Boss Babies! Emma and Liam Remain the Most Popular Baby Names in NYC

100,022 babies were born in New York City in 2020

December 23, 2021 — The Health Department today announced that Emma and Liam were the most popular baby names in New York City in 2020. Liam has been the number one name for boys since 2016, and Emma has been the top name for girls since 2017. The Health Department’s birth certificate records show 442 Emmas and 682 Liams were born in New York City in 2020.

"2020 was a challenging year, but these babies were bright spots,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “We are thrilled to celebrate our newest New Yorkers and welcome them to the world.”

Most Popular Baby Names in New York City, 2020
1 Emma Liam
2 Sophia Noah
3 Mia Jacob
4 Olivia Ethan
5 Isabella Lucas
6 Ava Joseph
7 Leah David
8 Sarah Aiden
9 Chloe Alexander
10 Amelia Daniel
TOTAL BIRTHS 48,767 51,225

Name Trends

Nine of the top ten girls’ names from 2019 stayed on the top ten list for 2020. Charlotte dropped off the top ten list in 2020. Sophia moved up to second and Olivia fell to fourth. Mia moved up one spot to be third. Sarah returned to the list at the eighth spot.

Eight of the boys’ names from 2019 stayed on the list for 2020. Matthew and Michael were dropped from the list and Joseph and Alexander were added in 2020. The top two names remained the same from 2019. Jacob and Ethan swapped positions to third and fourth. Both Aiden and Daniel dropped in the rankings to seventh and eighth.

New York City Births by Borough, 2020

From 2019 to 2020, the number of babies born in New York City decreased 9.4 percent – from 110,443 births to 100,022 (51,255 boys and 48,767 girls).

Borough Count
Manhattan 38,951
Bronx 11,516
Brooklyn 24,129
Queens 19,877
Staten Island 5,549

Inspired by Science

181 babies were named Anthony, perhaps in honor of Dr. Fauci (No. 34). Albert was the chosen name for 36 babies (No.129) like Albert Einstein. There were 40 babies named Katherine (No. 99) like Katherine Johnson and 36 babies named Jane (No. 103) like Jane Goodall.

Babies Sharing Names with Nature

Parents may have been inspired by astronomy, the natural world, and the animal kingdom: Luna (No. 11), Lily (No. 40), Aurora (No. 49), Rose (No. 50), Violet (No. 52), Jade (No. 67), Ruby (No. 76), Jasmine (No. 78), Ivy (No. 81), Iris (No. 99), Sage (No. 107 and No. 150), Willow (No. 116), Wren (No. 129), Orion (No. 145), River (No. 147), Ocean (No. 148), Nova (No. 154), Wolf (No. 154), and Fox (No. 155).

Inspiring places

Cities are always a favorite for parents: Charlotte (No. 12), Madison (No. 25), Austin (No. 57), Savannah (No. 77), Samara (No. 97), Phoenix (No. 103), Brooklyn (No. 112), Siena (No. 116), Florence (No. 127), Kingston (No. 143), and Princeton (No. 146).

Seeking Peace During a Difficult Year

2020 was a year filled with adversity, so it’s no wonder many parents may have sought a more peaceful state of being for their babies: Grace (No. 32), Serenity (No. 57), Zion (No. 64), Harmony (No. 105), Hope (no. 110), Joy (No. 115), Dream (No. 117), Heaven (No. 117), Love (No. 128), Sincere (No. 143), Eden (No. 147).

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: Michael Lanza/Victoria Merlino