Which of the names in the 2021 pop culture baby name game saw higher usage last year?
The following names increased in usage from 2020 to 2021. They’re ordered by relative size of increase.
|Name||Action||Increase (%)||’20 to ’21 usage|
|Lilibet*||re-emerged||200%, at least||? to 12 baby girls|
|Caeleb||increased||200%||5 to 15 baby boys|
|Raya||increased||130%||274 to 631 baby girls|
|Ice||debuted||125%, at least||? to 9 baby boys|
|Wanda||increased||112%||17 to 36 baby girls|
|Jovita||increased||60%||5 to 8 baby girls|
|Suni||increased||60%||5 to 8 baby girls|
|Kanan||increased||59%||102 to 162 baby boys|
|Mykayla||increased||59%||17 to 27 baby girls|
|Leto||increased||50%||6 to 9 baby boys|
|Sterling||increased||49%||122 to 182 baby girls|
|Sylvie*||increased||46%||351 to 514 baby girls|
|Daphne*||increased||46%||749 to 1,097 baby girls|
|Divinity*||increased||33%||43 to 57 baby girls|
|Sylvester||increased||31%||52 to 68 baby boys|
|August||increased||29%||2,423 to 3,133 baby boys|
|Rennie||re-emerged||25%, at least||? to 5 baby boys|
|Ender||increased||22%||103 to 126 baby boys|
|Ridley||increased||16%||79 to 92 baby boys|
|Jupiter||increased||8%||119 to 129 baby girls|
|Phineas||increased||7%||121 to 129 baby boys|
|Khai||increased||5%||21 to 22 baby girls|
|Simon*||increased||1%||1,404 to 1,423 baby boys|
*Suggestions made by elbowin, k8eshore, and KM
Chapel and La’akea were near-misses — both made gains, but for the wrong genders.
The following names did not increase in usage from 2020 to 2021. These names saw equal usage, less usage, or weren’t in the data at all.
Amanda, Ariarne, Atreides, Chani, Cruella, Dolph, Hidilyn, Ikaris, Janja, Javicia, Jeh, Kenna, Kizzmekia, Lalisa, Makkari, Mare, Mauz, Mecole, Nakano, Nevin, Ozuna, Rauw, Robinette, Sersi, Shacarri, Shein, Swavy, Tessica, Tianwen, Warrior
And here are the late bloomers — names that were part of the 2020 game, but didn’t rise/debut until 2021.
- Win re-emerged with 14 baby boys.
- Kaori increased by 106%
- Gervonta debuted with 8 baby boys
- Theodosia increased by 75%
- Anaia increased by 71%
- Wednesday increased by 47%
- Hamilton increased by 30%
- Lenin increased by 19%
- Liberty increased by 8%
- Zaya increased by 7%
What are your thoughts on these results? Which name surprised you the most?
[Disclaimer: Some of the names above were already moving in the direction indicated. Others were influenced by more than a single pop culture person/event. In all cases, I leave it up to you to judge the degree/nature of pop culture influence.]