The Social Security Administration has released the 20 most popular baby names of last year, and the results are … less than original.
The results are near-identical to the 2021 rankings, with only one new name making an appearance. “Olivia,” “Emma” and “Charlotte” are still the top three female names, and “Liam,” “Noah” and “Oliver” maintained their positions in the top male names.
There were no new additions to the top 10 male names, though a few of them switched places in the rankings. And the top 10 female names saw only one new entry: Luna, the Latin word for moon. (Coincidentally, it is also the most popular name for female dogs, per the American Kennel Club.) It bumped Harper, which held the 10th spot last year.
But that lack of change is pretty consistent with the historical data for baby names. Just 10 years ago, Sophia, Emma, Isabella, Olivia and Ava were the top five names for girls, and all five remain on this year’s rankings, just in a different order.
There’s usually one name that has the No. 1 spot on lock for around a decade, Social Security data shows: Jennifer was the top name for girls from 1970 until Jessica overtook it in 1985. Emily reigned supreme among girls’ names from 1996 until 2007. And since 2019, it seems, we’re in the era of Olivia, and we might be for years to come.
There’s even less variation historically among male names: Michael was the top name for boys almost every single year from 1954 to 1998 (David stole the No. 1 spot only once during that time, in 1960).
When it comes to baby naming these days, baby name expert Laura Wattenberg told NPR in 2021 that popularity is a “dominant factor”: “Popular just means well-liked,” she said. “No child’s life was ruined by having a popular name.” So fear not, Olivias and Liams of the world: You may meet others like you, but you’re still one of a kind.
Top 10 baby boy names
Top 10 baby girl names