What Are Some Popular Names in the United States?

Some popular names in the United States are Emma, Olivia, Emily, Jacob and William. A few other popular names are Ethan, Michael, Alexander, Madison and Harper.

Name popularity changes quite a bit from generation to generation. As of 2014, Emma ranks as the most popular name for a girl, and Noah ranks as the most popular name for a boy. Olivia, Sophia, Isabella and Ava make up the rest of the top five girls' names. Liam, Mason, Jacob and William make up the rest of the top five boys' names.

The name Emma originates from German and means "universal." It has been around for quite a while, but saw a surge in popularity in the mid-2000s. This is believed to be due to Rachel Green naming her daughter Emma on the popular television show "Friends." The name Noah comes from Hebrew and means "peace." It has been a consistent contender in the top 10 U.S. names list for several years.

The name Olivia was first used in the popular spelling by William Shakespeare in his play "Twelfth Night." The name has been used since the 1700s but did not gain mainstream popularity until the second half of the 1900s. It is believed that this was due to a character named Olivia on the popular TV series "The Waltons."