Boys, Girls

These were the top baby names in Massachusetts last year

If you live in New England, you might be meeting a lot of Emmas and Benjamins soon.

The top baby names in Massachusetts in 2017 largely reflected national trends, as 393 babies in the Bay State were named Emma and 492 tykes were dubbed Benjamin, according to data released Thursday by the Social Security Administration.

In fact, all top 10 girls’ names in the United States made an appearance on the top Massachusetts list, although in a bit of a different order.

However, three boys’ names appeared on the top 10 list in Massachusetts that were not in the national top 10: Lucas, John, and Michael, according to the agency.

One boys’ name that was way more popular here than nationwide? Thomas — it came in 13th in Massachusetts, but 48th nationwide. And in case you have an inkling of why that may be, we’ll also point out Brady was the 76th most popular boys’ name in Massachusetts — but didn’t break the top 100 nationally. Meanwhile, Julian was 16th in Massachusetts, but 36th nationwide. (Bill Belichick is also in good company: William was the second most-used baby name for boys here. . . but it was also the third most popular nationwide, so we’ll abstain from drawing any conclusions on that one.)

The Social Security Administration is a pretty trustworthy source for top baby names, since parents supply their newborn’s name to the agency when applying for the child’s Social Security card.

The agency began compiling the baby name list in 1997, with names dating back to 1880.

Nationally, reality TV seemed to be influencing names in 2017. Wells — as in the popular contestant on “The Bachelorette” — rose from 1,419 to 915. Meanwhile, Dream — which Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna named their daughter in late 2016 — also rose in popularity last year. Many newborn boys were also curiously named Nova — perhaps in a nod to the Villanova Wildcats winning the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, the agency said in a statement last week.

Politics also seems to have had a hand in national baby name trends, with more parents naming their girls Melania, according to the agency.

Pamela Redmond Satran, who blogs about baby-naming and is also co-founder of the baby name site, told the Associated Press last week that the rise of Liam reflects the large population of Irish people in the US who may not speak Gaelic, but have ethnic pride.

‘‘I think you see ethnic influences coming into play in a more indirect way. You see more parents looking back and looking for places in their lives that hold meaning that can be translated into names,’’ said Satran, who also co-wrote the books ‘‘The Baby Name Bible’’ and ‘‘Cool Names for Babies.’’

Ethnic pride could also be a factor for parents of Hispanic descent. A lot of new parents ‘‘are using Hispanic names rather than trying to pick more Anglo-fied names,’’ Satran said.

Top Massachusetts baby names in 2017


1. Emma (393 babies)

2. Olivia (379)

3. Charlotte (347)

4. Sophia (330)

5. Isabella (294)

6. Amelia (283)

7. Ava (262)

8. Evelyn (253)

9. Abigail (251)

10. Mia (242)


1. Benjamin (492 babies)

2. William (421)

3. Liam (373)

4. Lucas (373)

5. Noah (365)

6. James (337)

7. Logan (320)

8. Jacob (311)

9. John (307)

10. Michael (296)

Top national baby names in 2017


1. Emma

2. Olivia

3. Ava

4. Isabella

5. Sophia

6. Mia

7. Charlotte

8. Amelia

9. Evelyn

10. Abigail


1. Liam

2. Noah

3. William

4. James

5. Logan

6. Benjamin

7. Mason

8. Elijah

9. Oliver

10. Jacob


Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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