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

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

Here’s a table of the fastest-rising girl 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.

RankGirl nameAbsolute riseGirl nameRelative rise
1Isla950Thyri1,033%
2Willow766Xaila800%
3Eleanor693Esmeray586%
4Nora674Melek547%
5Maeve603Enola500%
6Leilani584Kaileen475%
7Eloise569Ivoree400%
8Ivy551Eveny400%
9Ayla544Kove400%
10Nova537Yomii350%
11Hazel 477Salah317%
12Oaklynn405Zeanna317%
13Oakley398Bloom290%
14Iris397Jasira280%
15Lainey374Ayzel267%
16Wren361Janari260%
17Violet360Khylani260%
18Lily357Yomi260%
19Raya357Aylee257%
20Luna355Aara257%
21Eliana355Jehilyn256%
22Daphne348Evren256%
23Stevie345Zohemy255%
24Sage344Lilibeth254%
25Magnolia339Haisleigh*250%

*Also at 250%, were Lakeyn, Nimrat, Vamika, and Zienna.

Some possible explanations…

  • Thyri is a character on the TV series Vikings.
  • “Yomii” is a song by rapper Moneybagg Yo (lyric: “Let’s have a lil’ girl and name her Yomii”).
  • Raya is the title character in the Disney movie Raya and the Last Dragon (2021).
  • Lilibeth is very close to Lilibet, the name of the daughter (b. June 2021) of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

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

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

  1. – ‘Enola Holmes’ was a Netflix original movie, starring Millie Bobby Brown, released in 2020.
    – Janari could be related to Janari Ricks, a 9-year-old girl who was murdered in Chicago in mid-2020.
    – Lakeyn Call was a contestant on the 2nd season of the reality show Love Island USA, which premiered in mid-2020.
    – Based on Googling, my best guess for Zienna (and maybe Zeanna) is an Instagram model with 600K+ followers named Zienna Sonne, but I’m really not sure.

  2. Apparently Angelique rose 306 places in 2021, which I’m intrigued about. I wonder what caused that.

  3. @Bryan: Maybe Angelique Kerber, a German tennis player, brought that name to more attention. So weird that it has an effect on American naming.

  4. @alex – Thank you!

    @Bryan & elbowin – I’m not sure what’s behind the sudden rise of Angelique. It looks like the German tennis player saw the most success in the late 2010s (particularly 2016 and 2018), which is a little early for a 2021 rise. I also don’t think she’s particularly popular here (à la Anna Kournikova, or the Williams sisters). So I’d guess the influence is probably something else. An African woman named Angélique Kidjo sang at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in 2021, and she’s currently on TIME’s “most influential people” list, so that’s a possibility. There’s also a Mexican actress named Angelique Boyer who has 14 million followers on IG…maybe she did something notable recently?

  5. – Thyri is the name of a character in the TV series “Vikings”.

    – Melek is from a character in the Turkish drama series Sefirin Kizi/La hija del embajador, which was broadcast in the U.S. on Univision. Other names from these dramas have also been rising in the ranks lately.

    – Esmeray, Ayzel, and Evren seem to be Turkish names; I thought it might have something to do with the Turkish dramas that have become popular on Univision that inspired other Turkish names to become popular but I can’t find any dramas that aired there with characters named these.

    – Vamika is the name of the daughter of the Indian actress Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli.

    – Bloom might be from actor Orlando Bloom.

    – Janari might be from Janari Ricks, who was killed in Chicago in 2020.

    – Aylee is the name of a character in the CW television series Reign.

    – Nimrat might be from Indian actress Nimrat Kaur.

    – Zienna might be from model Zienna Sonne.

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