2018 Most Popular Names US

For several years now, I have been putting together the Playground Analysis as a fun way to view the true popularity of names. When you hear a name on the playground, do you know how it is spelled? A lot of people may name their child a name after hearing it and liking it, and decide to spell it as a variant of the traditional spelling.

So, you may hear more “Aiden!” yelled on the playground than “Liam!” and wonder why Liam is ranked #1 on the SSA’s 2018 Popular Names list, well above Aiden. Since the SSA list is done purely by spelling, the Playground Analysis combines the different spellings of names to reveal the true Top 50 most popular names of 2018!

Note: These are the combined spellings of the names in the Top 1000 only. When the numbers from the entire list are added, positions could change. The main name listed below is the spelling given to the most babies in 2018 (SSA Rank is in parentheses). The others are in alphabetical order. Opinions vary on how different spellings are pronounced. Keep in mind that when you hear “Alayna” vs “Elena” on the playground, the sound differences that make the names unique may not be clear. In any case, I went with my best judgment.


Emma still remains on the top of the 2018 SSA list for girls. But while Sophia is #5 on the SSA list, it still remains on the top of the 2018 Playground Analysis. When looking at the PA’s Top 50, the largest jumps that take place after adding the alternative spellings are by Adeline (#78 to #7), Madelyn (#72 to #16), Elena (#66 to #29), Ariana (#68 to #35), Eliana (#83 to #37), and Hailey (#79 to #49). Some variations of names have risen into or fallen out of the SSA Top 1000, and any differences from last year have been noted in the list below.

Birth numbers are another way of showing how this analysis explains what you hear around town. When combining the Top 1000 names in spelling, there were more than 2,000 girls named Sophia and Sofia in 2018 than named Emma. It is also interesting to consider the continuing spread of name popularity, meaning the popular names are being used less than before even though they are ranked the same or even increasing in rank. For example, Zoe went down in usage from 5,129 girls in 2017 to 5,062 girls in 2018 but increased in rank from #41 to #40. In fact, out of the PA’s Top 50, only 12 popular spellings went up in usage: Amelia, Charlotte, Aria (all spellings of Aria went up except Ariah), Harper, Layla, Camila, Mila, Ella, Luna, Eliana, Everly (all spellings went up), and Eleanor.

1.Sophia (5) – Sofia
2.Olivia (2) – Alivia
3.Emma (1)
4.Amelia (8) – Emelia, Emilia
5.Isabella (4) – Isabela, Izabella
6.Ava (3) – Avah
7.Adeline (78) – Adaline, Adalyn, Adalynn, Addilynn, Adelyn, Adelynn (Adilynn dropped from the SSA Top 1000)
8.Mia (7) – Miah
9.Charlotte (6)
10.Aria (19) – Ariah, Ariya, Ariyah, Arya
11.Riley (28) – Rylee, Ryleigh, Rylie
12.Evelyn (10) – Evelynn (Evalynn dropped from the SSA Top 1000)
13.Zoey (19) – Zoe, Zoie
14.Harper (9)
15.Layla (27) – Laila, Lailah, Laylah, Leila, Leyla
16.Madelyn (72) – Madalyn, Madalynn, Madeleine, Madeline, Madelynn, Madilyn, Madilynn
17.Camila (18) – Camilla, Kamila, Kamilah*
18.Abigail (11)
19.Emily (12) – Emely, Emilee
20.Avery (16) – Averi, Averie
21.Elizabeth (13) – Elisabeth
22.Chloe (25) – Khloe
23.Aubrey (36) – Aubree, Aubrie
24.Scarlett (20) – Scarlet, Scarlette
25.Madison (22) – Maddison, Madisyn
26.Mila (14)
27.Ella (15)
28.Lily (31) – Lillie, Lilly
29.Elena (66) – Alaina, Alayna, Elaina
30.Leah (41) – Lea, Leia, Lia
31.Nora (30) – Norah
32.Victoria (21)
33.Luna (23)
34.Grace (24)
35.Ariana (68) – Arianna (Aryanna dropped from the SSA Top 1000)
36.Hannah (33) – Hana, Hanna
37.Eliana (83) – Aliana, Alianna, Elianna, Elliana, Ellianna
38.Penelope (26)
39.Everly (53) – Everlee, Everleigh
40.Maya (61) – Maia, Mya, Myah, (Miya dropped from the SSA Top 1000)
41.Brooklyn (47) – Brooklynn
42.Lillian (34) – Lilian
43.Addison (35) – Addisyn, Addyson
44.Natalie (39) – Nataly, Nathalie
45.Eleanor (32)
46.Paisley (52) – Paislee, Paisleigh
47.Allison (69) – Alison, Alisson*, Allyson, Alyson
48.Anna (54) – Ana
49.Hailey (79) – Hailee, Haley, Haylee, Hayley
50.Sarah (67) – Sara

*New spelling to the SSA Top 1000

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