There are many ways to gauge the popularity of baby names — the Social Security Administration’s annual list, the kids in your child’s class, celebrities’ offspring. We also like to check in with other websites that do their own baby-name tracking, to see if they have a different (possibly international) sampling of the current zeitgeist. This week, BabyCenter released its list of the most popular baby names of 2020, as submitted to the site by 520,000 parents.
Since these names are for 2020, as opposed to the 2019 names we got from the SSA last month, there are some differences we can peg to this year’s cultural moments. There are also a lot of similarities, particularly in the names that have been popular for years. Sophia marked its 11th year atop BabyCenter’s girls name list, and it’s hovered in the top five on the SSA list for just as many years. Liam is in its second year at #1 for boys names at BabyCenter, and it’s been #1 on the SSA list since 2017. There are also a lot of the other usual suspects: Emma, Ava, Olivia, Isabella, Noah, Jackson, Aiden, and Oliver.
But we’re very fascinated by a few outliers on the list. Riley is the #3 girls name, and Aaliyah is #8. On the boys’ side, Mateo has made it up to #10, and Mohammed is #11. The site noted last year that Arabic names were on the rise, so Aaliyah, Mohammed, and Layla (#11) prove that has continued. When the SSA list came out this year, BabyNames.com co-founder Jennifer Moss predicted that Mateo would be growing in popularity.
“Mateo at 26 is signaling a new trend of Italian/Latinx names, like Luna, Gianna, Giovanni, Lorenzo and Enzo,” Moss told SheKnows. “I predict that will be more prevalent in the next one to three years.”
Because the BabyCenter list is from this year, we can see that Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s tragic death in January also had an impact on new parents. Gianna is #24 on the list, having grown in popularity by 216 percent; while Kobe is up 175 percent, but still not in the top 100. And as Moss also predicted, names like Chad and Karen are sinking rapidly.
For more baby name inspiration, visit the SheKnows Baby Names database, and find names based on themes, regions of the globe, letters of the alphabet, and more.
You can also take notes from these celebrities’ unique baby names.