Popular boy names in the United States, 2020

Flag of the United States
Flag of the United States

We just looked at last year’s girl names, so now it’s time for the boy names!

Here are the most popular boy names overall:

  1. Liam, 19,659 baby boys
  2. Noah, 18,252
  3. Oliver, 14,147
  4. Elijah, 13,034
  5. William, 12,541
  6. James, 12,250
  7. Benjamin, 12,136
  8. Lucas, 11,281
  9. Henry, 10,705
  10. Alexander, 10,151

Henry and Alexander replaced Mason (now ranked 11th) and Ethan (13th).

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

  1. Kobe, increased by 998 babies
  2. Theodore, 685
  3. Luka, 618
  4. Asher, 592
  5. Enzo, 490
  6. Adriel, 471
  7. Archer, 451
  8. Kylo, 424
  9. River, 410
  10. Beau, 398

Kobe was influenced by the untimely death of basketball great Kobe Bryant (whose daughter, Gianna, had an equally strong influence on girl names.)

Theodore and Luka were also among the fastest risers of 2019.

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

  1. Omere, increased by 460%
  2. Ripp, 342%
  3. Hardin, 300%
  4. Vardaan, 280%
  5. Rip, 260%
  6. Alekai, 260%
  7. Sharvil, 255%
  8. Evian, 253%
  9. Neizan, 243%
  10. Barkon, 240%

Omere could be from Omere Harris, son of YouTubers (and former Love & Hip Hop-ers) Mendeecees Harris and Yandy Smith.

Ripp was a debut name just one year earlier. Speaking of debuts…

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

  1. Aarnik, debuted with 14 baby boys
  2. Itzan, 14
  3. Azhir, 13
  4. Carin, 13
  5. Jahkor, 13
  6. Krown, 13
  7. Amavi, 12 (a double-debut with 30 girls as well)
  8. Deluka, 12
  9. Ezrin, 12
  10. Hardyn, 12

Some explanations…

  • Itzan is probably from Spanish actor Itzan Escamilla, who stars in the Netflix series Élite.
  • Carin could be from Mexican singer Carin Leon (whose real name is Oscar; “Carin” is a shortening of his nickname, Oscarin.)
  • Jahkor was the name of a character in the Netflix movie All Day and a Night (2020).

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

  1. Ethan, decreased by 1,801 babies
  2. Jacob, -1,525
  3. Logan, -1,434
  4. Mason, -1,407
  5. Matthew, -1,170
  6. Lucas, -1,164
  7. Carter, -1,141
  8. Jaxon, -1,132
  9. Isaac, -1,121
  10. Alexander, -1,113

The boy name that saw the largest decrease in usage in terms of relative numbers of babies was Daer (-80%), and the boy name that saw the steepest drop off the list was Montae (from 20 babies in 2019 to fewer than 5 in 2020).

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

Source: SSA

Image: Adapted from Flag of the United States (public domain)

[Latest update: 5/11/2021]

12 thoughts on “Popular boy names in the United States, 2020

  1. Yes, here’s what the CDC said a few days ago in Births: Provisional Data for 2020 (pdf):

    “The provisional number of births for the United States in 2020 was 3,605,201, down 4% from 2019. The general fertility rate was 55.8 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44, down 4% from 2019 to reach another record low for the United States.”

  2. Where have you found the beyond top 1000 names data? Because I cannot seem to find it yet.

  3. I’m particularly curious about the surge of Ripp and Rip in the past 2 years. What was the 2019 trigger for both names taking off? It, like the name Caster (which continues to bedevil me), is a hard one to google, what with Ripp’s use as a surname and as a an acronym.

  4. Amavi could have a couple of related triggers this past year. It is either a sports-related surname surge (which would be my guess, specifically Jordan Amavi), or it’s prompted by the musician Amavi… or it’s an essential oils line put out by Doterra, making it a multilevel marketing name like Avon and Marykay. (I’m a little surprised we haven’t seen Lularoe in the name stats yet.) I think my guesses are in descending order, but it could be all of the above.

  5. I knew Logan was going to fall because there is some terrible YouTuber named Logan who everyone hates now. I don’t know anything more about it than that; I’ve just seen in mentioned in name groups.

  6. @lucubratrix –

    I wish I could give you the answer for Ripp/Rip, but I’m still trying to figure that one out.

    And thank you for the guesses on Amavi! (Looks like amavi also happens to be an Italian word meaning “I loved,” which is sweet.)

  7. The state data offers a little bit of insight on Ripp/Rip. They’re seeing slightly higher usage in Southern states:

    Ripp: total of 115 baby boys in 2020, with…

    • 13 born in Texas
    • 7 in Mississippi
    • 6 in each of AL/CA/OK
    • 5 in each of GA/MO/NE

    Rip: total of 54 baby boys in 2020, with…

    • 13 born in Texas
    • 6 in Oklahoma
  8. Theory for Rip/Ripp-Rip Torn died in 2019, perhaps that put the name in the news enough to make it popular?

  9. There’s a chance that Rip Torn’s death influenced a few of those families, but my hunch is that there’s something bigger/trendier going on (e.g., movie character, sports star).

    My current theory about the rise of Rip/Ripp is that it was influenced by the character Rip Wheeler from the show Yellowstone (which has given a boost to several baby names recently). Parents may be gravitating toward the double-P version simply because it’s more differentiated from the vocabulary word rip.

  10. That’s a good theory too, that show’s quite popular and might explain the regional appeal better.

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