Daycares around the world have been inundated with Sophias. Or Sofias, Sofies, and even Zsófias. That’s because the name Sophia, plus all its variations of spelling, is the most popular girls’ baby name in the world, according to one expert.
Laura Wattenberg collected baby name stats from 49 countries around the world for Babynamewizard.com and found that some form of Sophia ranked first place in nine countries, second or third in 20 others, and hit the top 25 in two third of countries that report the popularity of baby names.
And it’s not just one religion, language, or culture: Sophia is tops in both Christian and Muslim countries, and in countries that speak 22 different languages. But it’s important to keep in mind that many big countries like China and India don’t report baby names, so while Sophia might be tops in the Western world, factoring in every country would definitely change the list.
Wattenberg writes that it’s unclear exactly why the world loves Sophia — sure, Sofia Vergara is famous and people love Modern Family, but parents aren’t pointing to her as an influence. Some of her blog commenters point to the popularity of Sophie the giraffe, a favorite baby toy, though it’s unclear whether the baby name or the toy name rose in popularity first.
“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. “I guess that really says something about the way culture is transmitted today.”