year (Mateo and Levi were *so* close). More remote possibilities I eyed (Jackson and Gianna, namely) dropped significantly, so I think their top 10 chances are gone.

And for one final bit of fun, here are a couple of comparison charts showing the top 10 names for the last 5 years. Let’s start with the boys:

Rank2022 Names2021 Names2020 Names2019 Names2018 Names
Data from Social Security Administration

And here are the top 10 girls’ names between 2018 and 2022:

Rank2022 Names2021 Names2020 Names2019 Names2018 Names

Wow, I think the boys’ names have changed more in the last 5 years than the girls’ names…at least at the top!

What do you think? Do you have a child whose name is in the top 10, or maybe are you considering a top 10? Are you worried certain names are getting too popular? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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