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The most gender-neutral baby names in the U.S. in 2023

pink and blue cupcakes

In 2023, more than 2,700 names appeared in the U.S. baby name data both as girl names and as boy names.

Which of these names were the most gender-neutral overall?

To create a useful set of rankings, I (first) excluded any name not given to at least 150 babies in total, then (second) sorted the remaining names by how evenly they were given to babies of each gender.

Here are the 25 names that came out on top:

Female usageMale usage
1. Blake49.63% (1,346 girls)50.37% (1,366 boys)
2. Akari50.46% (110 girls)49.54% (108 boys)
3. Campbell50.47% (215 girls)49.53% (211 boys)
4. Brighton50.60% (85 girls)49.40% (83 boys)
5. Marlo49.26% (100 girls)50.74% (103 boys)
6. Azariah50.77% (527 girls)49.23% (511 boys)
7. Bellamy48.74% (330 girls)51.26% (347 boys)
8. Justice48.70% (243 girls)51.30% (256 boys)
9. Ramsey48.68% (92 girls)51.32% (97 boys)
10. Arie51.34% (96 girls)48.66% (91 boys)
11. Finley48.57% (1,106 girls)51.43% (1,171 boys)
12. Ashtyn48.54% (100 girls)51.46% (106 boys)
13. Alexis51.51% (681 girls)48.49% (641 boys)
14. Wynn48.48% (80 girls)51.52% (85 boys)
15. Charlie51.66% (2,235 girls)48.34% (2,091 boys)
16. Kacey47.75% (191 girls)52.25% (209 boys)
17. Robin52.37% (354 girls)47.63% (322 boys)
18. True47.54% (203 girls)52.46% (224 boys)
19. Perry47.47% (122 girls)52.53% (135 boys)
20. Honor47.37% (99 girls)52.63% (110 boys)
21. Arden52.67% (237 girls)47.33% (213 boys)
22. Jael47.31% (132 girls)52.69% (147 boys)
23. Tatum46.83% (1,314 girls)53.17% (1,492 boys)
24. Aris46.49% (86 girls)53.51% (99 boys)
25. Divine53.55% (113 girls)46.45% (98 boys)

I did experiment with other cut-off points (e.g., 50 babies, 100 babies, 200 babies), but I thought 150 offered the best result — an interesting mix of names, backed up by numbers high enough to be meaningful.

Nearly all of the (more than seventy) baby names that were even fifty-fifty splits last year were bestowed just a handful of times.

Source: SSA

Image: Adapted from Gallery 1 by Sarah Howells under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Most popular baby boy names (by length) in the U.S. in 2023

Lengths of baby boy names in the U.S. in 2023

Going length by length (e.g., 2 letters long, 3 letters long, 4 letters long…), what were last year’s most popular baby boy names?

Before we get to the lists, a few quick facts:

  • The most common length for boy names in 2023 was 6 letters (used 29.38% of the time), followed by 5 letters (26.33%).
  • The length that increased the most in usage for boy names (from 2022 to 2023) was 13 letters.
  • The length that decreased the most in usage for boy names (from 2022 to 2023) was 7 letters.

Top boy names with 2 letters:

  1. Bo, 630 baby boys
  2. Ty, 331
  3. Cy, 75
  4. Aj, 64 (tie)
  5. Om, 64 (tie)
  6. Oz, 40
  7. Jj, 37
  8. Cj, 35 (tie)
  9. Ky, 35 (tie)
  10. Tj, 34

Top boy names with 3 letters:

  1. Leo, 8,120 baby boys
  2. Kai, 4,946
  3. Ian, 4,538
  4. Eli, 4,081
  5. Ace, 2,314
  6. Max, 2,197
  7. Jax, 1,155
  8. Koa, 1,115
  9. Ali, 1,065
  10. Ari, 964

Top boy names with 4 letters:

  1. Liam, 20,802 baby boys
  2. Noah, 18,995
  3. Levi, 9,347
  4. Jack, 8,683
  5. Ezra, 8,437
  6. Owen, 7,985
  7. Luca, 7,770
  8. John, 7,750
  9. Luke, 7,217
  10. Axel, 4,498

Top boy names with 5 letters:

  1. James, 11,670 baby boys
  2. Mateo, 11,229
  3. Henry, 10,941
  4. Lucas, 10,842
  5. Asher, 7,853
  6. Ethan, 7,763
  7. David, 7,354
  8. Mason, 7,237
  9. Dylan, 7,054
  10. Elias, 6,980

Top boy names with 6 letters:

