Health Department Announces Top Baby Names in New York City

Emma-zing and unbe-Liam-able title reign for most popular names

99,262 new kids on the block were born in New York City in 2021

December 27, 2022 — The Health Department announced today that – once again -- the most popular baby names for 2021 were Emma and Liam. Since 2016, Liam has been the number one name for boys since 2016, and Emma has been the number one name for girls since 2017. In total, 434 Emmas and 703 Liams were born in 2021, according to New York City birth certificate records.

“We are so pleased to welcome the Liams, Emmas, Olivias, Noahs and every other newborn, to our city and the world,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “The joy they bring will make for a happier 2023 and beyond.”

Most Popular Baby Names in New York City, 2021
1 Emma Liam
2 Olivia Noah
3 Mia Ethan
4 Sophia Lucas
5 Leah Jacob
6 Ava Joseph
7 Isabella David
8 Amelia Daniel
9 Luna Aiden
10 Sofia Benjamin
TOTAL BIRTHS 48,648 50,614

Name Trends

Out of the top ten girls’ names from last year, eight of them remained on the top ten list for 2021. Sarah and Chloe dropped off the top ten list and Luna and Sofia were added. Olivia moved up two spots into second and Isabella moved down two spots into seventh. Sophia and Sofia are both featured in the top ten list, demonstrating they are very popular names in 2021.

Nine out of the ten most popular boy names from 2020 remained on the list for 2021. Benjamin replaced Alexander on this year’s list and moved into the tenth spot. Liam and Noah remained in the top two spots from last year, while Ethan moved up one into the third spot.

New York City Births by Borough, 2021

The number of babies born in New York City decreased by 0.07 percent between 2020 and 2021 – from 100,022 to 99,262. Since 2019, this number has decreased by 10.1 percent – from 110,443 to 99,262 babies.

Borough Count
Manhattan 39,559
Bronx 11,198
Brooklyn 23,217
Queens 19,758
Staten Island 5,530

Change and Movement in 2021

2021 represented a time of great change throughout the country, and several top baby names reflected this, including: Axel (No. 62), Chase (No. 77), and Journey (No. 96).

Sounds of Peace

Even in the midst of great change, there was still a desire for peace and tranquility: Grace (No. 26), Angel (No. 51), Harper (No. 61), Melody (No. 64), Serenity (No. 70), Angelina (No. 88), and Faith (No. 97).

Nature and the Seasons

Many of the top baby names reflected the beauty of nature and the seasons: Luna (No. 9), Lily (No. 31), Violet (No. 46), Aurora (No. 48), Ruby (No. 52), Rose (No. 53), Summer (No. 68), Iris (No. 71), Autumn (No. 73), Jade (No. 77), August (No. 79), Ivy (No. 90), Eden (No. 94), Goldy (No. 95), and Daisy (No.95).

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 DOHMH, 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 parents 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: Patrick Gallahue/Pedro Frisneda