The Name Game

The most popular baby names in Texas are biblical and classic

The most popular baby names in Texas are biblical and classic

Bubblepalooza Austin 2013
Here are the top 10 girl and boy names for 2014. Photo by Jon Shapley

You’re on trend if you named your baby Noah or Emma last year. The two monikers not only topped the list of 2014’s most popular baby names in the U.S., but also in the state of Texas, according to the Social Security Administration.

Nationally, Noah, a biblical name, came in No. 1 for boys for the second year in a row. Emma is back on top for girls after previously holding first place in 2008. Parents are turning from Emily to Emma thanks to the influence of hot celebrities like Emma Watson, Emma Roberts and Emma Stone.

“Since the Internet and pop culture are so prevalent and in-your-face all the time now, parents are finding baby names from fiction, from television, from movies, from celebrities, most often. And then secondly, friends and family and the family tree,” Jennifer Moss, the CEO of, told PBS.

In Texas, other popular biblical names for boys include Jacob, which came in second; Daniel, third; and Matthew, 10th. Liam and Jayden round out the top five in the Lone Star State, with Sebastian and Jose in the top 10.

Among Texas newborn girls, such classic names as Sophia, Isabella, Mia and Olivia round out the top five after Emma.

Charlotte cracked the nation’s top 10 for the first time ever, although not in Texas (it came in 26th place). Thanks to the recent birth of Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana (all family names), we expect it will rise in next year's rankings.

Nowhere to be found on Texas’ top 1,000 baby names are the fastest rising names in the U.S.: Bode and Axl for baby boys and Aranza and Montserrat for baby girls.

Bode, as in Olympian skier Bode Miller, saw a substantial jump on the blue side moving up 645 spots from No. 1,428 to No. 783. Axl, a nod to both rocker Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses and to Axl Jack Duhamel, son of singer Stacy Ann “Fergie” Ferguson and actor Josh Duhamel, saw the second biggest boost in popularity.

Latin soap operas made their mark on the world of baby names. Aranza, the name of a character on Latin soap opera Por Siempre Mi Amor, made a notable, positive move on the pink side going from No. 4,232 to No. 607 (3,625 spots). Montserrat, a character in another Latin telenovela, ranked No. 607, up from No. 4,232. With a slightly different spelling, Monserrat was No. 3.

For boys, the name Bently saw the most sizable decline on the U.S. chart dropping 289 spots from No. 902 to No. 1,191. For girls, Miley fell the most moving from No. 388 to No. 793 (down 405 spots).

Social Security’s website has a roster of the 1,000 most popular boys’ and girls’ names for 2014, plus statistics going back to the year 1880. From the 1,000 names listed, here are the top 10 names for boys and for girls in the nation and in Texas:

Top 10 names for boys in the U.S.:  

1) Noah 
2) Liam  
3) Mason  
4) Jacob  
5) William  
6) Ethan  
7) Michael   
8) Alexander   
9) James  
10) Daniel  

Top 10 names for girls in the U.S.:

1) Emma
2) Olivia
3) Sophia
4) Isabella
5) Ava
6) Mia
7) Emily
8) Abigail
9) Madison
10) Charlotte

Top 10 names for boys in Texas:

1) Noah
2) Jacob
​3) Daniel
4) Liam
5) Jayden
6) Ethan
7) David
8) Sebastian
9) Jose
10) Matthew

Top 10 names for girls in Texas:

1) Emma 
2) Sophia
3) Isabella
4) Mia
5) Olivia
6) Sofia
7) Emily
8) Ava
9) Abigail
10) Victoria