How popular is the baby name Avery in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Avery and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Avery.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Avery

Number of Babies Named Avery

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Avery

Do Americans Have an Obsession with Nicknames?

A couple of weeks ago, Judith left the following comment on a Five-Name Friday post.

I would love it if you dedicated a blog article to the American obsession with nicknames. Being European this really baffles me. Over here we give our children the name we like best, whether this is a long name (i.e. Michael) or a short one (i.e. Mike). A nickname might pop up in due course but is not something that you force (or even think about) beforehand. If you want your child to be called Ella, why would you name her Eleonora only to shorten it to Ella? Like I said it baffles me and I would love to know the background of this phenomenon.

Such an interesting question!

There’s certainly a difference between Americans and Europeans when it comes up nickname usage. You can see it comparing the top names in the U.S. with the top names in England — boy names especially. The English top 20 includes many more informal names (Jack, Harry, Charlie, Alfie, Freddie, Archie) than the U.S. top 20.

Seems to me that both regions are concerned with nicknames, but handle them in very different ways. Europeans are reasonably comfortable putting nicknames on birth certificates, while Americans are not as comfortable turning nicknames into legal names.

So what’s behind these diverging trends? I’m not sure that there’s a single answer, but here are a few theories. (Please excuse me ahead of time for making sweeping generalizations about Americans and Europeans.)

Formality differences
Europeans tend to be more relaxed than Americans, both in terms of daily life/habits and in terms of viewpoints. Maybe this informality leads them to prefer the informal names. (Or at least doesn’t make them feel obligated to use formal names.)

Work attitude differences
Americans tend to be more career-focused than Europeans. Perhaps this outlook makes them feel that it’s smart to have a formal name to fall back on for future professional use — that having a nickname-only name could be limiting.

Class differences
This theory, which is somewhat like the work attitude theory, comes from an Encyclopedia Britannica* blogger and concerns the U.S. and the UK specifically:

Perhaps the difference has to do with class. Americans may shy away from bestowing diminutives upon their children because they suspect that such “cutesy” names will prevent their children from climbing the ranks and becoming CEOs. In the more-rigid class system of the U.K., on the other hand, some parents might believe that that sort of advancement is so unlikely that it’s not worth letting it affect their choice of a name. So Charlie it is.

Gender-switch differences (pertains to boy names only)
In America, many formerly male/unisex names with “-ee” endings (e.g., Ashley, Avery, Bailey, Ellery, Riley) have turned into girl names. This might make Americans more hesitant to permanently attach diminutives with similar endings to baby boys.

Which (if any) of these theories do you think makes the most sense? What others can you think of?

Source: How to Tell a British Baby from an American: Differences in Naming Trends, Judith’s comment

*Did you know about the New York woman named Encyclopedia Britannica?

Popular Baby Names in Alberta, 2015

According to data from the government of Alberta, the most popular baby names in the province in 2015 were Olivia and Liam.

Here are Alberta’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Olivia, 294 baby girls
2. Emma, 275
3. Emily, 252
4. Sophia, 205
5. Ava, 201
6. Chloe, 179
7. Ella, 167 [tie]
7. Abigail, 167 [tie]
9. Avery, 155
10. Amelia, 142
1. Liam, 301 baby boys
2. Noah, 256
3. Ethan, 233
4. Benjamin, 221
5. Lucas, 218
6. William, 217
7. Oliver, 209
8. Mason, 203
9. Logan, 196
10. Alexander, 193

In the girls’ top 10, Chloe, Avery, and Amelia replace Isabella, Charlotte, and Hannah.

In the boys’ top 10, Mason and Alexander replace Jacob and Carter.

Baby names that were bestowed only once last year include…

Unusual Girl Names Unusual Boy Names
Alastrine, Anarchy, Annayancy, Archa, Black-Feather, Breitling, Christivie, Costandina, Daylight, Drolma, Eallaf, Ehhuphoe, Esquire, Everra, Frozenda, Heledana, Isabeau, Jupiter, Kah, Loklyee-Snow, Lúthien, Mercyfavor, Mixx, Mornin-Starr, Mraeven, Nations, Nelanora, Obsolete, Oromia, Ovee, Patvabelle, Pluriana-Bella, Razbee, Reznor, SaQueira, Soda, Starlight, Sparrows, Surrender, Tayt-Lynn, Temperley, Uairirira, Umnia, Vhylix, Wynstelle, Xyrelle, Yeabkal, Yllethea, Yvriellebon, Zarabeen, Zayabella Ararso, Athanasius, Axtion, Bayou, Boxuan, Bry, Calyx, Clifflen, Coho, Den-Mark, Denzworth, Dezus, Eero, Eisenhower, Fnan, Fortress, Frotan, Galvin, Igloiel, Indus, JMaxx, Jomonosi, Kenardo, Knoll, Knoxin, Larxaniel, Memo, Mercer, Mugsy, Nazarus, Nexland, Nimona, Nuno, Nusetor, Okooc, Orges, Parx, Poncho, Psalmer, Qumbi, Ray-Pio, Reacher, Rook, Ryxer, Sky-Light, Sleem, Snowden, StylesJunior, Turbo, Uzuvira, Vanderjak, Vince-Gil, Wen-Ray, Wrightkin, Yngwie, Yogi, Zackharry, Zaylex, Zyller

