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No one can beat Emma when it comes to naming babies in America. This week the Social Security Administration announced its annual list of the most popular baby names in America and Emma has the top spot on the girls' side for the fifth year in a row. On the boys' side Liam took the top spot for a second consecutive year.

According to the Social Security Administration, these were the top 20 baby names in America in 2018:

Girls: Emma, Olivia, Ava, Isabella, Sophia, Charlotte, Mia, Amelia, Harper and Evelyn

Boys: Liam, Noah, William, James, Oliver, Benjamin, Elijah, Lucas, Mason and Owen

How do those top 10 lists compare to the top baby names of 2017? Well, the girls' list is nearly the same except that Mia and Charlotte switched spots, and Harper (a name that fell out of the top ten the previous year) is back and has ousted Abigail. On the boys' side, Lucas kicked Jacob out of the top 10.

The real changes happened lower down in the data. Let's take a look at the popular baby names that were trending hard in 2018:


The return of Meghan

In the 1990s the name Meghan (or Megan) was a common sound in the halls of elementary schools, but until very recently the name had sunk just like other names of the era (hi to all the Heathers, Jessicas and Jennifers out there).

As Pamela Redmond Satran, a co-founder of Nameberry, told The Atlantic, "Meghan is one of the 1980s and 1990s names that are becoming mom names, rather than baby names."

But thanks to the Duchess of Sussex, the name Meghan is now back in a big way.

As The Atlantic reports, this name surged from being the 1,404th most popular name for baby girls in 2017 to the 703rd most popular in 2018. The name's dramatic rise in popularity mirrors that of the woman who shares it.

"Meghan Markle's influence is obviously strong enough to give the name a big boost," says Satran.

The influence of Game of Thrones

As NBC data journalist Joe Murphy first reported, Arya is the most popular Game of Thrones inspired name in America (and these babies were born and named before our girl met the Night King), but plenty of GoT graced birth certificates in 2018.

"Excluding the Jons and Jaimes, more than 4,500 children were given such names in 2018, up from the 3,800-plus in 2017 and the more than 3,200 in 2016," Murphy explains.

Arya is in the lead with 2,545 babies sharing the name, and Khaleesi comes in second place with 560 baby girls taking that one. Alternative spellings of the Dothraki title also made the cut. There are 19 girls called Caleesi and 5 little Khaleesies whose parents gave her an extra 'e'.

How Amazon sunk Alexa

In 2015 6,052 babies were dubbed Alexa, but thanks to Amazon the name now has the distinction of having the swiftest change in popularity. Last year, only 3,053 babies were named Alexa.

As Philip N. Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, once wrote, when Amazon decided to give this name to its virtual assistant, "Alexa essentially ended as a (human) name".

And as Bloomberg noted last year, it's not uncommon for tech companies and start-ups to take over names that were once used for babies. Casper is now synonymous with mattresses and Cora (a name that has been steadily rising in popularity for more than a decade) is the name of a tampon company.

​Check out the full top 100 list below:

assets.rbl.ms

RankBoysGirls
1LiamEmma
2NoahOlivia
3WilliamAva
4JamesIsabella
5OliverSophia
6BenjaminCharlotte
7ElijahMia
8LucasAmelia
9MasonHarper
10LoganEvelyn
11AlexanderAbigail
12EthanEmily
13JacobElizabeth
14MichaelMila
15DanielElla
16HenryAvery
17JacksonSofia
18SebastianCamila
19AidenAria
20MatthewScarlett
21SamuelVictoria
22DavidMadison
23JosephLuna
24CarterGrace
25OwenChloe
26WyattPenelope
27JohnLayla
28JackRiley
29LukeZoey
30JaydenNora
31DylanLily
32GraysonEleanor
33LeviHannah
34IsaacLillian
35GabrielAddison
36JulianAubrey
37MateoEllie
38AnthonyStella
39JaxonNatalie
40LincolnZoe
41JoshuaLeah
42ChristopherHazel
43AndrewViolet
44TheodoreAurora
45CalebSavannah
46RyanAudrey
47AsherBrooklyn
48NathanBella
49ThomasClaire
50LeoSkylar
51IsaiahLucy
52CharlesPaisley
53JosiahEverly
54HudsonAnna
55ChristianCaroline
56HunterNova
57ConnorGenesis
58EliEmilia
59EzraKennedy
60AaronSamantha
61LandonMaya
62AdrianWillow
63JonathanKinsley
64NolanNaomi
65JeremiahAaliyah
66EastonElena
67EliasSarah
68ColtonAriana
69CameronAllison
70CarsonGabriella
71RobertAlice
72AngelMadelyn
73MaverickCora
74NicholasRuby
75DominicEva
76JaxsonSerenity
77GreysonAutumn
78AdamAdeline
79IanHailey
80AustinGianna
81SantiagoValentina
82JordanIsla
83CooperEliana
84BraydenQuinn
85RomanNevaeh
86EvanIvy
87EzekielSadie
88XavierPiper
89JoseLydia
90JaceAlexa
91JamesonJosephine
92LeonardoEmery
93BrysonJulia
94AxelDelilah
95EverettArianna
96ParkerVivian
97KaydenKaylee
98MilesSophie
99SawyerBrielle
100JasonMadeline

[A version of this post was first published May 11, 2018. It has been updated.]

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