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So what are the biggest baby name trends in 2016 so far? I bet you’re wondering which names are climbing and which are falling. Well, we’ve analyzed the names added to hundreds of thousands of our member’s favorite name lists for the first half of 2016, and here’s what we’ve found. Both Emma and Noah, currently number one for U.S. births are being avoided by parents. Typically if a baby name gets too popular, parents will start to avoid it. According to our ongoing member survey, parents do not want names that are at the top of the charts. They seek more unique baby names for their newborns.

Girl names rising fast:

  • Eleanor – A rising star, Eleanor was one of the names that hit the charts in the U.K. first then made its way over to the U.S.
  • Eliza – A classic contraction of Elizabeth, this name is most associated with the character Eliza Doolittle from the musical “My Fair Lady.”
  • Eloise – A name that has come back into style, possibly influenced by the children’s books of the same name.
  • Eva – An lesser-used alternative to the super-popular baby name, Ava.
  • Felicity – A feminine name, popularized by the television show of the same name starring Keri Russell.
  • Fiona – An Irish baby name best known as the heroine chracter in the animated film series, Shrek.
  • Freya – A norse Goddess name.
  • Grace – A classic name, that hops onto the charts every decade or so.
  • Isabella – The Latin/Spanish/Italian version of the popular name Isabelle.
  • Jane – A classic baby name, once thought of as too “plain” now coming into its own.
  • Luna – A nature name associated with the moon.
  • Mila – A name popularized by actress Mila Kunis.
  • Molly – Originally coined as a nickname for Mary, Molly now stands on its own as a given name.
  • Phoebe – A Greek name, closely associated with the character on the television show “Friends.”
  • Sienna – A color name, popularized by actress Sienna Miller.
  • Rose – Both a color and nature name, Rose is known for being a lead character in the movie “Titanic” and identified with actresses Rose Byrne and Rose McGowan.
  • Zoe – Another Greek name which has come into style, probably due to actresses Zoe Saldana, Zoe Kravitz and YouTube star, Zoe Sugg.

Girl names falling fast:

  • Adalyn
  • Alice
  • Brielle
  • Emily
  • Emma – Since Emma was listed as #1 in U.S. births for girls in 2015, parents have now started to avoid it.
  • Piper – This name most closely associated with the character in the television “Orange is the New Black” has been suddenly falling in popularity.
  • Sophie
  • Victoria

Debuting on the Charts (just hitting the top 100):


Boy names rising fast:

  • Aidan/Aiden – After the huge Aidan/Braden/Caden phase, this name dropped off the top ten. However surprisingly, it’s making a comeback.
  • Carter
  • Ezra – Another name, like Aria, that grew in popularity since the debut of the television show, “Pretty Little Liars.”
  • Finn – Known for the beloved character on the hit television show “Glee.”
  • Grayson/Greyson – One of those surname names that grew in popularity since the novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” was introduced. Although not a name of a character, it evokes identification with the book.
  • Harrison – A popular surname name that may have inspired by the television show “Dexter.” The -son trend followed the Aidan/Braden/Caden trend as the most popular for boys’ names.
  • Hudson – The newest addition to the -son surname trend.
  • Landon
  • Lincoln – After the movie came out, Lincoln surged onto the baby name popularity charts, and has continued to rise quickly.
  • Leo – Although its formal name Leonardo is not yet on the charts, Leo has been climbing fast. Probably due to the popularity of Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio.
  • Nathaniel
  • Nolan
  • Sawyer – A surname name made popular by the character on the television series “Lost.”
  • William – This classic name is coming back due to the wedding, children, and continuous press of England’s Prince William.

Boy names falling fast:

  • Atticus – Only 2-3 years in popularity, this name which is most identified with the character from the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” took a hit when its sequel revealed the character to be racist and unsympathetic.
  • Bennett
  • Isaiah
  • Jace
  • Miles
  • Milo
  • Noah – Currently #1 on the baby names charts for U.S. Birth, parents are now starting to avoid it.
  • Gideon
  • Graham
  • Logan
  • Parker

Debuting on the Charts (just hitting the top 100):


Jennifer Moss (she/her) is the founder of, author of The Baby Names Workbook, and Producer of The Baby Names Podcast. Jennifer is widely regarded as the leading expert on popular baby name trends and the naming process, serving as the authoritative source on the subject for national and international media.

Jennifer entered the tech arena in the 80s as a software developer and database architect, and became a pioneer in the Internet industry. In addition to operating, Jennifer owns a web development agency in central California.