Finally, here’s a link to Alberta’s top names of 2014.

Source: Frequency and Ranking of Baby Names by Year and Gender

Curious Names from Berkshire

A few notable names from Berkshire County, England, that were collected in 1898:

Curious Christian Names. – There is not great originality as a rule in Christian names, but here and there one finds some treasures. Among various Registers of Berkshire country [sic] parishes I have found the following Women:– Tryphena, Cherry-truth, Weltham, Fettiplace, Bassilia, Parthenia, Sherlock, Shunamite, Temperance, Grecian, Amariah, Palaccia, Resbury or Rasbury, Vihannah, Antonino, George-anne, Massey, Aminadab, Druscilla, Prisis, Dorunda, Savale, Benedict, Cardilla. Men’s:– Vernall, Avery, Burian or Berry, Sharlick, Floris, Ginter, Epheldrum, Hanson, Manders, Alborne. Some of these are obvious Surnames, and I could extend the list of men’s names if I were to include all who bore Surnames in baptism. None of the above were provided with second Christian names; the interesting part is that the names are hereditary in families, and the discovery of a curious Christian name is a great advantage to the genealogist. –E. E. Thoyts.

I was slightly surprised to learn that “E. E. Thoyts” was female: Emma Elizabeth Thoyts (1860–1949), English historian.

Source: Thoyts, E. E. “Curious Christian Names.” The Berks, Bucks & Oxon Archaeological Journal 4.1 (1898): 63.

Most Popular U.S. Baby Names of 2015

According to the Social Security Administration, Emma and Noah were the most popular baby names in the United States in 2015.

Here’s the top 10:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emma, 20355 baby girls
2. Olivia, 19553
3. Sophia, 17327
4. Ava, 16286
5. Isabella, 15504
6. Mia, 14820
7. Abigail, 12311
8. Emily, 11727
9. Charlotte, 11332
10. Harper, 10241
1. Noah, 19511 baby boys
2. Liam, 18281
3. Mason, 16535
4. Jacob, 15816
5. William, 15809
6. Ethan, 14991
7. James, 14705
8. Alexander, 14460
9. Michael, 14321
10. Benjamin, 13608

Emma and Noah were also the #1 names in 2014.

Harper replaces Madison in the girls’ top 10; Benjamin replaces Daniel in the boys’ top 10.

Here’s the rest of the top 50:

Girl Names Boy Names
11. Madison, 10038
12. Amelia, 9795
13. Elizabeth, 9656
14. Sofia, 9650
15. Evelyn, 9313
16. Avery, 9298
17. Chloe, 7884
18. Ella, 7852
19. Grace, 7589
20. Victoria, 7575
21. Aubrey, 7357
22. Scarlett, 7100
23. Zoey, 6900
24. Addison, 6683
25. Lily, 6617
26. Lillian, 6571
27. Natalie, 6466
28. Hannah, 6372
29. Aria, 6371
30. Layla, 6289
31. Brooklyn, 6268
32. Alexa, 6029
33. Zoe, 5995
34. Penelope, 5921
35. Riley, 5707
36. Leah, 5585
37. Audrey, 5581
38. Savannah, 5413
39. Allison, 5329
40. Samantha, 5304
41. Nora, 5301
42. Skylar, 5258
43. Camila, 5257
44. Anna, 5094
45. Paisley, 5056
46. Ariana, 4933
47. Ellie, 4838
48. Aaliyah, 4836
49. Claire, 4805
50. Violet, 4779
11. Elijah, 13511
12. Daniel, 13408
13. Aiden, 13378
14. Logan, 12862
15. Matthew, 12648
16. Lucas, 12246
17. Jackson, 12182
18. David, 11691
19. Oliver, 11592
20. Jayden, 11475
21. Joseph, 11375
22. Gabriel, 10782
23. Samuel, 10733
24. Carter, 10727
25. Anthony, 10564
26. John, 10303
27. Dylan, 10232
28. Luke, 10219
29. Henry, 10112
30. Andrew, 10027
31. Isaac, 9878
32. Christopher, 9742
33. Joshua, 9720
34. Wyatt, 9597
35. Sebastian, 9569
36. Owen, 9549
37. Caleb, 8727
38. Nathan, 8530
39. Ryan, 8474
40. Jack, 8456
41. Hunter, 8284
42. Levi, 8236
43. Christian, 8127
44. Jaxon, 8015
45. Julian, 8003
46. Landon, 7896
47. Grayson, 7852
48. Jonathan, 7577
49. Isaiah, 7528
50. Charles, 7125

