Sophia Again Tops Name Charts for Girls, Baby Site Finds

Smiling Baby
(Image credit: NotarYES |

Expect more bouncing-baby Sophias on birth announcements in the near future. This girl's name is topping a major list of baby-name rankings for the fifth year in a row.

Sophia led as the most popular girl's name among users of the pregnancy and parenting website BabyCenter in 2014, while Jackson reigned among boys.

The list is not scientific, nor as comprehensive as the U.S. Social Security database name ranking, which is released every year in the spring. But with more than 400,000 respondents, BabyCenter's list often predicts trends later revealed on the national list. [Sophia's Secret: The 10 Most Popular Baby Names]

"This year's list shows Jackson has staying power and is not a one-hit wonder, and Sophia is arguably the Jennifer of its generation with five consecutive number one spots. It’s clearly entered the baby name hall of fame," Linda Murray, BabyCenter Global editor-in-chief, said in a statement.

Hot monikers

Sophia's top-dog role is no surprise; the name was the most popular listed by the Social Security Administration in 2013, and has been one of the top 10 names for girls since 2006.

Jackson was the 16th-most popular boy name of 2013, according to Social Security data. BabyCenter moms apparently embrace the name even more closely, making it the most popular BabyCenter name two years running. The national frontrunner for boys in 2013, Noah, ranks No. 5 on the BabyCenter list.

Here are the top 10 for each gender.


1. Sophia

2. Emma

3. Olivia

4. Ava

5. Isabella

6. Mia

7. Zoe

8. Lily

9. Emily

10. Madelyn


1. Jackson

2. Aiden

3. Liam

4. Lucas

5. Noah

6. Mason

7. Ethan

8. Caden

9. Jacob

10. Logan

Caden, Logan and Madelyn are all new names on the top 10 list this year. [Compare BabyCenter's names to national trends]

TV trends?

Unlike the Social Security database, BabyCenter combines identical-sounding names with alternate spellings under one heading, so that Sofias count as Sophias. The names belong to babies born to moms registered on BabyCenter in 2014.

The site identified some trends, finding that popular TV names coincide with an uptick in real-life babies with those names — though it's not always clear whether parents are directly influenced by television or whether television writers are just tapping into popular conventions when naming their characters.

Names from the popular shows "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" rose in 2014, with the names Arizona up 35 percent, Callie rising 30 percent and Owen gaining 14 percent. Fitzgerald, the fictional U.S. president on "Scandal," rose an impressive 56 percent, and Huck went up 44 percent in popularity among BabyCenter moms this year.

Characters from the show "Nashville" also made a strong showing, with Luke up 44 percent and Scarlett up 13 percent. The boy's name Gunnar also went up 14 percent, perhaps reflecting the overall rise in gun-related names such as Ruger, Colt and Trigger. Over a 10-year period, gun names have risen in popularity more than 500 percent on average, according to baby name expert Laura Wattenberg.

Even subscription-streaming service Netflix seems to be tuned in to what parents want. Garrett, Claire, Zoe and Remy, all names from the Netflix show "House of Cards," have risen between 11 percent and 16 percent since 2013. Galina, Nicky, Piper, Larry and Dayanara from "Orange is the New Black" may have serious personal problems related to prison, but they can boast popularity — all five names have risen in popularity in the last year among BabyCenter users.

Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

Stephanie Pappas
Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.