Melania is one of the fastest rising baby names for girls

Melania is one of the fastest rising names baby names for girls in the U.S., according to new data from the Social Security Administration.

On Friday, the government agency released its official list of the most popular baby names of 2017. Although the top 10 names weren’t terribly surprising, there were some interesting trends in the broader data. 

Among girls’ names, first lady Melania Trump’s first name saw the fifth-largest jump in popularity between 2016 and 2017. In 2016, the name ranked No. 1,650, with 131 babies named Melania born that year. In 2017, it leaped 720 places to number 930, with the number of newborn Melanias rising to 283. Meanwhile, the alternative spelling Milania was ranked third among names that decreased in popularity. 

This news comes four days after the first lady introduced her grammatically questionable “Be Best” campaign, which critics have called hypocritical and derided for apparent plagiarism. She has previously faced criticism for promoting her husband’s racist birtherism claims and for lifting passages from former first lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech in her address to the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Related: See more of FLOTUS over the years: 

Melania Trump through the years
See Gallery
Melania Trump through the years

Donald Trump and Melania Knauss during Grand Opening of 'W' New York Hotel at W Hotel - NYC in New York City, New York, United States.

(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

This picture provided by courtesy of Nena Bedek and taken in 1977 in Radenci, northeastern Slovenia, shows Slovenian-American former model and Donald Trump's wife Melania Trump (born Melanija Knavs)(2nd R) as a child, together with Nena Bedek (R), attending a fashion review of Jutranjka, the textile company where her mother used to work. Because of Melania Trump's husband success so far in the Republican race for the White House candidacy, foreign journalists and tourists have become a frequent sight in her birth region, set in rolling hills 60 miles from the capital Ljubljana.

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Trump and Melania Trump attend the premiere of 'Celebrity' on September 25, 1998 at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City.

(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

Melania Knauss (Concord Model) At The Launch Of Concords' New Advertising Campaign. There Is Also An Auctin To Benefit Amfar.

(Photo By Robin Platzer/Twin Images/Getty Images)

Melania Knauss Trump attends 27th Annual Fragrance Foundation Fifi Awards on June 7, 1999 at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City.

(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

Donald Trump and girlfriend Melania Knauss are joined by Trump's former wife, Ivana, and her boyfriend, Roffredo Gaetaniat a party at Cipriani's on Park Ave. for the benefit of Rockefeller University.

(Photo by John Roca/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Melania Knauss Trump attends 37th Annual Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue Preview Party on February 22, 2000 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.

(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

Donald Trump and girlfriend Melania Knauss are joined by a couple of Playboy Bunnies at a launch party for the Hugo Boss store at Fifth Ave. and 56th St.

(Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Donald Trump and his girlfriend Melania Knauss are shown in this 03 September 2002 file photo, as they watch Andy Roddick of the US play Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina at the US Open Tennis Tournament at Flushing Meadows, New York.


Melania Knauss attends the private party hosted by Donald Trump's T Management for legendary supermodel Pat Cleveland at Ian Schrager's Hudson Sky Terrace September 17, 2003 in New York.

(Photo By Steven Henry/Getty Images)

Real estate magnate Donald Trump and Melania leave Hollinger International's annual meeting at the Metropolitan Club in New York on May 22, 2003. Hollinger publishes The Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Telegraph of London, the Jerusalem Post and other newspapers.

(REUTERS/Peter Morgan PM/ME)

Donald Trump's new bride, Slovenian model Melania Knauss, waves as they leave the Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church after their wedding in Palm Beach, Florida, January 22, 2005.

(REUTERS/Gary I Rothstein Pictures of the Month)

Melania Trump attends the J Mendel Spring Collections 2007 show during New York fashion week September 14, 2006.

(REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

Donald Trump, entrepreneur and host of the television reality series "The Apprentice", poses with his wife and children Donald Trump Jr., Tiffany Trump, Melania and daughter Ivanka at the party following the live telecast of the finale of season five in Los Angeles, California June 5, 2006.

(REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File Photo)

Donald Trump's wife Melania Trump and son Baron attend the ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 16, 2006 in Hollywood, California.

(Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

Melania Trump during Celebs Toast to the New Trump Super Premium Vodka at TrumpTower in New York, New York, United States.

(Photo by Mychal Watts/WireImage)

Melania Trump and Andre Leon Talley attend ANDRE LEON TALLEY and RACHEL ROY Present Her Spring 2007 Collection at Bergdorf Goodman on October 11, 2006 in New York City.

(Photo by Neil Rasmus/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Melania Trump attends Michael Kors Fall 2007 Collection at The Tent on February 7, 2007 in New York City.

(Photo by Matt Carasella/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump inside Madonna and Gucci Host 'A Night to Benefit Raising Malawi and UNICEF' at the United Nations on February 6, 2007 in New York City.

(Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Melania Trump, wearing Vera Wang, arrives for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, "Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy" in New York May 5, 2008.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Melania Trump and her son Barron attend the 17th Annual Bunny Hop at FAO Schwarz March 11, 2008 in New York City.

(Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)

Melania Trump arrives at 'The Celebrity Apprentice' viewing party at Tenjune on February 7, 2008 in New York City.

(Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images)

Donald Trump, Jr., Barron Trump, Ivanka Trump, Melania Trump-Trump and Eric Trump attend the 'The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life' book launch celebration at Trump Tower on October 14, 2009 in New York City.

(Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Donald Trump and his wife Melania pose at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, "The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion," in New York, May 4, 2009.

(REUTERS/Eric Thayer)

Melania Knauss, wife of Donald Trump, arrives at her seat in the stands to watch an evening match during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York September 8, 2010.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Donald Trump and Melania Trump attend the Michael Kors Fall 2010 Fashion Show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at TheTent at Bryant Park on February 17, 2010 in New York, New York.

(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for IMG)

Melania Trump attends The Black Eyed Peas launch the Samsung 3D LED TV at the Time Warner Center on March 10, 2010 in New York City.

(Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)

Melania Trump attends the Philadelphia Style Magazine holiday issue release party at 10 Arts Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton on December 13, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)

Producer Brian Grazer, Donald Trump, Director Brett Ratner, Melania Trump and Sean 'Diddy' Combs attend the world premiere of 'Tower Heist' at the Ziegfeld Theatre on October 24, 2011 in New York City.

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Donald Trump and Melania Trump attend Lady in Red Gala to benefit The American Veterans Disabled For Life Memorial at The Mar-a-Largo Club on December 2, 2011 in Palm Beach, Florida.

(Photo by Lucien Capehart/Getty Images)

Melania Trump attends the 'The Dark Knight Rises' World Premiere at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on July 16, 2012 in New York City.

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Real estate magnate Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit celebrating the opening of the "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations" exhibition in New York, May 7, 2012.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Vanessa Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Melania Trump attend the 2012 Operation Smile Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on May 3, 2012 in New York City.

(Photo by Mark Von Holden/WireImage)

Dr. Richard Ash, DuJour Media Founder Jason Binn, Goldie Hawn, Melania Trump and Donald Trump pose circa September 2013 in New York City.

(Photo by Jason Binn/WireImage)

Donald Trump, Melania Trump and son Barron Trump attend Trump Invitational Grand Prix at Mar-a-Lago on January 6, 2013 in Palm Beach, Florida.

(Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images)

Melania Trump, the wife of real estate developer Donald Trump, attends a news conference in New York May 1, 2014. New Jersey's Trump National Golf Club, a course owned by Trump, will host the 2022 PGA Championship.

(REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Donald Trump and Melania Trump attend The New York Ball: The 20th Anniversary Benefit For The European School Of Economics at Trump Tower on November 19, 2014 in New York City.