In the girls’ top 50, Alexa, Paisley, Ellie and Violet replace Arianna, Gabriella, Sadie and Sarah.

In the boys’ top 50, Grayson and Charles replace Eli and Aaron.

Impressive rises:

  • Alexa rose 31 places, from 63rd to 32nd
  • Violet rose 17 places, from 67th to 50th
  • Grayson rose 16 places, from 63rd to 47th
  • Oliver rose 13 places, from 32nd to 19th
  • Riley (girl name) rose 12 places, from 47th to 35th

Impressive drops:

  • Arianna dropped 16 places, from 40th to 56th
  • Gabriella dropped 11 places, from 43rd to 54th
  • Anna dropped 10 places, from 34th to 44th

There’s much more to come! Until then, I’ll quote liberally from the SSA’s press release:

Each year, the list reveals the effect of pop-culture on naming trends. This year’s winners for biggest jump in popularity in the Top 1,000 are Alaia and Riaan.

Alaia jumped 2,012 spots on the girls’ side to number 664, from number 2,676 in 2014. Perhaps this can be attributed to high fashion designer Azzedine Alaia, or maybe it is because of Alaia Baldwin, the model/daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin.

Riaan increased 1,360 spots for the boys, from number 2,286 in 2014 to number 926. Of Indian origin, it is also the name of the young son of a well-known Bollywood actor, Riteish Deshmukh.

The second fastest riser for girls was Meilani. If you have ever watched MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” and maybe even if you haven’t, you’ve heard of Jenni “JWoww” Farley. She gave birth to daughter Meilani in 2014. On a different American shore, out in Hawaii, is another well-known Meilani–Bethany Meilani Hamilton, the professional surfer whose story of surviving a shark attack was documented in the movie “Soul Surfer.”

For boys, it was Huxley (a brave new comeback for the late science fiction writer?).

Some other notable names in the top 10 biggest increase category, and some possible reasons for their newfound popularity:

  • Omari and Jabari for boys. Omari Hardwick is an actor, known for his roles in “Sparkle,” “The A-Team,” and BET Network’s “Being Mary Jane.” He currently stars in “Power,” a popular cable TV series. Jabari Parker is a professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks. He was the second overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft out of Duke.
  • Adaline and Zelda for girls. “The Age of Adaline” is a 2015 fantasy film starring Blake Lively, Harrison Ford, Michiel Huisman, and Ellen Burstyn. As for Zelda, maybe the legend continues to grow?

I’ll also note that the name Isis dropped from 705th place (398 baby girls) in 2014 to 1770th place (117 baby girls) in 2015.

Source: 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

Popular Baby Names in Saskatchewan, 2015

According to data from eHealth Saskatchewan, the most popular baby names in the province in 2015 were Olivia and Liam.

Here are Saskatchewan’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Olivia, 80 baby girls
2. Emily, 63
3. Emma, 63
4. Ava, 56
5. Avery, 53
6. Sophia, 53
7. Zoey, 45
8. Brooklyn, 45
9. Aria, 43
10. Mia, 41
1. Liam, 69 baby boys
2. Noah, 65
3. Benjamin, 64
4. Lincoln, 57
5. Lucas, 57
6. William, 56
7. Hudson, 53
8. Wyatt, 53
9. Hunter, 52
10. Jack, 51

These rankings are pretty different from the 2014 rankings. Zoe, Aria and Mia replace Sadie, Ella and Lily on the girls’ side, and Benjamin, Lincoln, Wyatt, Hunter and Jack replace Mason, Jacob, Logan, Carter on the boys’ side.

The government of Saskatchewan does have the right to reject baby names it deems unacceptable, but this rarely happens:

“I have never denied a name, I’ve never even had one brought to me to look at,” said Pat Dean, registrar with Vital Statistics and director of Health Registries.

