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Hey, Jude (and Riley, Astrid, James): You've got the hottest names of 2016

These names may not be showing up on international popularity lists just yet, but they're on their way there.
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What are the hottest baby names for the year ahead? To find out, we looked at which names have attracted the most unique views of a total of more than six million visits to our name pages in the past 30 days.

Then we tracked which of those top names had increased 50 percent or more over the same period last year.

The result: A group of 50 baby names we see as the very hottest right now. These names might not be showing up on international popularity lists quite yet. But the current spike in interest is sure to translate to much wider adoption in the months and years ahead.

The names on this list are sure to be seen on kindergarten cubbies in the next few years.Oksana Kuzmina / Shutterstock

Some observations:

— Vowel-beginning names continue to rule, with 40 percent of the hottest girls’ names and over half the boys’ names starting with A (still the leader), E, I, or O, in that order.

— Unisex names are hot, especially for girls, with Riley, Rowan, Finley, Teagan, Peyton, Sage, and Everly all making the girls’ list. But we also see names that can cross the gender line on the boys’ side: Jayden, Elliot, Logan, Charlie, and Rhys.

— Girl-boy pairs of names make the hot list, with Elise and Elias, Kai and Kaia, Jade and Jayden, Evan and Everly all rising.

— Girls’ names with the -el sound — Elise and Elsie but also Aveline and Annalise — keep gathering steam, as do boys’ names that end in n, with newcomers Aryan, Augustine, Lucian, and Eamon joining such favorites as Aiden and Owen.

— The new hottest names have a distinct international flavor, and include the Scandinavian Astrid, French Anouk, the African Amara, the German Annalise, the Greek Xanthe, the Hawaiian Kai, the Indo-Iranian Aryan, and the Irish Eamon.

The 50 hottest names of 2016, in order of popularity on Nameberry and including the percentage they jumped over last year, are:


  1. Astrid, up 101%

  2. Thea, up 54%

  3. Sadie, up 50%

  4. Riley, up 335%

  5. Elise, up 54%

  6. Avery, up 52%

  7. Rowan, up 115%

  8. Elsie, up 68%

  9. Finley, up 60%

  10. Jade, up 96%

  11. Anouk, up 122%

  12. Wren, up 104%

  13. Amara, up 52%

  14. Celeste, up 51%

  15. Aveline, up 57%

  16. Teagan, up 134%

  17. Bryn, up 317%

  18. Peyton, up 71%

  19. Sage, up 78%

  20. Ruby, up 124%

  21. Annalise, up 54%

  22. Kaia, up 52%

  23. Mavis, up 98%

  24. Xanthe, up 83%

  25. Everly, up 76%


  1. James, up 72%

  2. Elijah, up 50%

  3. Jayden, up 489%

  4. Elliot, up 80%

  5. Logan, up 81%

  6. Charlie, up 92%

  7. Jude, up 137%

  8. Elias, up 82%

  9. Isaiah, up 60%

  10. Arlo, up 51%

  11. Kai, up 66%

  12. Evan, up 95%

  13. Aryan, up 70%

  14. Aiden, up 102%

  15. Noah, up 92%

  16. Augustine, up 231%

  17. Owen, up 54%

  18. Alistair, up 63%

  19. Amias, up 55%

  20. Lewis, up 57%

  21. Lucian, up 87%

  22. Angus, up 78%

  23. Micah, up 76%

  24. Rhys, up 71%

  25. Eamon, up 96%