(Photo by Monica Schipper/FilmMagic)

U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump gives a thumbs up while he poses with his family after formally announcing his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. The Trump family from L; Eric Trump and his wife Lara, Donald Trump, son Barron, Melania Trump, Vanessa Haydon and her husband Donald Trump Jr., children Kia Trump and Donald Trump III, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner and Tiffany Trump.

(REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

Melania Trump, wife of Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump, smiles as she leaves the stage after the conclusion of the third and final debate between her husband and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016.

(REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump kisses his wife Melania Trump at a campaign rally in Wilmington, North Carolina Florida, U.S. November 5, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's wife Melania Trump attends a campaign event in Washington, DC, U.S., October 26 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump greets his wife Melania after the third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016.

(REUTERS/Joe Raedle/Pool)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump casts his ballot on election day with his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka at PS 59 in Manhattan on Tuesday November 8, 2016.

(Susan Watts/New York Daily News)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump arrive for a campaign rally the Air Wilmington Hangar located at Wilmington International Airport November 5, 2016 in Wilmington, North Carolina. Trump and his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, are campaigning in key battleground states that each must win to take the White House.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Melania Trump and Republican candidate for Vice President Mike Pence watch the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. Democrat Hillary Clinton and rival Donald Trump face off in their last presidential debate on October 19, with the Republican candidate spiraling downward amid allegations of sexual misconduct and wild charges of a 'rigged' US election.

(JOE RAEDLE/AFP/Getty Images)

Republican nominee Donald Trump's wife Melania Trump walks away after the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri on October 9, 2016.



That the name Melania would get a boost is somewhat expected, however. The name has always been relatively obscure in the U.S., and publicity around a name, whether positive or negative, tends to increase its popularity.

And although Melania Trump is affiliated with a controversial presidential administration, a recent CNN poll showed that her favorability rating had risen from 47 percent to 57 percent between January and May. Even many staunch critics of President Donald Trump seem to harbor feelings of warmth or pity toward his wife ― a much-decried phenomenon that has manifested in the #FreeMelania hashtag, protest signs reading “Melania, Blink Twice If You Need Help,” and countless memes.  

Melania isn’t the only Trump woman whose name has risen in popularity. Ivanka is also an increasingly favored choice among American parents. In 2017, 164 newborn girls shared the first name of the president’s oldest daughter, up from 112 in 2016 and 37 in 2015. The other first daughter, Tiffany Trump, can’t say the same about her name, which fell down the ranks from No. 558 to 580 between 2016 and 2017. 

Related: Banned baby names 

Banned baby names around the world
See Gallery
Banned baby names around the world

France won't allow a name if the courts agree it will lead to a lifetime of mockery

In France, local birth certificate registrars must inform their local court if they feel a baby name goes against the child's best interests.

The court can then ban the name if it agrees, and will do so especially if it feels the name could lead to a lifetime of mockery.

Baby names banned in France 




Prince William 

Mini Cooper

Germany has a number of strict baby-naming rules

Germany has a number of baby-naming restrictions, including: no gender-neutral names; no last names, names of objects, or names of products as first names; and no names that could negatively affect the child's well-being or lead to humiliation.

Baby names banned in Germany


Osama Bin Laden

Adolf Hitler



Switzerland has a list of strict rules, too

Like Germany, Switzerland also has a number of baby-naming restrictions, and the Swiss civil registrar must approve all baby names.

In general, if the name is deemed to harm the child's well-being or be offensive to a third party, it will not be approved. Other rules include no giving a boy a girl's name or a girl a boy's name, no biblical villains, no naming your child a brand name, no place names, and no last names as first names.

Baby names banned in Switzerland






In Iceland, baby names must align with the linguistic structure and conventional spelling system of Iceland

Unless both parents are foreign, parents in Iceland must submit their child's name to the National Registry within six months of birth. If the name is not on the registry's list of approved names, parents must seek approval of the name with the Icelandic Naming Committee.

