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

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Maya

Number of Babies Named Maya

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Maya

Top Baby Names in Malta, 2015

Malta’s top baby names of 2015 have been out for months now, but the latest data still isn’t available on the government’s Naming Babies page, so I can’t give you the official rankings.

The best I can do is this quote from a recent Times of Malta article:

Amy, Ella, Leah, Maya, Valentina, Emma, Martina, Jade, Julia, Elisa and Elena are among the most popular for girls […] Luca, Matthias, Adam, Ben, Benjamin, Beppe, Alexander, Thomas, Zack, Liam, Luke and Noah are among the most popular for boys.

The article also mentioned many of the less common names bestowed in Malta in 2015, including:

  • Ajson
  • Alix (the Maltese version of Alex)
  • Bitania
  • Carleshian
  • Delyth (“which in Welsh means neat and pretty, but when read with a Maltese pronunciation it means, err, murder”)
  • Ebtisam
  • Izz
  • Jack Daniel (similar to this guy)
  • Kelzen
  • Massa (“after Felipe Massa, the Brazilian Formula One driver”)
  • Massabielle
  • Mixhal (the Maltese version of Michelle)
  • Neymar
  • Roksanda
  • Rancy
  • Shaznolee
  • Thisseanne
  • Tenishia (“after the internationally renowned Maltese DJ duo”)
  • Vuk
  • Xemx (the Maltese word for “sun,” pronounced shemsh)
  • Zashielle
  • Zeshinzer

Malta’s top names of 2014 were Elena and Luke (more or less).

Source: Hi, Jack Daniel, It’s me, Xemx – Malta’s list of 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

Popular Girl Names: Biblical vs. Non-Biblical

The ratio of Biblical names to non-Biblical names in the girl’s top 20 is about the same today as it was 100 years ago, though the ratio did change a bit mid-century.

(In contrast, there’s been a steady increase in the number of Biblical-origin names among the top boy names.)

Here’s the color-coded table — Biblical names are in the yellow cells, non-Biblical names are in the green cells, and several borderline names (which I counted as non-Biblical) are in the orange cells:

Popular girl names: Biblical vs. non-Biblical, from Nancy's Baby Names.
Popular girl names over time: Biblical (yellow) vs. non-Biblical. Click to enlarge.
  • Biblical names: Abigail, Anna, Betty (via Elizabeth), Chloe, Danielle, Deborah, Debra, Elizabeth, Hannah, Isabella (via Elizabeth), Janet, Jean, Joan, Judith, Judy, Julie, Lillian (via Elizabeth), Lisa (via Elizabeth), Lois, Marie, Marilyn, Mary, Mia (via Maria), Michelle, Nancy (via Anne), Rachel, Rebecca, Ruth, Sandra (via Alexander), Sarah, Sharon, Stephanie, Susan, Tammy (via Tamar/Tamara)
  • Non-Biblical names: Alexis, Alice, Alyssa, Amanda, Amber, Amelia, Amy, Angela, Ashley, Aubrey, Avery, Barbara, Brenda, Brianna, Brittany, Carol, Carolyn, Catherine, Charlotte, Christina, Christine, Crystal, Cynthia, Diane, Donna, Doris, Dorothy, Edna, Ella, Emily, Emma, Evelyn, Florence, Frances, Gladys, Grace, Harper, Heather, Helen, Irene, Jennifer, Joyce, Karen, Kathleen, Kayla, Kelly, Kimberly, Laura, Lauren, Linda, Lori, Louise, Madison, Margaret, Marjorie, Megan, Melissa, Mildred, Natalie, Nicole, Olivia, Pamela, Patricia, Rose, Shannon, Shirley, Sofia, Sophia, Taylor, Tiffany, Victoria, Virginia
  • Borderline names:
    • Ava (could be based on the Germanic root avi or the Biblical name Eve)
    • Jessica (literary invention, but Shakespeare may have based it on the Biblical name Iscah)
    • Samantha (possibly inspired by the Biblical name Samuel)

Again, feels pretty weird to put overtly Christian names like Christina and Christine in the non-Biblical category, but oh well.

Here are the year-by-year tallies:

Year Top 20 names
given to…
# Biblical # Non-Biblical
1914 31% of baby girls 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
1924 31% of baby girls 7 (35%) 13 (65%)
1934 32% of baby girls 9 (45%) 11 (55%)
1944 35% of baby girls 8 (40%) 12 (60%)
1954 34% of baby girls 9 (45%) 11 (55%)
1964 24% of baby girls 9 (45%) 11 (55%)
1974 24% of baby girls 8 (40%) 12 (60%)
1984 26% of baby girls 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
1994 19% of baby girls 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
2004 14% of baby girls 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
2014 12% of baby girls 5 (25%) 15 (75%)

Just like with the boy names, though, there’s a big difference between the 1914 and 2014 sample sizes — 31% and 12%. So let’s also look at the 2014 top 100, which covers 31% of female births.

