Baby Name Trends In Canada You Need To Know

We break down the top 10 boys' and girls' names in Canada and examine what is really going on with 2014's favourite baby names

2014 has come to a close, and with its end comes a host of round-ups, “most popular” lists and top tens. For expectant parents, one of the most important lists is often the top ten most popular baby names. In many cases, parents want to avoid the most common names for fear of having their child be one of the three little Emmas or Liams in her or his class. In other cases, parents are looking for a name that maybe isn’t the most popular, but which still “fits” and feels natural with their baby’s future peers. To accomplish both these goals, we need to review some of the most popular names in Canada, and consider the broader naming trends they reflect.

Time to dive in! We've got the list of the top ten most popular names for baby girls and boys born in Canada in 2014; let’s take a look at some of the patterns that are emerging or still going strong. 

First up is the top ten girls’ names:

  1. Emma
  2. Olivia
  3. Sophia
  4. Chloe 
  5. Emily
  6. Lily
  7. Zoe
  8. Isabella
  9. Ava
  10. Ari

And here are the top 10 boys’ names

  1. Jackson
  2. Liam
  3. Lucas
  4. Logan
  5. William
  6. Aiden
  7. Mason
  8. Noah
  9. Jack
  10. Nathan

For the most part, what we see in 2014’s set of top ten names is a continuation of some trends that have been going strong for over the last several years. For example, seven out of both the girls’ and boys’ top ten names for 2014 were also in the top then names of 2013.

The overall trend for the tone of both boys and girls is the continued popularity of simple, classic names with a slightly vintage feel; names that would seem equally at home on your grandparents’ birth certificates. These lists also illustrate a few common themes in terms of sounds. A common sound trend across the board for boys and girls is the soft, lilting “ell” sound, which is found in half of the top ten girls’ names and four of the top ten boys’ names. 

Within each gender’s list, the strongest trend is the end sound. For boys, the ubiquitous ’n’ ending (or its variant, the ‘m’ ending) is still going strong, with seven of the top ten names reflecting this trend. Girls’ names show the same consistency with their own ending, but in this case, it’s a soft vowel: all ten of the most popular girls’ names end in an “ee” or “ah” sound.

The two names that show the largest growth in popularity on each list are Aria and William, both of which reflect their gender’s end-sound trend (the vowel and n/m ending, respectively) and the overall tone trend of classic, elegant names. 

So if most of these names reflect a consistency with years past, what’s the biggest surprise on these lists?

Glancing over them, the only real surprise to me was the rise of Logan. It’s a great name and it reflects the simplicity and the sounds that are currently en vogue, but it has a slightly eighties feel that I didn't realize was becoming so popular!

This is a good reminder that if you are someone who is concerned with giving their child a unique or unpopular name, keep your eye on name board and charts because you never know what great name might be sneaking up under the radar!

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