Once popular names like John, Joan, Robert and Helen are nowhere to be found in the top 10 list of most popular names in New York City according to the Department of Health. The results of the 2017 survey places Emma atop the list of girls’ names and lists Liam as the top boys’ name.
Interestingly, the names varied within the five boroughs. In Brooklyn the top boys’ name was David and the top girls’ name was Esther. In Manhattan it was James and Olivia; the Bronx, Liam and Isabella; Staten Island, Michael and Olivia; and Queens helped drive the popular vote for Emma and Liam.
According to the survey there were 117,013 babies born in New York City in 2017. Liam has been the top name for boys since 2016, while Emma rose from third to first place for girls, while Olivia, 2016’s most popular name for girls, fell to second place. The Health Department’s birth certificate records show 571 Emma’s and 734 Liam’s were born in New York City in 2017.
Eight of the top 10 boys’ names and nine of the top 10 girls’ names from 2016 held their place on the 2017 list. Dylan and Michael dropped from the top 10 in 2017, while David and Jayden were added. Jacob moved from second in 2016 to third in 2017, while Noah moved from fourth to second place.
For girls, Olivia fell to second this year, and Emma rose from third in 2016 to first in 2017. Madison was replaced on the list by Abigail for the 10th most popular girls’ name in 2017. Ava remained the sixth most popular name and Sarah stayed at ninth place.
From 2016 to 2017, the number of babies born in New York City decreased 2.8 percent – from 120,367 births to 117,013 (60,102 boys and 56,911 girls).
Celebrity names were influential in 2017, with many parents naming their children after movie stars. Among girls, parents chose Penelope (No. 29), Daisy (No. 102), Margot (No. 115), and Saoirse (No. 140). For boys, names like Ryan (No. 14), Chris (No. 31), Luke (No. 6), and Harrison (No. 98) were popular.
Geographic names are a perennial favorite with places like Austin (No. 57), Hudson (No. 89), Kingston (No. 156), and Princeton (No. 157) making the list for boys. For girls, geographic place names like Charlotte (No. 13), Savannah (No. 63), Catalina (No. 117), and Egypt (No. 123) made the list.
Some parents of baby girls sought inspiration in astronomy and solar phenomena with names like Luna (No. 27), Aurora (No. 82), Nova (No. 101), and Venus (No. 138).
Similarly, names of famous scientists and astronauts were popular for both girls and boys this year. Isaac (No. 28), Ivan (No. 88), Louis (No. 101), and Neil (No. 165) were popular for boys. Rachel (No. 22), Grace (No. 24), Ada (No. 123), and Sally (No. 139) were popular for baby girls in 2017.
And the list also included some rarities with as few as 10 parents naming their daughters Artemis, Tzippy, and Reizy and sons Azriel, Zeus, and Thaddeus.
The top 10 boys’ names are Liam, Noah, Jacob, Ethan, David, Lucas, Matthew, Jayden, Aiden and Daniel. The top 10 girls’ names are Emma, Olivia, Mia, Sophia, Isabella, Ava, Leah, Emily, Sarah and Abigail.