Boy names on the rise in the U.S. in 2021

Which boy names increased in usage the most from 2020 to 2021?

Here’s a table of the fastest-rising boy names of 2021. On the left are the top 25 increases in terms of absolute numbers of babies, and on the right are the top 25 increases in terms of relative numbers of babies.

RankBoy nameAbsolute riseBoy nameRelative rise
1Luca2,031Calian914%
2Waylon1,049Treu440%
3Walker989Aliyar320%
4Theodore916Nain320%
5Luka863Zealand282%
6Kai755Lorik280%
7Hudson750Nahel280%
8Ezekiel741Nuchem280%
9August710Arlis267%
10River652Kiko267%
11Asher613Dayvon264%
12Jack588Shloma257%
13Brooks564Erling240%
14Ezra562Rev240%
15Leo547Skylen240%
16Henry542Worth240%
17Ace522Kove237%
18Wesley501Kj233%
19Enzo501Alvey229%
20Liam495Ioane222%
21Atlas474Alban220%
22Theo467Jontae220%
23Beau460Onyxx220%
24Maverick434Slayter220%
25Levi411Vyan220%

Luca (and Luka) may have been given a boost by the 2021 Pixar film Luca. And it looks like Calian is a character on a TV series called Don’t Look Deeper.

If you can explain any of the other rises, please leave a comment!

6 thoughts on “Boy names on the rise in the U.S. in 2021

  1. – Zealand is the son of YouTubers the Labrant family. (Their daughters’ names, Everleigh and Posie, have also increased in the last few years. And they’re expecting another daughter.)
    – Erling might be inspired by Norwegian soccer player Erling Haaland, who had a breakout season in 2020.
    – KJ might be related to actor KJ Apa, who’s been on the TV show Riverdale for a few years and also starred in the movie The Hate U Give, which accounted for a lot of the fastest rising names in 2020.

    So curious about all the rest!
    – Dayvon was the first name of rapper King Von, who was murdered in late 2020.
    – Kiko could be related to Kiko Pangilinan, who is running for Vice President of the Philippines in 2022. There are a few different possible origins for this name, so I wonder if the state data, once they release it, will give some clues about where the name is most popular.

  2. Thank you, alex!

    Allure – the rise of Kayce/Kacey could be due the (male) character Kayce Dutton from the TV series Yellowstone. The name Dutton also debuted in 2018 — the year the show went on the air.

  3. – Aliyar Bey is the name of a character in the popular Turkish TV series “Dirili?: Ertu?rul” (translated as “Resurrection: Ertu?rul”). The show is on Netflix in the U.S.

    – Lorik Qui’in is the name of a character in the video game Mass Effect. Lorik is the title of a 2018 film, which is available on Tubi TV in the U.S. Lorik Cana is an Albanian former soccer player.

    – Nuchem is the name of a character in the Israeli drama series Shtisel. The show is on Netflix in the U.S., and the third season was released in March 2021.

    – Kiko Martínez is a Spanish professional boxer. Kiko Alonso is an American football linebacker. Hindrigo “Kiko” Lorran is a chef who was featured on the show Below Deck Mediterranean.

    – Dayvon Daquan Bennett, better known as King Von, is a rapper from Chicago who was murdered in Atlanta in November 2020.

    – Rev. is often short for “Reverend”; perhaps this name was given in honor of some famous reverends? Nameberry has the name Rev on its list of “unique celebrity baby middle names” but it doesn’t say which celebrity used it as a middle name…

    – Kove might be from American actor Martin Kove, or used as a variant of Cove.

    – Alvey might be from American mixed martial artist Sam Alvey.

    – Ioane might be from the rugby players Akira Ioane, Josh Ioane, and/or Rieko Ioane.

    – Jontae may be from Jontae Adams, who is the father of a girl named Jaslyn who was shot dead at a Chicago McDonald’s in April 2021.

    – Onyxx is probably popular b/c of the name that it is a variant of, Onyx. Iggy Azalea named her son Onyx in 2020.

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