The Most Popular Baby Names Of 2016

With just a couple of weeks to go before the end of the year, BabyCentre have revealed the most popular baby names chosen by new parents in 2016 and they are very traditional, unlike previous years. Olivia secured the top spot for the girls and Oliver for the boys. Although stereotypically traditional names dominated the top 10 for both boys and girls, more unusual names did make the top 100 with names like Harley, Quinn and Thea becoming new entries.

Here are the top ten names for both the boys and girls…


1. Olivia

2. Lily

3. Sophia

4. Emily

5. Amelia

6. Ava

7. Isla

8. Isabella

9. Isabelle

10. Sophie


1. Oliver

2. Muhammed

3. Noah

4. Harry

5. Jack

6. Charlie

7. Jacob

8. George

9. Ethan 

10. Henry

Also this week, trend forcasters released a list of names predicted to be big in 2017, and there’s an out of this world theme to them. Thor Atlas and Zelda are just some of the names tipped to make the top 100 next year. Nameberry co-founder, Pamela Redmond Satran, revealed that she would expect to see more names that defy convention with unique spellings, non-traditional gender identities and names that embody power soar in popularity. These are trends we have seen to some degree recently with Jamie Oliver naming his baby River and Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds calling their baby girl James.

We know celebrities have a reputation for choosing very unusual names for their offspring, but it would appear unconventional baby names are becoming increasingly popular within the general public too.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), popular culture is a key factor influencing baby names, particularly the more unusual ones. Films and TV shows heavily effect a name’s popularity – particularly girl’s names. When Jenna Coleman appeared on Doctor Who as the character of Clara in 2012, the number of babies called Clara rose dramatically, from only 250 babies with the name in 2011 to 605 babies with the name in 2015.

Similarly in 2013 when Margot Robbie appeared as a lead role in The Wolf Of Wall Street, the popularity of the name Margot sky-rocketed – making it the 273rd most popular girl’s name of 2015, up from 1914th place in 1996. 

In 2016, the influence of Game of Thrones is clear, with names like Ayra and Theon rising in popularity.

It’s worth noting that a recent survey revealed that a fifth of parents in the UK regret the name they chose for their child. The survey, carried out by Mumsnet, involving 1,000 parents showed that 18% regretted the name they gave to their offspring. The reason for these regrets were mainly due to how regularly the name was used and issues with spelling and pronunciation.

Want to know how popular YOUR name was the year you were born? Head to TIME Magazine’s website for a tool that tells you how popular your name was the year you were born and what you’d be called if you were born this year.