The agency began compiling the baby name list in 1997, with names dating back to 1880. At the time of a child’s birth, parents supply the name to the agency when applying for a child’s Social Security card, thus making Social Security America’s source for the most popular baby names.
Each year, the list reveals the effect of pop-culture on naming trends. This year reality television seems to have influenced Mom and Dad.
Ensley was the fastest riser on the girls’ list, moving 1,461 spots to number 965, from number 2,426 in 2016. Spring has sprung, and Wells (meaning “spring”) had the biggest bloom in popularity for the boys, moving over 500 spots in 2017 from number 1,419 to 915. Perhaps his parents are fans of the hit TV show “The Bachelorette” where one of the popular contestants was named Wells. Does this mean more bachelors named Wells at future rose ceremonies?
In a clear nod to the popularity of the First Lady of the United States, new parents chose the name Melania at an increasing rate in 2017.
It looks like new parents are “Keeping up with the Kardashians” as the name Dream rose 840 spots in 2017. Fan or not, many people know Rob Kardashian and Angela White, aka Blac Chyna, named their daughter Dream in late 2016. For the boys, another fast riser was Nova, who may have gotten his popularity from all those Villanova Wildcats basketball fans naming their sons in celebration of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions.
(News release from the Social Security Administration)