  1. Oliver, 14,741 baby boys
  2. Elijah, 11,452
  3. Daniel, 8,356
  4. Samuel, 7,973
  5. Hudson, 7,935
  6. Joseph, 7,237
  7. Julian, 7,078
  8. Thomas, 6,598
  9. Carter, 5,847
  10. Jayden, 5,627

Top boy names with 7 letters:

  1. William, 10,598 baby boys
  2. Michael, 8,383
  3. Jackson, 7,284
  4. Matthew, 7,190
  5. Gabriel, 6,745
  6. Grayson, 6,449
  7. Anthony, 6,237
  8. Ezekiel, 5,569
  9. Charles, 5,395
  10. Cameron, 5,069

Top boy names with 8 letters:

  1. Theodore, 11,041 baby boys
  2. Benjamin, 10,172
  3. Maverick, 6,962
  4. Santiago, 6,328
  5. Jonathan, 4,066
  6. Leonardo, 4,012
  7. Jeremiah, 3,750
  8. Nicholas, 3,242
  9. Harrison, 3,060
  10. Giovanni, 2,911

Top boy names with 9 letters:

  1. Sebastian, 8,865 baby boys
  2. Alexander, 7,875
  3. Christian, 4,125
  4. Nathaniel, 2,507
  5. Alejandro, 1,825
  6. Remington, 1,184
  7. Francisco, 1,121
  8. Johnathan, 647
  9. Frederick, 595
  10. Valentino, 575

Top boy names with 10 letters:

  1. Alessandro, 555 baby boys
  2. Maximilian, 511
  3. Montgomery, 210
  4. Kristopher, 209
  5. Aleksander, 125
  6. Cristopher, 123
  7. Alexzander, 109
  8. Fitzgerald, 63 (tie)
  9. Theophilus, 63 (tie)
  10. Abdirahman, 50

Top boy names with 11 letters:

  1. Christopher, 5,171 baby boys
  2. Maximiliano, 1,143
  3. Muhammadali, 108
  4. Constantine, 104
  5. Abdulrahman, 103
  6. Maximillian, 63
  7. Abdurrahman, 42
  8. Miguelangel, 38
  9. Bartholomew, 33
  10. Johnmichael, 30

(I’m excluding the longer names because they’re quite rare overall.)

Source: SSA

What gave the baby name Delilah a boost in 2007?

The Plain White T's song "Hey There Delilah" (2005)
“Hey There Delilah” single

According to the U.S. baby name data, Delilah began rising in popularity around the turn of the century. The name finally broke into the girls’ top 100 in 2018.

Along the way, though, there was a conspicuous jump in usage from 2006 to 2008:

  • 2009: 1,704 baby girls named Delilah [rank: 191st]
  • 2008: 1,739 baby girls named Delilah [rank: 193rd]
  • 2007: 1,136 baby girls named Delilah [rank: 297th]
  • 2006: 539 baby girls named Delilah [rank: 547th]
  • 2005: 487 baby girls named Delilah [rank: 585th]
  • 2004: 473 baby girls named Delilah [rank: 595th]

Here’s a visual:

Graph of the usage of the baby name Delilah in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Delilah

Several variant forms (including Delila, Dalilah, and Delyla) saw peak usage in 2008 specifically.

What was drawing extra attention to the name around that time?

The catchy love song “Hey There Delilah” by the band Plain White T’s.

The version of the song that became popular was released as a single in May of 2006. It didn’t appear on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart, however, until nearly a year later — April of 2007. The sleeper hit finally climbed to the #1 spot during the summer of 2007.

Here’s what it sounds like:

The band’s vocalist, Tom Higgenson, had written the song back in 2003 after meeting a woman named Delilah DiCrescenzo.

“I thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen,” he says. “I told her, ‘I have a song about you already.’ Obviously, there was no song. But I thought it was smooth.”

DiCrescenzo was in a relationship at the time, so she and Tom never dated. But they did attend the Grammy Awards together (as friends) in early 2008 when “Hey There Delilah” was nominated for both Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

The specific variant Dlila, which debuted in 2007, may also have a secondary influence: a celebrity baby. Rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs and his longtime girlfriend, Kimberly Porter, welcomed twin girls in December of 2006. The babies were named D’Lila Star and Jessie James after their great-grandmothers Lila Mae Star (Porter’s grandmother) and Jessie Smalls (Combs’ grandmother).

What are your thoughts on the name Delilah?

P.S. The name’s slightly higher usage in 1969 and 1970 could be due to another name-song performed by another Tom: “Delilah” by Tom Jones. The murder ballad was released at the end of 1967 and peaked at #15 on the Hot 100 in June of 1968.

Sources:

Most popular baby girl names (by length) in the U.S. in 2023

Lengths of baby girl names in the U.S. in 2023

Going length by length (e.g., 2 letters long, 3 letters long, 4 letters long…), what were last year’s most popular baby girl names?

Before we get to the lists, a few quick facts:

  • The most common length for girl names in 2023 was 6 letters (used 28.67% of the time), followed by 5 letters (22.02%).
  • The length that increased the most in usage for girl names (from 2022 to 2023) was 5 letters.
  • The length that decreased the most in usage for girl names (from 2022 to 2023) was 7 letters.

Top girl names with 2 letters:

  1. Jo, 46 baby girls
  2. An, 40
  3. Vy, 28
  4. Bo, 22
  5. Zo, 16
  6. Vi, 14
  7. Lu, 11 (tie)
  8. Yi, 11 (tie)
  9. Io, 10
  10. Eh, 9

Top girl names with 3 letters:

  1. Mia, 11,359 baby girls
  2. Ava, 9,682
  3. Zoe, 5,160
  4. Ivy, 5,036
  5. Eva, 2,405
  6. Ada, 1,647
  7. Amy, 1,483
  8. Lia, 1,425
  9. Ana, 1,327
  10. Gia, 1,155

Top girl names with 4 letters:

  1. Emma, 13,527 baby girls
  2. Luna, 7,811
  3. Lily, 6,146
  4. Aria, 5,996
  5. Nora, 5,994
  6. Mila, 5,895
  7. Ella, 5,643
  8. Isla, 5,357
  9. Nova, 5,248
  10. Lucy, 4,858

Top girl names with 5 letters:

  1. Sofia, 7,641 baby girls
  2. Emily, 6,154
  3. Hazel, 6,154
  4. Chloe, 5,960
  5. Ellie, 5,951
  6. Avery, 5,859
  7. Layla, 5,678
  8. Grace, 4,886
  9. Riley, 4,617
  10. Naomi, 4,456

Top girl names with 6 letters:

  1. Olivia, 15,270 baby girls
  2. Amelia, 12,311
  3. Sophia, 11,944
  4. Evelyn, 9,082
  5. Harper, 7,769
  6. Camila, 7,565
  7. Violet, 6,342
  8. Gianna, 6,129
  9. Aurora, 6,054
  10. Eliana, 5,329

Top girl names with 7 letters:

  1. Eleanor, 6,739 baby girls
  2. Abigail, 5,661
  3. Madison, 5,160
  4. Delilah, 4,031
  5. Lillian, 3,927
  6. Paisley, 3,727
  7. Genesis, 3,651
  8. Madelyn, 3,632
  9. Leilani, 3,543
  10. Addison, 3,520

Top girl names with 8 letters:

  1. Isabella, 10,808 baby girls
  2. Scarlett, 6,288
  3. Penelope, 6,041
  4. Victoria, 4,434
  5. Caroline, 2,859
  6. Brooklyn, 2,850
  7. Savannah, 2,739
  8. Madeline, 2,726
  9. Serenity, 2,548
  10. Samantha, 2,363

Top girl names with 9 letters:

  1. Charlotte, 12,596 baby girls
  2. Elizabeth, 6,566
  3. Valentina, 4,075
  4. Josephine, 3,347
  5. Gabriella, 2,782
  6. Everleigh, 1,920
  7. Mackenzie, 1,737
  8. Genevieve, 1,734
  9. Anastasia, 1,725
  10. Katherine, 1,697

Top girl names with 10 letters:

  1. Evangeline, 1,407 baby girls
  2. Alessandra, 788
  3. Alexandria, 755
  4. Jacqueline, 560
  5. Clementine, 554
  6. Persephone, 376
  7. Bernadette, 185
  8. Montserrat, 169
  9. Evangelina, 149
  10. Wilhelmina, 139

Top girl names with 11 letters:

  1. Christianna, 17 baby girls
  2. Anavictoria, 15
  3. Heavenleigh, 13
  4. Alejandrina, 11 (tie)
  5. Oliviagrace, 11 (tie)
  6. Aadhyareddy, 10
  7. Anjolaoluwa, 9 (6-way tie)
  8. Charlierose, 9 (6-way tie)
  9. Mariahelena, 9 (6-way tie)
  10. Mariaisabel, 9 (6-way tie)
  11. Oluwanifemi, 9 (6-way tie)
  12. Stellamarie, 9 (6-way tie)

(I’m excluding the longer names because they’re quite rare overall.)

Source: SSA