Health Department Announces Emma and Liam Are Most Popular Baby Names For 2017

Liam remains the top name for boys, followed by Noah; Emma claims first place for girls from Olivia

There were 117,013 babies born in New York City in 2017

December 21, 2018 – The Health Department today announced that Emma and Liam were the most popular baby names in New York City in 2017. Liam had also been the top name for boys in 2016. Emma rose from third to first place for girls, while Olivia (2016’s most popular name for girls) fell to second place. The Health Department’s birth certificate records show 571 Emmas and 734 Liams were born in New York City in 2017.

Most Popular Baby Names York City, 2017
1 Emma Liam
2 Olivia Noah
3 Mia Jacob
4 Sophia Ethan
5 Isabella David
6 Ava Lucas
7 Leah Matthew
8 Emily Jayden
9 Sarah Aiden
10 Abigail Daniel
56,911 60,102

Name Trends

Eight of the top 10 boys’ names and nine of the top 10 girls’ names from 2016 held their place on the 2017 list. Dylan and Michael dropped from the top 10 in 2017, while David and Jayden were added. Jacob moved from second in 2016 to third in 2017, while Noah moved from fourth to second place.

For girls, Olivia fell to second this year, and Emma rose from third in 2016 to first in 2017. Madison was replaced on the list by Abigail for the 10th most popular girls’ name in 2017. Ava remained the sixth most popular name and Sarah stayed at ninth place.

New York City Births by Borough of Mother’s Residence, 2017

From 2016 to 2017, the number of babies born in New York City decreased 2.8 percent – from 120,367 births to 117,013 (60,102 boys and 56,911 girls).

Borough Count
Manhattan 43,691
Bronx 14,095
Brooklyn 28,717
Queens 24,761
Staten Island 5,749

By Borough

Borough Boy Girl
Manhattan James Olivia
Bronx Liam Isabella
Brooklyn David Esther
Queens Liam Emma
Staten Island Michael Olivia

Celebrity Names

Celebrity names were influential in 2017, with many parents naming their children after movie stars. Among girls, parents chose Penelope (No. 29), Daisy (No. 102), Margot (No. 115), and Saoirse (No. 140). For boys, names like Ryan (No. 14), Chris (No. 31), Luke (No. 6), and Harrison (No. 98) were popular.

Geographic Names

Geographic names are a perennial favorite with places like Austin (No. 57), Hudson (No. 89), Kingston (No. 156), and Princeton (No. 157) making the list for boys. For girls geographic place names like Charlotte (No. 13), Savannah (No. 63), Catalina (No. 117), and Egypt (No. 123) made the list.

Star Power

Some parents of baby girls sought inspiration in astronomy and solar phenomena with names like Luna (No. 27), Aurora (No. 82), Nova (No. 101), and Venus (No. 138). Similarly, names of famous scientists and astronauts were popular for both girls and boys this year. Isaac (No. 28), Ivan (No. 88), Louis (No. 101), and Neil (No. 165) were popular for boys. Rachel (No. 22), Grace (No. 24), Ada (No. 123), and Sally (No. 139) were popular for baby girls in 2017.

Rare Names

Some New Yorkers gave their children rare names with as few as 10 parents naming their daughters Artemis, Tzippy, and Reizy and sons Azriel, Zeus, and Thaddeus.

Resources for Expectant Parents

The Health Department has a webpage to guide parents with filling out legal paperwork related to their child including birth certificates, acknowledgement of paternity for unmarried fathers, and information for same-sex couples. For additional details, please visit: Expecting Parents.
Parents who need additional time to name their child for religious or other reasons may register their child’s birth without a first name and go back to add their child’s name later. They may do this without a fee either through the Health Department within 60 days of birth or through the birthing hospital within 12 months of date of birth. Once the name is added, it is final and requires a correction to change.

The Health Department also provides information on free or low-cost services for new parents, ranging from pre-pregnancy health related issues to offering resources to new mothers for keeping their babies healthy. For more information, please visit our website: Pregnancy and Baby Care.

The Health Department’s Bureau of Vital Statistics compiles baby name lists from birth certificates and collects other data, including total births by year and demographic characteristics. To learn more about the information gathered from birth certificates, please visit: Vital Statistics.



MEDIA CONTACT: Christopher Miller/Michael Lanza, (347) 396-4177