Baby name trends of the decade

Baby name trends of the decade

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When looking at how baby names have changed throughout the past decade, one trend stood out above the rest: Parents are rewriting the rules. In the past, parents typically chose from a pool of traditional baby names, but nowadays just about anything is an option. Since 2010, parents have been turning to television shows, nature, video games, and even apps for inspiration. They're giving their babies gender-neutral names, nicknames as names, and names with unique spellings. In the 20+ years we've tracked baby names, the pool of names has expanded significantly. In other words, there are many more names in circulation, and therefore children are less likely to share the same name with a classmate.

The golden age of television

Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime, and now Disney+ have created the golden age of binge-worthy television – and it's reflected in baby name trends.

We saw a boost in character names from popular shows like Downton Abbey (Branson, Elsie, Daisy, Grantham), Mad Men (January, Don, Betty), Stranger Things (Nancy, Lucas, Dustin, Joyce), and Game of Thrones (Jorah, Tyrion, Arya, Sansa, Khaleesi). In fact, we didn't see a single baby named Khaleesi before 2010 and now there are several thousand.

Reality TV also consistently showed up in our trends analysis throughout the decade. Among the influencers were Dancing with the Stars (Bruno, Carrie, Leonard), The Voice (Adam, Blake, Gwen), and American Idol (Jennifer, Nicki).

Heroes on-screen and off

Over the decade we saw baby names boosted by superhero movies (Captain, Marvel), Batman (Bruce, Wayne, Wilson), Superman (Clark, Kal-el, Lex), Wonder Woman (Diana), and Spider-Man (Peter, Parker).

Meanwhile, real-life political heroes from yesteryear and present day have been holding court in baby boy names, boosting names like Kennedy, Lincoln, and Barack.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in this category is how video game heroines have held sway. Gamers in the United States have been getting inspiration from the women warriors of their favorite games. Names that climbed were inspired by Legend of Zelda (Zelda), Mortal Kombat (Mileena, Kitana), Final Fantasy (Yuna, Lulu), and The Last of Us (Ellie).

The Instagram influence(r)

This decade brought the explosion of Instagram, a social networking service that launched in 2010. Within two months, 1 million users were registered, and in May 2019, Instagram hit 1 billion users.

Instagram owes much of its popularity to the app's expertly formulated "filters" that add depth, artistry, and shine to just about any photo. Mid-decade, we saw Instagram filter names rise throughout the baby name charts: Ludwig, Amaro, Reyes, Hudson, and Kelvin among boys, and Juno, Valencia, and Willow among girls.

As of December 2019, the most-followed person is footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, with more than 192 million Instagram followers, and the most-followed woman is singer Ariana Grande, with over 168 million followers. Ariana and Cristiano both climbed in popularity this decade, as did Cristiano's son's name, Mateo, which soared 110 spots in our popularity charts.

British invasion

In our quest for more unique names, Americans are crossing the pond, and the Brits have had quite an influence on us during the past decade. Classic English name Bentley shot up almost 500 spots, and Easton rose almost 200, making them the biggest winners for boys. In some years, British celebs boosted names like Adele, Victoria, and Beckham. New parents were even moved to name their little girls Britain and London.

A significant impetus behind our British fascination is obviously the royal family, who added a whole new generation. We've seen more babies named George (plus variations like Georgina, Georgia, Giorgio – Prince George is, after all, third in line for the throne), Harry, William, Pippa, Catherine, and especially Charlotte, which jumped from 93rd to the 15th most popular this decade.

Most recent, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle started the nicknames-as-names trend by naming their firstborn son simply Archie. Other nicknames that went up in 2019 include Cassie, Toni, Nell, Tori, Ricky, and Leo.

Honoring our roots

Choosing a name with special meaning has been one of the top motivating factors for new parents. Many have been demonstrating a reverence for their roots by choosing names that mean something in their religions, cultures, and ancestry. Despite an overall surge in unique names, Biblical names like Noah, Caleb, and Elijah have remained strong throughout the decade.

The biggest shift was the arrival of Muhammad, which started the decade outside of the top 100 but jumped all the way into the top 10 by 2019. In Muslim culture, naming a baby Muhammad is a tradition believed to honor the prophet and bring blessings to the family. Muhammad was able to rise through the ranks because non-Muslim families are increasingly choosing unique names over traditional, creating a smaller pool of babies who share the top 10 names.

Last, old-fashioned names were among the top climbers for girls this decade. We saw upticks in Carol, Shirley, Judith, Frances, Ruth, and Margaret. We're guessing that new parents are giving a nod to their great-grandmothers.

our site News & Analysis is an assessment of recent news designed to cut through the hype and get you what you need to know.

Watch the video: TOP 2021 BABY NAME TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR rare and unique boy, girl, u0026 unisex baby names (September 2022).


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