Emma and Noah top 2014’s SSA Popular Baby Names list

Emma and Noah top 2014's SSA Popular Baby Names list

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  • How did Liam fare this year?
  • Did George gain any ground?
  • How many Charlottes will share a Princess’s name?

2014’s most popular baby names list is out and the winners seem to be traditional and stoic. But what does that say about naming trends in America?

2014 saw the rise of Emma and Noah as the top baby names. The Social Security Administration noted Liam remained on the list at #2, three slots higher than William. And traditional names for girls are coming back into fashion. Olivia, Sophia, and Isabella rounded out the top 4 for girls. Meanwhile, Mason and Jacob finished the top for boys.

What’s more interesting is the fact Behindthename.com lists the meaning of Emma as”whole” or “universal,” almost a set up to the reigning title entirely. Noah, on the other hand, means “rest” or “comfort.” The trend seems to not just be in ranking, but characteristic as well.

Then again, Olivia was the work of one William Shakespeare, so that pedigree never really gets old, either. Charlotte will surely climb since Duke William and Duchess Kate of Cambridge just named their baby Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Very traditional, British names.

And Wills name is still in the top 5. George, however, seems to be at number 134. It’s upward motion from 158 the previous year. Royal births often make names increase quickly.

The outliers seem to be Mia, Ava, and Madison, which seem to be more modernized.

As for the boys, Mason hit the top 5 for the first time in several decades in 2011. Boys will share the name with Kourtney Kardashian’s son, born in 2009. And Liam knocked Ethan out of the top 5 in 2012. The names are getting stronger. And it looks like the Aiden/Jaden naming trend seems be fading.

The full list is below:


No. Boys Girls
1. Noah Emma
2. Liam Olivia
3. Mason Sophia
4. Jacob Isabella
5. William Ava
6. Ethan Mia
7. Michael Emily
8. Alexander Abigail
9. James Madison
10. Daniel Charlotte


In a moment of community involvement, the Social Security Administration opened up Social Security Matters, a blog delving into American lives and trends that matter to the public. Baby names are definitely a good start.

According to the site, the SSA has been releasing “the most requested baby names, based on requests for Social Security numbers for newborns” with information dating back to the 1880s since 1997. But it’s hard to really know why a name sticks. Some are obvious, like a celebrity, but others /4/be more generational–such as naming a child after a popular relative’s name.

For instance, the 1930s had a boom of Barbara Anns and the named picked back up when the Beach Boys wrote the song. And as a child of the 1980s, the name Jessica was often synonymous with Jennifer as the two names battled the top spot for over two decades. Many Jessicas were named after the Allman Brothers Band song. The generation ended up with Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, and Jessica Simpson hitting Hollywood around the same time. Plus, Jessica Rabbit was pretty popular at the tail end of the war.

And 2013 saw Sophia, Olivia, and Emma taking the top three spots. Perhaps Sophia’s popularity increased after Disney’s Sofia the First aired, exposing the name through brand marketing and increased consumerism. And interestingly, the only Mason and Jacob flipped between 2013 and 2014.

However, Social Security Matters also uses the social media platform to offer information and resources for parents. A social security number is vital to U.S. records and tying the names with the naming increase makes the information more personal without dismissing parental needs.

If seeming a bit too enthusiastic in the writing style, it’s easy to remember this blog has probably taken quite a while to build and the writers and staff are proud of their “new baby.”

So did your name or your child’s name make the list? Comment below and discuss what you think of the top choices.


Sources: Behind the Name, Social Media Matters, SSA

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