For the last eight years there has not been a name submitted that’s been objectionable to Vital Statistics.

Objectionable names include those that could be confusing (like “Baby”) or embarrassing.

Sources: Most Popular Baby Names in Saskatchewan for 2015, It’s the law: Bad baby names can be denied in Saskatchewan

Popular Baby Names in Cincinnati, 2015

According to the Cincinnati Vital Records Office, the most popular baby names in the Ohio city last year were Ava and Jackson.

Here are Cincinnati’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Ava
2. Olivia
3. Evelyn
4. Madelyn
5. Sophia
6. Aubree
7. Grace
8. Nora
9. Abigail
10. Avery & Emma (tie)
1. Jackson
2. William
3. Benjamin
4. Carter
5. Henry
6. James
7. Liam
8. Luke
9. Charles
10. Oliver

I’m surprised that the #6 name for girls is Aubree and not Aubrey. In nearly every U.S. state* in 2014, the preferred spelling was “Aubrey.” Ohio itself welcomed 360 Aubreys to 226 Aubrees that year.

For more sets of rankings, see the name rankings category. For U.S.-specific rankings, see the U.S. name rankings subcategory.

*The one state that preferred “Aubree” was Montana.

Source: These were the top 2015 Cincinnati baby names

Popular Baby Names in Ontario, 2015

According to early data from Ontario’s Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, the most popular baby names in the province in 2015 were Sophia/Sofia/Sofiya and Jackson/Jaxon/Jaxson/Jaxen/Jaxxon/Jaxyn.

Either that or they were simply Olivia and Liam again.

See, the province decided to pull a Malta this year and lump variant spellings together in the rankings.

Luckily, Ontario didn’t do away with the traditional list altogether, so let’s start there. Here are the projected top 10 girl and boy names of 2015.

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Olivia
2. Emma
3. Ava
4. Sophia
5. Charlotte
6. Emily
7. Abigail
8. Chloe
9. Isabella
10. Avery
1. Liam
2. Ethan
3. Noah
4. Benjamin
5. William
6. Jacob
7. Lucas
8. Mason
9. Logan
10. Alexander

According to this list, Olivia and Liam are still the #1 names, and Lucas dropped from #3 in 2014 to #7 in 2015.

Next, here’s the list of the top 10 girl and boy name-groups of 2015. From what I can tell, this list excludes names that didn’t have multiple spellings.

Girl Names
1. Sophia/Sofia/Sofiya
2. Emma/Ema
3. Ava/Avah
4. Emily/Emilie/Emilee
5. Maya/Mya/Maia/Myah/Maiya/Mayah
6. Chloe/Khloe
7. Abigail/Abbigail/Abbygail/Abigale/Abigael/Abygail
8. Isabella/IIzabella/Isabela/Izabela
9. Avery/Averie/Averi
10. Aria/Arya/Ariya/Aarya/Ariyah/Ariah
Boy Names
1. Jackson/Jaxon/Jaxson/Jaxen/Jaxxon/Jaxyn
2. Lucas/Lukas
3. Jacob/Jakob/Jakub/Jaycob
4. Mason/Mayson/Masen
5. Aiden/Aidan/Ayden/Aydin
6. Alexander/Aleksander/Alexsandar
7. Daniel/Daniyal/Danial
8. Muhammad/Mohammad/Mohamed/Mohammed/Muhammed/Mohamad
9. Nicholas/Nicolas/Nikolas/Nickolas
10. Aria/Arya/Ariya/Aarya/Ariyah/Ariah

(I’m not sure what #10 on the boys’ side is supposed to be; the person cutting and pasting the boy names over the girl names forgot that one.)

Finally, here’s the top-5 list that’s been circulating in the press. It’s a combination of the lists above.

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Sophia/Sofia/Sofiya
2. Olivia
3. Emma/Ema
4. Ava/Avah
5. Charlotte
1. Jackson/Jaxon/Jaxson/Jaxen/Jaxxon/Jaxyn
2. Liam
3. Lucas/Lukas
4. Jacob/Jakob/Jaycob
5. Ethan

The takeaway?

Olivia and Liam are still the most popular baby names…if you stick to the traditional ranking system.

If you lump variant spellings together, though, the Sophia-group beats Olivia, and the Jackson-group beats Liam.

For more sets of rankings, see the name rankings category. For Canada-specific rankings, see the Canada name rankings subcategory.

Sources: Sophia and Jackson are the Most Popular Baby Names in Ontario, Ontario’s Top 20 Baby Names