By my count, last year’s top 100 girl names were about a quarter Biblical, three-quarters non-Biblical:

Biblical names (27) Non-Biblical/Borderline names (73)
Isabella (via Elizabeth), Mia (via Maria), Abigail, Elizabeth, Chloe, Addison (via Adam), Lillian (via Elizabeth), Hannah, Anna, Leah, Gabriella, Sadie (via Sarah), Sarah, Annabelle, Madelyn (via Magdalene), Lucy (via Lucius), Alexa (via Alexander), Genesis, Naomi, Eva, Lydia, Julia, Khloe, Madeline (via Magdalene), Alexandra, Gianna (via Joanna), Isabelle (via Elizabeth) Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Ava, Emily, Madison, Charlotte, Harper, Sofia, Avery, Amelia, Evelyn, Ella, Victoria, Aubrey, Grace, Zoey, Natalie, Brooklyn, Lily, Layla, Scarlett, Aria, Zoe, Samantha, Audrey, Ariana, Allison, Savannah, Arianna, Camila, Penelope, Claire, Aaliyah, Riley, Skylar, Nora, Hailey, Kaylee, Paisley, Kennedy, Ellie, Peyton, Caroline, Serenity, Aubree, Alexis, Nevaeh, Stella, Violet, Mackenzie, Bella, Autumn, Mila, Kylie, Maya, Piper, Alyssa, Taylor, Eleanor, Melanie, Faith, Katherine, Brianna, Ashley, Ruby, Sophie, London, Lauren, Alice, Vivian, Hadley, Jasmine

Faith, Grace, Angela, Nevaeh, Natalie…all technically non-Biblical.

27%-73% is remarkably similar to both 25%-75% (smaller 2014 sample) and 30%-70% (1914 sample).

So here’s the question of the day: If you had to choose all of your children’s names from either one group or the other — Biblical names or non-Biblical names — which group would you stick to, and why?

Popular Baby Names in Malta, 2014

According to data from Malta’s National Statistics Office, the most popular name-groups in Malta in 2014 were Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella and Luke/Luca/Lucas.

Here are Malta’s top 10 girl and boy name-groups of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
  1. Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella, 97 baby girls
  2. Julia/Yulia/Julianne, 72
  3. Emma/Emmanuela/Ema, 70
  4. Eliza/Elisa/Elizabeth/Elise, 69
  5. Catherine/Katrina/Kate/Katya, 46
  6. Maya/Mia/Myah, 44
  7. Lea/Leah/Leia, 42
  8. Emilia/Emily/Emelie, 41
  9. Amy/Aimee, 39
    • Maria/Marija/Mariah/Marie, 37 [tie]
    • Anna/Hannah/Ann, 37 [tie]
  1. Luke/Luca/Lucas, 98 baby boys
  2. Matthew/Matthias/Matteo, 97
  3. Jacob/Jake, 77
  4. Zachary/Zak/Zack, 59
  5. Michael/Miguel/Mikhail, 53
    • Liam/William, 51 [tie]
    • John/Jean/Jonathan/Juan/Gan, 51 [tie]
  6. Benjamin/Ben, 51
    • Kaiden/Kayden/Kai ,46 [tie]
    • Alexander/Alessandro/Alec, 46 [tie]
  7. Andrew/Andreas/Andre/Andy, 45
  8. Joseph/Beppe/Giuseppe/Josef, 40

Down in 15th place on the boys’ side is “Yannick/Yan” — both are versions of John, and yet they’re not part of the John group, which is tied for 6th.

Speaking of strange things…

The current Maltese birth registration system does not allow for Maltese fonts, which essentially means that names with ċ such as Ċikku or Ċensa; with a ġ such as Ġorġ or Ġanna; and with a ż such as Liża or Ġużi, are out – or at least will be recorded without the essential dots which distinguish the Maltese phonetical sound.

I’ve seen governments (e.g., NWT, California) make excuses about not being able to render minority/ethnic names properly on birth certificates, but I’ve never heard of a country that couldn’t render names from its own national language.

Oh, Malta.

Here are the 2013, 2012, 2009, 2007 and 2006 rankings.

Sources: Naming Babies – National Statistics Office – Malta, Luke and Elena remain most popular names given to newborns, ‘Dotty’ system bars patriot baby names

Popular Baby Names in Norway, 2014

According to data from Statistics Norway, the most popular baby names in Norway in 2014 were Nora/Norah and Lucas/Lukas.

