Noah, Emma 2015's most popular baby names; Harper, Benjamin join list

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Friday, May 6, 2016

WASHINGTON (WABC) -- The Social Security Administration has released its list of most the popular baby names of 2015, and a few standbys have held their popularity while new stars are slowly rising.

More people in the U.S. named their babies Noah and Emma last year than any other baby name, both repeat champions. Along with no. 2 boy name -- Liam -- they represent the triumph of so-called "raindrop names." The smooth, liquid miniatures are noted as the ideal sounds of the moment.

Most popular girl names:

1. Emma

2. Olivia

3. Sophia

4. Ava

5. Isabella

6. Mia

7. Abigail

8. Emily

9. Charlotte

10. Harper

Most popular boy names:

1. Noah

2. Liam

3. Mason

4. Jacob

5. William

6. Ethan

7. James

8. Alexander

9. Michael

10. Benjamin

The news on the girls' list is the top-10 debut of Harper. In a changing of the surname guard, this new-generation -er name displaces Madison. Harper's rise has been extraordinary. As recently as 2003, it didn't even crack the top 1,000.

On the boys' side, Benjamin makes its first top-10 appearance. Surprisingly, until the 21st Century, this classic had never ranked higher than 29.

Other notable name trends include:

--Fastest rising boys names include Joneal, Matteo, Riaan, Adriel, Kyrie, Killian, Mateo

--Fastest-rising classic names for girls are long, dignified and ladylike: Eleanor, Penelope, Charlotte, Amelia, Violet

--Classic rock on the rise: Hendrix, Lennon and Everly are particularly taking off (Lennon for both girls and boys), and Jagger, Axl and even Vedder coming up too

--The name Isis made an extraordinary plunge, far greater than the decline in the name Adolph during WWII

--Caitlyn fell by 28 percent, quite a large number given that Caitlyn Jenner's announcement came halfway through the year

--It was a hot year for young adult fiction and film. Tobias (Divergent), Hazel, Augustus and even the previously unknown Hazel-Grace (The Fault in Our Stars)

--Literal Hollywood Royalty: The names of Chris Brown's daughter Royalty, Lil' Kim's daughter Royal, and Kourtney Kardashian's son Reign are up a combined 87 percent