Baby Names

Baby lying down, The most popular baby names in 2021 include celebrity favorites and classic choices...
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The 21 Most Popular Baby Names Of 2021 In The U.S.

Learn what the names mean and why they’re so trendy.

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Inspiration for your baby’s name can come from so many places — family members, TV, movies, books, and even celebrities, just to name a few. If you’re currently expecting, a few of the most popular baby names in 2021 may already be on your radar. And if not, perhaps this list of names that are still super trendy could spark an idea or two.

While Karen is out for girls (because of course it is), names like Olivia and Emma that have been favored by parents for years are still as popular as ever. Names rooted in mythology and made popular by celebrities, like Luna and Maeve, also saw a surge, but didn’t break into the top 10 baby names for girls in 2021, per the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Traditional-sounding names like Theodore, Henry, Oliver, and William made the top 10 baby names for boys in 2021, so naming your baby an old man name actually seems like the cool thing to do right now. Trending boy names like Braxton, Noah, Finn, and Silas are all similar in nature, but do lean more modern, but of these, only Noah broached the SSA’s top 10 list.

Names that start with the letter A are definitely having a moment — Amelia and Ava are once again in the top 10 names for girls, while Arlo, Aurora, and Aurelia are all trending baby names in 2021. Not to mention, superstar Mandy Moore and Princess Eugenie both gave birth to babies named August in 2021. (As an Ashley and mom to an Austin, I may be slightly biased toward A-names, but the facts are the facts.)

Read on to see what other names topped the charts in 2021.



The popular nickname for William, Liam has topped the SSA’s list of most popular baby names for boys every year since 2017 and did so once again in 2021. If you don’t want to be super trendy but still love the name, there are plenty of baby names like Liam to choose from.



I honestly can’t read the baby name Olivia without imagining a tiny baby in a power suit à la Olivia Pope, kicking butt and taking names in the nation’s capital. Alas, I’m likely not the only person who feels this way considering that Olivia is still wildly popular in the United States right now. Olivia has topped the SSA’s list of the most popular baby girl names for the past three years.



My heart swoons when I think about Noah from The Notebook, so it’s pretty obvious to me why this baby name has stayed so popular. (It was ranked No. 1 by the SSA from 2013 to 2016 and No. 2 every year since 2017.) While it was one of the most popular names for boys in 2021, the name is definitely also a cute choice for girls as well.



It looks like the name Emma is here to stay. The name sits near the top of the charts once again in 2021 as the number two name for baby girls. Perhaps the Friends reunion has something to do with this, but Emma was also the second most popular baby name of 2020 for girls, according to the SSA.



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Third on the list of most popular baby boy names for 2021, according to the SSA, is Oliver. Though the name is considered old-fashioned by some, it’s held the number three ranking since 2019. If you love the sound and meaning of the name, but want to steer away from the trends, Oscar, Ollivander, and Wilder are similar to Oliver, but not nearly as popular.



The classic baby name Charlotte means “petite” or “feminine.” The name has been in the top 20 names for baby girls born in the U.S. since 2012, and ranked third in 2021, up from the number four spot in 2020. Perhaps a certain little princess is to thank for the name’s resurgence?



If you’re looking to give your child a name with biblical roots that’s also popular in modern times, the baby name Elijah is a top choice. The name Elijah means “The Lord is my God” and ranked fourth among most popular names for baby boys born in 2021, according to the SSA.



In 2020, the name ranked sixth most popular for baby girls, according to the SSA, but rose to the number four spot in 2021. This is the highest ranking ever for the name, which has been in the top 10 for baby girls born in the U.S. for five straight years now. Amelia means “work” and if you love the name Amelia, you may be inspired by similar baby names like Mia and Olivia that are also trendy right now.



James takes the number five spot of the top baby names for boys born in 2021, according to the SSA. This classic baby boy name has been popular for many years, but recent gender-neutral baby naming trends have also seen a rise in girls with the moniker as well. For example, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds named their daughter James in 2014.



The fifth most-popular baby name for girls born in 2021 is Ava, according to the SSA. If you like the baby name Ava, but want something just a little different (or, just not as popular), common variations include Eva, Avaline, Avalee, and Evelyn.



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With Liam in the top spot for baby boys born in 2021, it makes perfect sense that the name from which Liam is derived, William, is also extremely popular. Historically, William has been in the top 20 baby names for boys in the U.S. since 1900, according to the SSA. (Perhaps it was popular even before the turn of the century, but this is as far back as the SSA’s records go.) The sixth most popular name for boys in 2021, the baby name William means “resolute protector.”



The name Sophia has been on the top 10 list of the SSA’s most popular baby names for girls since 2006. With 12,496 babies born with the moniker in 2021, Sophia slipped from fifth to sixth place for the year. The alternative spelling Sofia ranked 18th and Sophie ranked 76th in 2021, according to the SSA.



Another popular baby name with a biblical connection, Benjamin means “son of the right hand” in Hebrew. The name Benjamin first broke into the top 10 most popular baby boy names in 2015 and is ranked seventh in 2021, per the SSA.



The baby name Isabella is in the number seven spot for most popular baby girl names in 2021 once again, after falling from fifth in 2019. While Isabella is easy to shorten to cute nicknames like Isa, Izzy, and Bella, there are also plenty of baby names that are similar to Isabella if you love the name, but want something less popular.



In October 2021, Romper reported that Luca was one of the most popular names of the year based on Google baby name search trends. As it turns out, plenty of parents with babies born in 2021 added an “s” to the name, as Lucas takes the number eight spot of most popular baby boy names for the third year in a row, according to the SSA. (Just FYI: Luca was ranked 42nd.)



Like Oliva, Amelia, and Sophia, the short and sweet baby name Mia ends with the letters “ia.” The eighth most popular baby girl name of 2021, according to the SSA, Mia can be used as a standalone name or a nickname for a more formal moniker like Maria or Miryam.



In 2020, Henry broke into the top 10 most popular baby boy names in the U.S. for the first time since 1910. In 2021, the name retained its number nine ranking for the second year in a row, according to the SSA. The baby name Henry means “home” or “estate” and has roots in both France and England.



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The baby name Evelyn is still going strong in terms of popularity, ranked ninth for baby girls born in the U.S. in 2021, marking the name’s fifth appearance in the top 10 since 2017, according to the SSA. Evelyn is a diminutive or Eve, which means “living” or “mother of all mankind.”



The baby name Theodore is of Greek origin and means “gift of God.” Not only is the name the tenth most popular name for baby boys born in 2021, according to the SSA, the possibilities for nicknames are just adorable. Theo, Teddy, and Ted are all cute options for babies with a stately name like Theodore.



The baby name Harper first broke into the top 1000 baby names in the U.S. in 2004 and since that time it has skyrocketed from number 887 in the nation to become the tenth most popular baby girl name of 2021, according to the SSA. Harper is of English origin and means “one who plays the harp.”



In 2020, the SSA reported that 7,770 babies were named Luna, ranking the name 14th most popular for girls. It looks like the galactic moniker made popular by celebrity couple Chrissy Teigen and John Legend is even more popular in 2021, taking the number 11 spot for girls.

If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further than last year for some still-super trendy names. They just might be on this year’s list, too.

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