U.S. Girl Names 2020: Popular, Rising, Falling, Debuts

The 2020 batch of U.S. baby names was released by the SSA this morning!

I’ve been toying with the data for a few hours and, in this post and the next, I’ll give you some of the highlights.

Here are the most popular girl names overall:

  1. Olivia, 17,535 baby girls
  2. Emma, 15,581
  3. Ava, 13,084
  4. Charlotte, 13,003
  5. Sophia, 12,976
  6. Amelia, 12,704
  7. Isabella, 12,066
  8. Mia, 11,157
  9. Evelyn, 9,445
  10. Harper, 8,778

These ten names were also in the 2019 top ten.

The girl names that saw the largest increases in usage in terms of absolute numbers of babies were…

  1. Gianna, increased by 4,414 babies
  2. Alaia, 654
  3. Nova, 635
  4. Isla, 500
  5. Haisley, 451
  6. Oaklynn, 406
  7. Kehlani, 387
  8. Ariella, 374
  9. Maeve, 337
  10. Natalia, 332

Gianna was influenced by the tragic death of Gianna Bryant, daughter of Kobe Bryant.

The girl names that saw the largest increases in usage in terms of relative numbers of babies were…

  1. Ehlani, increased by 2,100%
  2. Anayra, 483%
  3. Nihan, 482%
  4. Xiamara, 460%
  5. Kiora, 440%
  6. Yahri, 420%
  7. Alessi, 418%
  8. Eryss, 400%
  9. Gianina, 400%
  10. Giannina, 400%

Some explanations…

  • Ehlani is the daughter of social media influencer Elsy Guevara. (Commenter alex called this one months ago. Here’s Ehlani’s “name reveal” video, from May 2020.)
  • Anayra could be from Anayra Sharma, the baby of Indian comedian/celebrity Kapil Sharma (who has 32 million Instagram followers and 18 million twitter followers).
  • Alessi is the the daughter of Siesta Key cast member Alex Kompothecras.
  • Eryss is the daughter of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta cast member Erica Dixon.
  • Giannina was a contestant on the reality TV show Love is Blind.

Here are the girl names that debuted most impressively in the 2020 data:

  1. Dalett, debuted with 94 baby girls
  2. Cennet, 84
  3. Ulanni, 44
  4. Souline, 36
  5. Amavi, 30 (this one double-debuted, actually, with 12 boys as well)
  6. Ayzal, 30
  7. Brixleigh, 19
  8. Kazleigh, 19
  9. Yoatzi, 19
  10. Morwenna, 16

Some explanations…

  • Dalett is the third child (born in May, 2020) of Larrymania stars Larry and Kenia Hernandez. (Their older daughters are Daleyza and Dalary.)
  • Cennet is the main character of the Telemundo show Cennet, which looks to be a remake of a Turkish show (Cennet’in Gözyaslari) from a few years earlier. The name means “heaven” in Turkish.
  • Yoatzi is probably from YouTuber Yoatzi Castro.
  • Morwenna might be from the most recent adaptation of Poldark. (Supporting evidence: the name Demelza returned to the data a few years ago.)

The girl names that saw the largest decreases in usage in terms of absolute numbers of babies were…

  1. Harper, decreased by 1,686 babies
  2. Emma, -1,574
  3. Ava, -1,390
  4. Emily, -1,373
  5. Abigail, -1,317
  6. Mia, -1,295
  7. Isabella, -1,278
  8. Victoria, -1,103
  9. Aria, -994
  10. Olivia, -973

The girl name that saw the largest decrease in usage in terms of relative numbers of babies was Diala (-81%), and the girl name that saw the steepest drop off the list was Yarishna (from 28 babies in 2019 to fewer than 5 in 2020).

If you can explain any of the rises (or drops), please leave a comment!

[Latest update: 5/11/2021]

8 thoughts on “U.S. Girl Names 2020: Popular, Rising, Falling, Debuts

  1. Natalia is one of Gianna Bryant’s sisters – most of the family members’ names have risen. (Nathalia has gone up too.)

  2. Do you know where the popularity of Haisley is coming from?

    It sounds like a mash-up of Paisley & Halsey or an odd version of Hazel or Hailey.

  3. @Clare – Thank you!

    @Ellyn – No, I haven’t figured that one out yet! That was exactly my first guess — Paisley influenced by Halsey (or vice versa) — but I’m sure there’s a better explanation.

  4. Thank you, lucubratrix!

    That influencer baby is no doubt the influence behind Souline, thank you for finding that!

    I did notice “Haisley” in IMDb, but I couldn’t see that the show had actually aired anywhere, beyond a promo on Amazon Prime. (That said, the promo — depending on how widely it was seen — may still have been an influence. Hard to tell.)

  5. We had one of the Maeves born in 2020! :) Maeve has been on a pretty steady increase, so it’s not a surprise. It’s probably rising because it’s a recognizable Irish name but feels fresh because it was so rarely used in the US, though it might have gained further familiarity through the show Westworld.

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