On this list of New York City's most popular baby names for girls, old-fashioned choices from Grandma's time dominate, with melodious names like Isabella, Sophia, and Olivia ranking tops. Compiled by the NYC Health Department (along with the top baby names for boys in New York), this data (released in December 2015) reveals the most popular baby names for girls in New York in 2014. So read on for your perfect made-for-Manhattan girl's name!
Holding firm on the number one spot for three years, Sophia is from the Greek for "wisdom." It doesn't hurt that the name conjures images of Italian bombshell Sophia Loren or Colombian starlet Sofia Vergara (the Sofia spelling variation of the name falls in this year's number 9 spot). A grand total of 586 Sophias were born in New York City in 2014.
The regal Isabella has enjoyed a spot on the top for several years now. The name comes from Italian for "consecrated to God." The latest popularity surge is likely partially inspired by Twilight's heroine Bella.
Olivia brought a touch of old-fashioned glamour to the top 10. The name Olivia is from the Latin word for "peace (of the olive tree)" and was originally introduced (in its modern spelling) by Shakespeare in Twelfth Night.
Cute Mia has long been popular as a pet name or nickname for Maria. In recent years, the name Mia has gained popularity in its own right, starting with actress Mia Farrow.
The popularity of Emma is on the rise again (after inspiring the names of classic heroines for writers like Austen and Flaubert). The name Emma can be traced back to a German root meaning "universal."
Emily remains one of the most popular baby girl names in New York; in fact, the name has been in the top 10 since 1995. The name Emily is said to mean "industrious."
This Hebrew name has been around since Old Testament times (Leah was the first wife of Jacob) and is said to be derived from the Hebrew word for "weary" (no wonder, given that she bore him a good half-dozen sons!). Today, Leah has been popularized in pop culture: Leah Clearwater is a female werewolf in the Twilight series, and of course, there's Princess Leia of Star Wars fame, albeit with a slightly different spelling.
Ava is short and sweet with a bit of old Hollywood glamour courtesy of actress Ava Gardner. The name was likely originally inspired by the Latin word for "bird."
Sofia is a variant of Sophia, a name which has claimed this year's number one spot (see above).
Chloe is from the ancient Greek for "young shoot or plant" and was one of the names used by Greek earth goddess Demeter. Chloe has long been popular in the U.K. and is enjoying a new surge of interest in the U.S.