If you’re looking for an affirmation of du jour naming trends like unisex, Netflix, or even Pokemon Go-inspired names, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) 2016 list of most popular baby names shows no confirmation: it remains virtually untouched from the 2015 list.
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Again, for the third year in a row, Noah and Emma took the top spots on the SSA’s list of popular baby names. There were no new additions to the top ten for girls—but Ava and Charlotte did become more popular as Sophia, Isabella, Abigail, and Emily became less popular choices. All girls names except one—Emily—only first appeared on the top ten in the early 2000s. Emily, however, first became popular in the 1990s, first entering the top 10 in 1991. According to Laura Wattenberg, author of The Baby Name Wizard and baby name expert, this is because baby girl names tend to be more affected by fashionable trends than names for boys.
That being said, there was more movement on the boys' list this year with an exciting new addition and a surprising omission: Elijah entered the top 10 for the first time ever, while Alexander slipped off the top 10 after being on the list since 2007 (it peaked at number four in 2009). William, James, Michael, and Benjamin became more popular in 2016, while Mason, Jacob, and Ethan became less popular. Still, many of the names have been on the top 10 list for many decades. Michael has been on the top 10 list since 1943—a remarkable 74 years—making it the most timeless boys' name in the United States. And though William and James have become more popular in the last decade, these names have remained in the top 20 since the early 1900s.
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Take a look at the top 10 girls’ and boys’ names for 2016 below: