Emma, William Maintain Titles as Tennessee's Top Baby Names

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 | 10:02am

NASHVILLE – Emma and William are the most popular names chosen by new Tennessee parents for their babies born in 2016. Names chosen for babies are recorded and tallied by the dedicated team in the Tennessee Department of Health’s Office of Vital Records, which registers some 240,000 new records of births, deaths, marriages and divorces every year.

William has remained the top name chosen for baby boys born in Tennessee for a decade, coming in as the most popular choice for ten straight years. Emma has been the most popular name for Tennessee baby girls since 2011. 

There are ties f

or the top choices in three slots on the list of boys’ names this year.

The top 10 names Tennessee parents chose for their new babies born in 2016* are as follows:









Elijah, James (tie)









Jackson, Liam (tie)



John, Michael (tie)














*provisional data

Both the boys’ and girls’ name lists include new entries in the top 10 this year:  Amelia, Ella and Charlotte are all new additions to the top ten names for girls in Tennessee. Michael, Benjamin and Aiden are all newcomers in the top name choices for baby boys. All other names on the 2016 top ten list are unchanged from the previous year, although some have moved in the rankings. The top four choices for girls’ names in 2016 are the same as in 2015. The boys’ names in the top five spots for 2016 were those in the first seven spots on the 2015 list.

Data on Tennessee’s most popular baby names are pulled from birth certificates, which are issued by the TDH Office of Vital Records. This office is charged with maintaining the integrity of approximately 15 million records, which can include issuance and amending records such as birth and death certificates and records of marriages and divorces that occur in Tennessee. The Office of Vital Records processes an average of more than 14,000 requests for such certificates every month, providing service to an average of 650 customers each week. These requests are submitted in person, by mail, online and via telephone; Vital Records staff members handle an average of 15,000 phone calls every month and issue more than 700 certificates every single day. This office registers approximately 240,000 new records of events for birth, death, marriage and divorce annually.

The Tennessee Office of Vital Records is located on the first floor of the Andrew Johnson Tower at 710 James Robertson Parkway in Nashville. Walk-in hours are available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time. Some Tennessee vital records may also be obtained from 

local county health departments. Learn more about the Tennessee Office of Vital Records including how you may request these records at http://tn.gov/health/section/vital-records.

Tennessee families are also encouraged to visit kidcentral tn, a one-stop shop to connect them with important information and resources provided by state government departments and agencies. The website features a comprehensive directory of state services for children and families. Learn more at kidcentraltn.com.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments. Learn more about TDH services and programs at www.tn.gov/health.