About half of the names submitted get rejected for violating Iceland's strict naming requirements. Among these requirements, names must be capable of having Icelandic grammatical endings, may not conflict with the linguistic structure of Iceland, and should be written in accordance with the ordinary rules of Icelandic orthography.

So, for example, if a name contains a letter that does not appear in the Icelandic alphabet (the letters C, Q, and W, for example), the names are banned.

Baby names banned in Iceland






Denmark only allows names from a pre-approved list

Denmark has a list of about 7,000 approved baby names, and if your name choice doesn't make the cut, you have to seek permission and have your name choice reviewed at Copenhagen University's Names Investigation Department and at the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs.

More than 1,000 names are reviewed every year, and almost 20% are rejected, mostly for odd spellings.

Baby names banned in Denmark






In most cases, Norway won't allow you to use a last name as a first name 

Norway has loosened its baby-naming lawsin recent years, but it has kept two key provisions.

The name won't be accepted if it is considered to be a major disadvantage for the person or for other strong reasons.

And you cannot choose a first name that is already registered in Norway's Population Register as a last or middle name (in Norway, middle names are essentially second surnames). The exception is if the name has origins or tradition as a first name in Norway or abroad or has tradition in a culture that does not distinguish between first and last name. So naming your baby one of the most popular last names in Norway, like Hansen or Haugen, would not be allowed.

Baby names banned in Norway






Sweden bans names it considers 'obviously unsuitable' as a first name or offensive

Sweden bans first names that could cause offense to others or discomfort for the one using it.

It bans other names that would be considered obviously unsuitable as a first name.

Parents must submit the proposed name of their child within three months of birth to the Swedish Tax Agency and could face fines for failing to register a name.

Baby names banned in Sweden






Malaysia considers names that are animals, insults, numbers, royal or honorary names, and food 'undesirable'

Malaysia has a list of names it considers "undesirable" and that are subsequently banned.

On the list of unacceptable names are animals, insults, numbers, royal or honorary names, and food.

Baby names banned in Malaysia

Chinese Ah Chwar (Snake)

Woti (Sexual intercourse)

Khiow Khoo (Hunchbake)

Chow Tow (Smelly Head)

Sor Chai (Insane)

One part of Mexico has a list of explicitly banned names that are considered derogatory, lacking in meaning, or mockable

A law passed in Sonora, Mexico, explicitly bans 61 first names that are either considered derogatory, lacking in meaning or mockable.

Authorities say the objective is to protect children from being bullied because of their name.

Baby names banned in Mexico



Escroto (Scrotum)



Parents in New Zealand who want to give a baby name with more than 100 characters are out of luck

In New Zealand, parents are barred from giving names that would cause offense, that are longer than 100 characters, or that resemble an official title and rank.

Baby names banned in New Zealand

Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii


Sex Fruit

Fat Boy

Cinderella Beauty Blossom 

Portugal has an 82-page list of names that denotes which are accepted and which are not

In Portugal, children's names must betraditionally Portuguese, gender-specific, and full, meaning no nicknames.

To make things easier on parents, the country offers an 82-page list of namesthat denotes which are accepted and which are not.

Baby names banned in Portugal






Names that are considered 'too foreign' or blasphemous will not fly in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi government has banned more than 50 names it deems "too foreign," inappropriate, blasphemous, or not in line with the country's social or religious traditions.

Baby names banned in Saudi Arabia


Malika (Queen)

Malak (Angel)




Other members of the Trump clan have also seen declines in the popularity of their names. The president’s son Eric Trump saw his name fall from No. 142 to 143, and son-in-law Jared Kushner saw his drop from No. 384 to 385. Meanwhile, Donald held steady at No. 488.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
Read Full Story

Sign up for the Best Bites by AOL newsletter to get the most delicious recipes and hottest food trends delivered straight to your inbox every day.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.