Popular, trendy, and noteworthy baby names of 2020 (U.S.)

Baby name timeline 2020

Which baby names were the most popular in the U.S. in 2020?

Which names saw the steepest rises in usage?

And which names appeared for the very first time in the national dataset?

Below you’ll find the answers to all three of these questions, plus some of the other baby names that made gains in 2020. (In parentheses are my guesses about the outside factors influencing certain names.)

Top names

These were the most popular baby names overall in the U.S. in 2020:

Girl names: Most popularBoy names: Most popular
1. Olivia1. Liam
2. Emma2. Noah
3. Ava3. Oliver
4. Charlotte4. Elijah
5. Sophia5. William

Rising names

These baby names saw the largest increases in usage from 2019 to 2020 in terms of number of babies:

Girl names: Top absolute increasesBoy names: Top absolute increases
1. Gianna (news: athlete)1. Kobe (news: athlete)
2. Alaia2. Theodore
3. Nova3. Asher
4. Isla4. Luka
5. Haisley5. Enzo

These baby names saw the largest increases in usage from 2019 to 2020 in terms of percentage of babies:

Girl names: Top relative increasesBoy names: Top relative increases
1. Ehlani (celebrity baby)1. Omere (social media influencer)
2. Anayra (celebrity baby)2. Ripp
3. Nihan3. Hardin
4. Xiamara4. Vardaan
5. Kiora5. Evian [3-way tie]
6. Rip [3-way tie]
7. Alekai [3-way tie]

And here’s a selection of the other baby names that saw higher usage in 2020:

Girl names: Other increasesBoy names: Other increases
Alessi (celebrity baby)Aalam (celebrity baby)
Avayah (celebrity baby)Ahmaud (news)
Avani (social media influencer)Akiva (TV character)
Azula (TV character)Bryant (news: athlete)
Bianka (news: athlete)Chadwick (news: actor)
Breonna (news)Creed (celebrity baby)
Capri (news: athlete)Geralt (TV character)
Catori (celebrity baby)Iroh (TV character)
Cirilla (TV character)Josey (news: actor)
Daisy (celebrity baby)Kayce (TV character)
Denisse (TV personality)Natanael (rapper)
Dove (celebrity baby)Onyx (celebrity baby)
Eryss (celebrity baby)Psalm (celebrity baby)
Esty (TV character)River (celebrity baby)
Giannina (TV personality)Shai (celebrity baby)
Kamala (politician)Steel (celebrity baby)
Kamiyah (movie character)Zuko (TV character)
Katara (TV character)
Kiyomi (TV personality)
Lovella (celebrity baby)
Luce (movie character)
Lyra (celebrity baby)
Miren (social media influencer)
Myka (social media influencer)
Nairobi (TV character)
Natalia (news: athlete)
Naya (news: actor)
Rell (celebrity baby)
Rue (celebrity baby; TV character)
Vanessa (news: athlete)
Zaia (celebrity baby)

Debut names

These were the baby names that debuted most impressively in the U.S. baby name data in 2020:

Girl names: Top debutsBoy names: Top debuts
1. Dalett (celebrity baby)1. Aarnik [tie]
2. Cennet (TV character)2. Itzan [tie] (actor)
3. Ulanni3. Azhir [4-way tie]
4. Souline (celebrity baby)4. Carin [4-way tie] (singer)
5. Amavi [tie]5. Jahkor [4-way tie] (movie character)
6. Ayzal [tie]6. Krown [4-way tie]

And here’s a selection of the other names that appeared for the first time in the U.S. baby name data in 2020:

Girl names: Other debutsBoy names: Other debuts
Yoatzi (social media influencer)Baaz (movie)
Morwenna (TV character)Hachalu (news: singer)
Siaani (TV personality)Natael (rapper)
Marsali (TV character)Naujour (rapper)
Danileigh (singer)Tormund (TV character)
Kouvr (social media influencer)Levius (TV character)
Raddix (celebrity baby)Minkah (football player)
Anayka (celebrity baby)Tremani (celebrity baby)
Yennefer (TV character)Frabian (celebrity related)
Remiel (TV character)Lemeir (TV personality)
Evermore (musical album)Nipsey (news: rapper)
Jesaaelys (celebrity child)Lyanno (Puerto Rican singer)
Knaomi (social media influencer)Adexe (social media influencer)
Aidette (social media influencer)Gleyber (baseball player)
Anavrin (TV show)Kendi (writer)
Atiye (TV character)Suho (South Korean singer)
Jexi (movie character)Tanjiro (TV character)
Stiorra (TV character)
Yris (celebrity related)

If you want to check out another year on the timeline, here’s the baby name timeline main page.

Finally, a few reminders about the Social Security Administration’s baby name data:

  • It only includes names given to at least five babies (of one gender or the other) per year.
  • It does contain mistakes such as misspelled names, misgendered names, and placeholder names (e.g., “Babygirl”).
  • It isn’t very accurate from 1880 to the mid-1930s. Why? Because the SSA was established in the mid-1930s, so the names in the dataset from 1880 to the mid-1930s are not the names of babies, but the names (or nicknames) of adults applying for social security numbers. More importantly, adults born during these decades who never applied for a number are simply not accounted for.

Data source: U.S. Social Security Administration

[Latest update: Jul. 2024, using the 2023 SSA dataset]