Top baby names for 2016: old favourites and new additions

Big risers of 2016: Harley (<i>Suicide Squad</i>), Tyreese (<i>Walking Dead</i>), Ivanka Trump, Dustin (<i>Stranger ...
Big risers of 2016: Harley (Suicide Squad), Tyreese (Walking Dead), Ivanka Trump, Dustin (Stranger Things). 

Baby Center has released its highly anticipated list of the most popular baby names of 2016, with Sophia and Jackson taking out the top spots.

While many old favourites appear in the top 10 boys' and girls' names (Emma, Charlotte, Oliver and Noah, to name but a few) 2016 brought some fresh monikers – and several key trends.

The list is based on number of searches, so it will look different to the official database of names registered with the government, which will be released a few months into 2017. 

Parents loved Stranger Things and Walking Dead

The hit Netflix series Stranger Things has certainly inspired parents this year when it comes to naming their kids. Dustin was up 23 per cent from 2015, while the names Mike and Joyce both saw a rise in popularity (up 28 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively).

The moniker Nancy also saw a 46 per cent boost in the charts.

Dustin in Stranger Things

AMC's The Walking Dead, now into its seventh season, also resonated with new parents and parents-to-be. Characters including Tyreese (up 48 per cent), Hershel (up 37 per cent) and Carol (up 18 per cent) all worked as inspiration.


The US election

2016 saw the name Hilary rise 64 per cent, while Ivanka (after Ivanka Trump) also saw a rise in popularity from 2015.

Even the name Donald, after the President Elect, was up 5 per cent.

Celebrity baby names

Luna entered the list this year, coming in at number 100. It follows the birth of Chrissie Teigen and John Legend's daughter, Luna, in April.


Lu and big bro!

A photo posted by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

Other celebrity baby names inspiring parents in 2016 include:

  • Harper (20) – Victoria and David Beckham's daughter Harper was born in 2011
  • Penelope (58) – Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick's second child is Penelope.
  • Wyatt (36) and James (16) both appeared in the top boys' lists. Interestingly, both names were recently given to celebrity baby girls: Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher named their daughter Wyatt, while Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds called their baby girl James.

Inspiration from the dark side

Banner, after Bruce Banner, Hulk's alter ego, climbed 48 per cent from 2015.

Harley (as in Suicide Squad's Harley Quinn) rose a whopping 35 per cent in 2016 following the release of the movie this year. Quinn also rose 5 per cent, while the similar sounding Harleen jumped 13 per cent.

Suicide Squad: Harley Quinn

All things geeky and STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths)

Cloud rose an huge 76 per cent, while Apple, made famous by Gwyneth Paltrow, also rose up the charts: 39 per cent for boys and 32 per cent for girls.

Rocket – the moniker given to Lara Bingle and Sam Worthington's firstborn – jumped 24 per cent.

Elon, after Tesla CEO Elon Musk, also inspired parents this year, as the name is up 41 per cent.

Top girls' names of 2016

1. Sophia
2. Emma
3. Olivia
4. Ava
5. Mia
6. Isabella
7. Riley
8. Aria
9. Zoe
10. Charlotte

Top boys' names of 2016

1. Jackson
2. Aiden
3. Lucas
4. Liam
5. Noah
6. Ethan
7. Mason
8. Caden
9. Oliver
10. Elijah

Names leaping up the list

Girls: Adeline, Camilia, Eliana, Eva, Kinsley, Maria, Peyton

Boys: Ezra, Grayson, Isaiah, Josiah, Levi, Leo, Lincoln, Mateo

New additions to the top 100

Girls: Luna, Melanie

Boys: Kai, Zane

Names no longer in the top 100

Girls: Clara, Isla, Kaitlyn, Taylor

Boys: Blake, Brody, Micah, Zander

Looking for more baby name inspiration? Check out our baby name finder, or see our lists by nation or theme (including musical genre).