Here are Norway’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Nora/Norah, 434 baby girls
2. Emma, 418
3. Sara/Sarah, 404
4. Sofie/Sophie, 388
5. Emilie, 358
6. Anna, 327
7. Linnea/Linea, 326
8. Thea/Tea, 323
9. Maja/Maia/Maya, 323
10. Sofia/Sophia, 315
1. Lucas/Lukas, 448 baby boys
2. William, 438
3. Markus/Marcus, 423
4. Emil, 419
5. Oskar/Oscar, 389
6. Mathias/Matias, 382
7. Magnus, 377
8. Filip/Fillip/Philip, 372
9. Jakob/Jacob, 371
10. Aksel/Axel, 363

Though Mohammad didn’t feature in the national top 10, it was the #1 boy name in the capital city of Oslo. (The #1 girl name there was Nora.)

In contrast with the above, these are Norway’s top 10 female and male names overall:

Female Names Male Names
1. Anne, 61k females
2. Inger, 31k
3. Kari, 26k
4. Marit, 26k
5. Ingrid, 24k
6. Liv, 23k
7. Eva, 19k
8. Anna, 18k
9. Maria, 18k
10. Ida, 18k
1. Jan, 49k males
2. Per, 38k
3. Bjørn, 38k
4. Ole, 31k
5. Lars, 30k
6. Kjell, 27k
7. Knut, 25k
8. Svein, 25k
9. Arne, 24k
10. Thomas, 24k

The only earlier list I have for Norway is from 2010, but more lists (and more names from the 2014 list) are available via the first link below.

Sources: Navn – SSB, ‘Nora’ and ‘Lucas’ Most Popular Names

Top Hebrew Baby Names in Israel, 5774

The top Hebrew baby names in Israel were announced a few days ago.

According to data from the Population and Immigration Authority, the most popular Hebrew baby names for the Hebrew Calendar year 5774 (September 5, 2013, to September 24, 2014) were Tamar and Yosef.

The rest of the top ten:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Tamar
2. Noa
3. Shira
4. Adele
5. Talya
6. Yael
7. Lian
8. Miriam
9. Maya
10. Avigayil
1. Yosef
2. Daniel
3. Ori
4. Itai
5. Omer
6. Adam
7. Noam
8. Ariel
9. Eitan
10. David

Last year’s top Hebrew names were Noa and Noam, according to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. (Later this year, the CBS will release all 3 sets of baby name rankings: Jewish, Muslim and Christian).

Source: Psst! The most popular boy’s name in Israel in 5774 was really Mohammed

40 Pairs of Baby Names for Girl-Boy Twins

girl-boy twins

A few weeks ago, The Stir posted a list of 20 pairs of baby names for girl-boy twins.

The problem with their list? Each matchy-matchy name-pair started with the same first letter.

Yes, most parents gravitate toward patterns when it comes to naming twins. This has been confirmed by at least one study and is easy to see when you peruse the (now discontinued) lists of popular twin names.

But should they?

No. Child development experts say twins should have dissimilar first names.

So I thought I’d improve upon their list by separating the pairings and giving each of the 40 names a new, non-matchy partner — different first letter, different ending, different number of syllables.

Too Matchy? Much Better!
Hazel & Hugo
Emma & Evan
Madison & Mason
Taylor & Tyler
Vivienne & Val
Ava & Alexander
Chloe & Caleb
Sophia & Samuel
Eva & Ethan
Penelope & Pax
Savannah & Sebastian
Lily & Luke
Dylan & Dean
Naomi & Noah
Imogen & Isaac
Juliette & James
Christina & Christian
Grace & Gavin
Avery & Aiden
Claire & Clive
Hazel & Benjamin
Emma & Charles
Madison & Liam
Taylor & Grant
Vivienne & Phillip
Ava & Carl
Chloe & Gabriel
Sophia & Owen
Eva & Jack
Penelope & Duncan
Savannah & Zane
Lily & Cash
Dylan & Matthias
Naomi & Joseph
Imogen & Grey
Juliette & Simon
Christina & Thomas
Grace & Dominic
Avery & Beau
Claire & Julian
Hugo & Adelaide
Evan & Sabrina
Mason & Aria
Tyler & Addison
Val & Edie
Alexander & Daphne
Caleb & Lydia
Samuel & Hannah
Ethan & Amelia
Pax & Kira
Sebastian & Gemma
Luke & Maya
Dean & Harper
Noah & Abigail
Isaac & Johanna
James & Tabitha
Christian & Veronica
Gavin & Bree
Aiden & Katrina
Clive & Odette

Not only are the pairs in the middle and on the right smarter choices in terms of child development, but they’re also less likely to cause embarrassment and/or confusion. Unlike, say, Christina and Christian.

What are your favorite non-matchy baby names for girl-boy twins?

P.S. Hate to nit-pick, but…the Stir post also included several bogus definitions. Caleb means “devotion to God”? Nope, Caleb means dog.

Source: 20 Pairs of Baby Names for Twins of the Opposite Sex
Image: Adapted from Kinley and Liam Photos (18) by love_K_photo under CC BY 2.0.