2016 gave way to some big baby name trends, including superheroes and “Star Wars.” But BabyCenter just released its most popular names of 2016 and noticed that the biggest trending names don’t fall into either category.
“Trending big-time are Peyton, Eliana, Mateo, and Ezra — all zooming up our [top 100] list,” the site noted.
To determine their findings, BabyCenter looked at names that nearly 400,000 parents chose for their baby in 2016. This year, Peyton shot up the charts 43 spots, Eliana up 23 spots, Mateo up 30, and Ezra up 16.
Of the highest trending, Eliana and Mateo stand out as the most unique choices.
Names ending in “a” dominate the top 10 list for girls again this year, which could explain why parents have branched out beyond the typical feminine monikers, such as Olivia and Isabella, to more unique variations like Eliana.
As for Mateo, parents were likely drawn to this refreshing take on traditional Matthew for its sweet sound and meaning, which is “gift of God.”
The fact that Peyton and Ezra are shooting up in popularity isn’t surprising, as they both follow big baby name trends of the past (and present!). Peyton, for instance, is a popular last name used as a first name, while Ezra is a unique biblical name. Additionally, both are unisex.
So what were BabyCenter’s top names of the year? Unsurprisingly, it’s Sophia and Jackson.
This is the seventh year Sophia has ranked at number one for the site, and this is the fourth year for Jackson.
To explain Sophia’s undying popularity, it's interesting to note that Sophia, or its variation Sofia, is cross-cultural, which is why it's the most popular baby name in the world, according to baby name expert Laura Wattenberg. In 2015, Sophia and Sofia were the top names in nine countries and ranked second or third in 20 others.
“It just blew me away that so many different languages and cultures would arrive at the same sound at the same time,” Wattenberg told Live Science last year. “I guess that really says something about the way culture is transmitted today.”
Visit BabyCenter for their full list of most popular baby names of 2016.