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Top baby names, 2006

Check out our predictions for top baby names of 2007.


UPDATE: May 11, 2007

The U. S. Social Security Administration today released its long-awaited data on the top baby names of 2006. The big news is that the most popular baby names for boys and girls from 2005 continue to dominate in 2006.  The top three names for both genders remain completely unchanged, and even remain in the same order.

For both boys and girls, only one name new name appeared in the top ten of 2006 compared to 2005. William moved from # 11 to the # 10 spot, switching places with  Joseph. Sophia jumped from # 11 to # 9, bumping Ashley out of the top ten girls’ list, down to # 12.

Here are the ten most popular boys’ and girls’ names for 2006, with their
2005 rank in parentheses:


Rank Boy's Names Girl's Names
Jacob (1) Emily  (1)
Michael (2) Emma (2)
Joshua (3) Madison (3)
Ethan (5) Isabella (6)
 Matthew (4) Ava (9)
Daniel (7) Abigail (4)
Christopher (9) Olivia (5)
Andrew (6) Hannah (7)
Anthony (8) Sophia (11)
William (11) Samantha (8)


The much-ballyhooed name Aiden, touted by some as the hot new boy’s name for 2006, only managed to move up to number 30, from its number 49 spot in 2005. As predicted on this website, Isabella and Ava both showed improvement in 2006, with Ava jumping from number 9 to number 5.

On the boy’s side, the top 50 names of 2006 showed little change from 2005. Noah jumped from 23 to 15. Landon jumped from 61 to 49, and Gavin climbed from 47 to 38. Logan slipped from 19 to 26, Robert dropped 10 spots from 37 to 47, and Jackson fell from 36 to 44. But overall, the story on boys’ names is how little things changed, at least in the top 50.

For girls, the hot story is the name Addison, rocketing from number 106 in 2005 to 27 in 2006. Addison is certainly a name on its way to the top ranks. It’s worth noting that Addison is a unisex name, and in 2006 the boy’s name Addison improved a little, from 581 to 562. But with Addison now aiming at the top rank for girls, it’s likely that usage of Addison as a boy’s name will start to fade.

The other fast mover for girls’ names is the recent coinage, Nevaeh, which as everyone knows by now is “Heaven” spelled backwards. This modern phenomenon continues is remarkable climb, moving from number 70 in 2005 to 43 in 2006.

Other movement in the girls’ top fifty included Lily moving from 39 to 33, Lillian from 50 to 38, Alexa jumping from 65 to 39, and Gabriella from 61 to 50. Meanwhile, Rachel slipped from 38 to 49. But like the boys’ names, the girls’ results in 2006 speak more of stability than of change.

For names in the top 100, from 50 – 100, there was little to remark on in the boys’ column. Boys’ names, of course, are typically more traditional and stable than girls’ names. On the girls’ side, Valeria moved from 137 to 90, Layla from 143 to 100, and Aubrey zoomed from 152 to 92. Showing noticeable decline were Haley, 54 to 75, and the once hot name from the early 90’s, Megan, dropping from 41 to 60.

Overall, with just a few exceptions, 2006 shows that despite the trend towards unique or made-up names, or ones with odd spellings, parents still put a lot of stock in tried-and-true names. Traditional is in, with biblical names again dominating the top ten boys’ names, and trendy classics like Emily, Emma, and Isabella, dominating the girls’ ranks.



UPDATE: May 1, 2007

It's almost Mother's Day, and in accordance with tradition, the Social Security Administration will release their list of the most popular baby names for 2006 on the Friday before Mother's Day. We can't wait! We think this is the year that Emily will lose its decade-long spot as the number one girl's name, and be replaced by Ava or Isabella. We're also predicting that Jacob will slip from the number one boy's spot, and that Ethan will become the number one boy's name. But it's anybody's guess!

We will be reporting on the new names for you as soon as the news is announced. If you would like to receive the news as soon as we have it, visit our blog right now and subscribe to the blog feed with your Google, Yahoo, MSN, or AOL account. It's quick and easy. If you use Yahoo!, you can also sign up for a Yahoo! Alert, to get notified the minute our blog is updated.

Got some predictions of your own? , and we'll post them on the blog!


At the end of every year, there is a tidal wave of media attention on the subject of the most popular baby names for whichever year has just drawn to a close. Currently, the talk is all about the top 2006 baby names for boys and girls. Several major baby names websites have come out with their analyses, and the media has jumped on the bandwagon and reported some of these rankings as if they were the official top 2006 baby names. However, if you want the real scoop on what Americans named their babies in 2006, you actually have to wait until about May of 2007, when the U.S. Social Security Administration releases its data on the 1000 most popular names for the previous year.

How do these lists of the top 2006 baby names from various websites compare to reality? Of course, they can't be compared to 2006 names until May, but they can be compared to the official list for 2005. One website gave Aiden, Jacob and Ethan as the top three boys' names for 2006. By contrast, the actual results for 2005 were Jacob, Michael and Joshua. Aiden was ranked # 49, according to SSA data. The same list showed the girls' names Emma, Madison, and Ava as their top girls' names for 2006; Emma and Madison were # 2 and 3 in 2005, according to SSA, while Ava was # 9. But curiously, that same list gave Kaitlyn as # 6, while in fact it was # 34 in 2005.

Another website also put Aiden/Aidan/Aden as the number one boy's name for 2006. The name Aden, in fact, was officially # 280 in 2005. The same website had Jaden/Jayden at # 4, while neither of those names made the actual top 50 in 2005. Other odd placements included Addison at # 7 (official 2005 rank, 107) and, strangely, Braden/ Brayden/ Braeden as # 3, (official 2005 rank 132/ 80/ 323). Bailey was their # 7 girl's name, which ranked # 108 with the Social Security Administration in 2005.

The lesson here? It may be better to wait until May of each year, to find out the real top names in the U.S. So we'll wait until May, 2007 to see which really were the Top 2006 Baby Names. But let's have a little fun while we wait. Our prediction, based on tea leaves, the stars, and the lack of snow in New England, is that Emily will lose its decade-long # 1 spot this year, and be replaced by Isabella. And we're predicting that Ethan will knock Jacob off his perch as the # 1 boy's name. If we're right, you heard it here first!

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The top 100 baby names

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