After 11 consecutive years as number one in the rankings, Sophia was unseated by Olivia as the most popular girl name. Meanwhile, Liam held its spot as the most popular boy name for the third year in a row.
The 2021 rankings come from “hundreds of thousands of parents” who share their babies’ names with BabyCenter in real time, “making them a more up-to-the-minute look at what’s trending,” the website says.
For the first time this year, the site did not combine spelling variations of the same name in the rankings. That means spellings of names likes Sophia and Sofia took different spots on the list (number 5 and number 22, respectively).
No new baby girl names entered the top ten list in 2021, though there were small shuffles in popularity: Charlotte moved up two spots from number 8 to number 6, while Amelia rose from number 5 to number 3. Ava, Sophia, Isabella and Mia each fell down one spot.
While the top girl names remained relatively constant, a pair of new boy names entered the top ten this year — Levi and Asher, knocking Mateo and Logan off the list.
The fastest-rising baby girl names in 2021 were
- Raya — up 53%,
- Alora — up 32%
- Ariya — up 27%.
Meanwhile, boy names with the biggest jumps were:
- Onyx — up 44%,
- Koda — up 38%,
- Finnegan — up 35%.
Some of this year’s biggest baby name trends were gender-neutral and unisex names, such as Finley and Tatum, along with names inspired by nature, like Willow, Ivy and Sage.
Pop culture references were also popular this year, with names like Daphne (of the Bridgerton show) and Chadwick (as in actor Chadwick Boseman, who died this year). One in 10 parents polled by BabyCenter said they found their baby name from a TV show, movie or book, which explains why the hit series Ted Lasso boosted names from its characters like Roy, Keeley and Jamie this year, the site added.
“We also saw a spike in baby names that channel strength, optimism, and resilience – a testament to being born in the middle of a pandemic, we suspect,” the website said.
A list of the top 100 names of 2021 can be viewed here.