The Most Popular Baby Names of 2015 - and Predictions for 2016

The names Santo and Rey are expected to rise in popularity, inspired by the baby born to "Kimye" and the new Star Wars movie. Gender-neutral names will also become more popular.

Jan 07, 2016, 09:00 ET from BabyCenter en Espanol

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- BabyCenter® en Español (, the most trusted pregnancy and parenting resource for Latina moms, today announced the top 100 baby names for Latino parents in 2015 and predictions for 2016. The list is based on the names of nearly 100,000 babies born in 2015 to parents registered on BabyCenter en Español who live in the United States, Latin America, and Spain. BabyCenter en Español also shared the findings from a baby names survey of more than 5,000 Latino parents.

The classic names Sofía and Santiago win again! Both have topped BabyCenter en Español's lists of the 100 most popular baby names for nine consecutive years. But it's clear that many parents are now looking for other like-sounding options. That's evident in the rise of Lucía, a name similar to Sofía, which climbed eight spots to 3rd place! And Santino, an alternative to Santiago, remains on the list of the 100 most popular names for boys.

But how do Latino parents decide what to name their babies? The survey results and the trends of 2015 help explain what goes into this important decision.

See the complete lists of the 100 most popular names for boys and girls.

Hottest trends of 2015:

Falling in love with talent

Latino parents have been dazzled by several talented kids and young people. The TV show The Voice Kids has been a major source of inspiration.

Alexa has been causing a stir since 2014, when she auditioned for The Voice Kids Australia. Her version of the song "This Girl Is on Fire" has garnered more than 55 million visits on YouTube. The winner of the competition, she was likely responsible for a dramatic jump in popularity of the name Alexa, which leaped from number 72 to number 37 in 2015!

Gender neutral

According to the survey results, 7 percent of Latino parents favor unisex names, a trend that has become fashionable among celebrities. This preference can be seen as Latino parents choose names like Noah (traditionally a boys' name) and Noa (traditionally a girls' name) interchangeably for boys and girls. Both are in the top 100.

Other names that Latino parents use for both sons and daughters are Axel, Alex, Dani, and Max. (None of those are in the top 100 – yet!)

Brave warrior women

The power of women continues to grow as they participate more in the workforce, politics and all sectors of society, not only in the United States but around the world.

So it comes as no surprise that Latino parents tend to favor girls' names that mean strength and power, traits that used to be more apparent in the boys' names they chose. Some of these names, such as Valentina, Victoria, and Valeria, remain in the top 10.

One in 2 parents who participated in the survey said they wanted their daughter's name to reflect strength, while 2 in 3 wanted a name that reflects intelligence.

Is religion still important?

Parents said the most important factor in choosing a name for their children was that they liked the name and its meaning. A total of 2,000 parents (out of 5,000 respondents) said they found inspiration in the names of famous people. Spiritual and religious figures won by a large margin (32 percent), followed by historic figures (18 percent) and musicians, authors, and artists (18 percent).

Interestingly, this response varied depending on where the parents lived. Spiritual and religious names were more popular in the following countries:

  • Colombia (45 percent)
  • Venezuela (39 percent)
  • United States (37 percent)

 In these two countries, spiritual and religious names were less common:

  • Spain (15 percent)
  • Puerto Rico (13 percent)

Francesca, the Italian version of Francisca, climbed 26 places to position 51. Perhaps parents' admiration for Pope Francis grew after his visits to the United States and Latin America.

Predictions for 2016

Saints and kings

Will Latino parents follow in the footsteps of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West? The names Santo, Santino, and Santos are expected to become more popular this year, inspired by the all-time favorite, Santiago, and of course, by the birth of Saint, the baby boy born to the celebrity couple known as "Kimye."

Other names that will be fighting to make it into the top 100 are Rey and Reyes (meaning King and Kings in English). Rey is the name of the brave heroine of the new Star Wars movie, which has broken box office records around the world.

More gender-neutral names

Boy-girl names will continue to gain favor this year, and some of the ones that parents are already using could make it into the top 100 for girls and boys. One example is Max, which could climb farther up the baby name charts for both sexes, inspired by the popularity of Maximiliano and Máximo, and possibly influenced by little Maxima – the new baby daughter of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.

More about baby names:

What influenced Hispanic baby names in 2015?

Hispanic baby names: Predictions for 2016

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SOURCE BabyCenter en Espanol