Isabella, Noah are top baby names over past year in the Land of Enchantment
Once-popular Michael falls off top 10 list while girls names remain consistent
The top baby names for boys are no longer Ronald, Donald or Robert – all popular in the 1940s. Even Michael got bumped in 2018.
Betty, Barbara and Nancy don’t make the cut for girls. Emily, a more recent favorite is out, too, but Emma is all the rage.
Other names on the top 10 list for New Mexico babies in 2018 are Mateo, Liam, Mia and Sophia – also spelled Sofia – according to a list produced by the state Department of
Health using birth record data. Isabella was the No. 1 choice for girls in New Mexico this year, and Noah was the favorite for boys.
Rounding out the list for boys: Elijah, Logan, Daniel, Mason, Sebastian, Benjamin and Julian. And for girls: Olivia, Ava, Amelia, Camila and Mila.
These two- and three-syllable names might be simple to pronounce and easy on the ear, but the process of selecting a baby name is anything but effortless.
“As a father of four myself,” said Paul Rhien, a Health Department spokesman, “we searched books with baby names and websites with baby names. We went through hundreds before we found one that stuck.”
For some parents in the United States, the perfect name for a newborn comes with a hefty fee.
With prices for services ranging from hundreds of dollars (New York-based My Name for Life) to more than $30,000 (Swiss company Erfolgswelle), baby name consulting firms have appeared on the market, offering to carefully vet possible names – researching their history and meaning, and evaluating the pros and cons of popular versus offbeat options – or even to generate a one-of-a-kind moniker for an infant.
But most parents, like Rhien, turn to more affordable resources, such as baby name blogs, books and magazines.
Rhien pointed out some similarities in New Mexico’s top baby names: Nearly every girl name from this past year’s list ends with an “uh” sound, while half of the boy names end with an N.
Since the Health Department began producing the list in 2014, Rhein said, he has seen some lasting trends as well as surprising shifts.
For example, he said, Michael has been a top boy name in the state for at least the past five years. Rhien was surprised to see it drop from the list.
Meanwhile, Mia and Noah have been in the top two spots since at least 2014. Sophia has remained among the top three names for girls.
Statewide trends oftentimes overlap with national baby naming trends.
According to a list produced by Parents magazine, Sophia was the top name for girls across the country in 2018. Olivia came in second, Isabella fifth and Mia ninth.
For boys, Parents noted, Noah came in third nationally, while Liam was second, Mason eighth and Elijah 10th.