Biggest Changes in Girl Name Popularity, 2015

Which girl names increased and decreased the most in popularity from 2014 to 2015?

Here are two ways to look at it. The SSA’s way looks at ranking differences and covers the top 1,000 girl names (roughly). My way looks at raw number differences and takes all girl names on the SSA’s list into account.

Biggest Increases

Raw Numbers (all girl names) Rankings (top 1,000 girl names)
  1. Alexa, +1,786 babies (4,243 to 6,029)
  2. Hazel, +1,373 babies (2,897 to 4,270)
  3. Mia, +1,336 babies (13,484 to 14,820)
  4. Charlotte, +1,238 babies (10,094 to 11,332)
  5. Scarlett, +1,106 babies (5,994 to 7,100)
  6. Amelia, +1,025 babies (8,770 to 9,795)
  7. Riley, +925 babies (4,782 to 5,707)
  8. Aurora, +882 babies (2,731 to 3,613)
  9. Adeline, +862 babies (1,529 to 2,391)
  10. Penelope, +843 babies (5,078 to 5,921)
  1. Alaia, +2,012 spots (2,676th to 664th)
  2. Meilani, +1,836 spots (2,786th to 950th)
  3. Aitana, +1,721 spots (2,638th to 917th)
  4. Aislinn, +1,385 spots (2,345th to 960th)
  5. Taya, +1,107 spots (2,089th to 982nd)
  6. Adaline, +1,029 spots (1,393rd to 364th)
  7. Briar, +597 spots (1,441st to 844th)
  8. Zelda, +512 spots (1,159th to 647th)
  9. Adley, +495 spots (1,322nd to 827th)
  10. Lennox, +416 spots (1,156th to 740th)

Hazel, Taya and Adeline were influenced by films: Hazel by The Fault in Our Stars (2014), Taya by American Sniper (2014), and Adaline by The Age of Adaline (2015).

Meilani and Aitana were boosted by celebrity babies. Meilani is the daughter of Jenni “JWoww” Farley, originally of “Jersey Shore” fame, and Aitana is the daughter of Mexican actors Alessandra Rosaldo and Eugenio Derbez. (Both babies were born in 2014.)

Adley was popularized by county singer Adley Stump.

Biggest Decreases

Raw Numbers (all girl names) Rankings (top 1,000 girl names)
  1. Isabella, -1,523 babies (17,027 to 15,504)
  2. Sophia, -1,236 babies (18,563 to 17,327)
  3. Annabelle, -1,093 babies (4,343 to 3,250)
  4. Emily, -895 babies (12,622 to 11,727)
  5. Alexis, -813 babies (4,208 to 3,395)
  6. Arianna, -757 babies (5,255 to 4,498)
  7. Ella, -673 babies (8,525 to 7,852)
  8. Aubree, -649 babies (4,266 to 3,617)
  9. Chloe, -623 babies (8,507 to 7,884)
  10. Natalie, -623 babies (7,089 to 6,466)
  1. Isis, -1,065 spots (705th to 1,770th)
  2. Annabell, -500 spots (935th to 1,435th)
  3. Anabel, -500 spots (908th to 1,408th)
  4. Cindy, -343 spots (712th to 1,055th)
  5. Anabella, -333 spots (531st to 864th)
  6. Aranza, -324 spots (607th to 931st)
  7. Anabelle, -272 spots (464th to 736th)
  8. Sherlyn, -250 spots (891st to 1,141st)
  9. Kiley, -235 spots (661st to 896th)
  10. Danika, -225 spots (785th to 1,010th)

Isis was brought down by the association with the Jihadist militant group, and nearly every single variant of Annabelle was negatively affected by the horror film Annabelle, released in late 2014.

In 2014, the big winners were Olivia and Aranza, and the big losers were Sophia and Miley.

Sources: Change in Popularity from 2014 to 2015, Emma and Noah Once Again Social Security’s Most Popular Baby Names for 2015

U.S. Baby Names 2015: Most Popular Baby Names, Top Debuts: Girl Names, Top Debuts: Boy Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Girl Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Boy Names, First Letter Popularity, Name Length Popularity


10 thoughts on “Biggest Changes in Girl Name Popularity, 2015

  1. I haven’t been able to figure that one out yet. There was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars named Alexa in late 2015, but that was probably too late in the year to have an effect.

  2. Alexa is Amazon’s “personal assistant”, similar to Siri and Cortana. There have been several TV commercials featuring people talking to “Alexa”.

  3. @Becca – I thought about Amazon’s Alexa, but neither Siri nor Cortana saw that degree of increase on the charts when the corresponding virtual assistants came out, so if the Amazon assistant is the cause, then that’s a pretty drastic difference. The explanation could be that Alex- names are more familiar to people, and therefore more likely to be picked up, but…I don’t know. I’m still holding out for an explanation from reality TV or something.

  4. some guesses:

    – Charlotte: Princess Charlotte and maybe Charlotte Clinton
    – Scarlett: Scarlett Johansson (Avengers, Lucy)
    – Riley: Inside Out
    – Aurora: Maleficent
    – Penelope: Kourtney Kardashian’s daughter
    – Briar: Maleficent?
    – Zelda: One of the most famous Video Game characters

  5. Just for fun, here are more of the top raw number increases (#11 to #50):

    11. Adaline, +737
    12. Eleanor, +680
    13. Mila, +665
    14. Harper, +640
    15. Ava, +626
    16. Violet, +607
    17. Stella, +584
    18. Evelyn, +579
    19. Nora, +570
    20. Paisley, +567
    21. Raelynn, +565
    22. Quinn, +530
    23. Skylar, +501
    24. Luna, +460
    25. Aria, +459
    26. Everly, +452
    27. Cora, +422
    28. Addilyn, +401
    29. Willow, +386
    30. Nova, +383
    31. Emery, +371
    32. Ellie, +370
    33. Alaia, +362
    34. Athena, +359
    35. Alice, +344
    36. Adalyn, +337
    37. Kinsley, +323
    38. Thea, +322
    39. Felicity, +279
    40. Amina, +278
    41. Elena, +269
    42. Abigail, +262
    43. Ximena, +259
    44. Leilani, +255
    45. Sawyer, +253
    46. Blake, +247
    47. Piper, +246
    48. Freya, +245
    49. Rose, +240
    50. Jessa, +239

  6. Alaia and Briar were also celebrity babies, Briar is Rachel Bilson’s daughter and Alaia is the daughter of Adamari Lopez, I don’t know if either of them is popular enough to influence that much of a rise but it’s possible. It’s no surprise Isis dropped but all those spellings of Annabel were hit hard, is there a reason for that?

  7. Thanks, Ebony!

    You know, given the cult-ish way people people follow celebrity baby news these days (e.g., People.com’s celebrity baby blog) I wouldn’t doubt that those particular babies were the main influence.

    The best theory so far on Annabelle is the “evil doll” horror movie Annabelle that came out in late 2014.

    Annabelle poster

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *