Names, like fashion, change with the times, which explains why ever-shifting social trends and popular culture greatly influence the monikers parents give their children. So it’s not surprising that names favored just five years ago may be deemed too old fashioned for today’s parents.
So what do popular female names in 2020 tell us about current preferences for the naming of girl babies? Although it’s difficult to pinpoint any one reason for such a personal decision, the trend appears to be a return to more conventional names for girls. (What were parents naming their kids a century ago? See the most popular names in America since 1880.)
2020 was the height of the pandemic, a time when many people experienced the loss of loved ones and job security. So perhaps it was natural for parents to choose traditional names during a time of great upheaval. The top five names on this list are all classically beautiful female names that have been popular for decades, even centuries. Perhaps parents wanted the comfort of knowing their child would have a name that is both lovely and not too unusual.
Popular culture may have also played a role. Did the popularity of Charlotte grow after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge named their only daughter Charlotte? Is the emergence of Aria due to the name of the well-liked heroic female character in “Games of Thrones?” (Missed “Games of Thrones the first time? These are the most binge-worthy series you can stream right now.)
Not all the girl names are of the traditional variety, however. A few like Avery, Addison, and Riley are non-gender specific and could be tagged for boys or girls. And there are some newbies on the list: Nova and Paisley fall into that category.
What girl names will rise to the top in 2021? Check back to see if parents choose time-honored ones — or look to break with tradition with a new batch of names.
To identify the most popular baby girl names in 2020, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the total number of births for each name with five or more occurrences in 2020 from the Social Security Administration. Names with less than five occurrences are not tracked by the SSA in order to protect anonymity. Total births for 2010 and 2000, along with each year in between, also come from the SSA.