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The 20 Most Popular Baby Names of 2021, According to the Social Security Administration

Ellen Gutoskey
She's happy she's not named Olivia.
She's happy she's not named Olivia. / digitalskillet/iStock via Getty Images
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If you’re a prospective parent keeping an eye on baby name charts, you may have noticed that Olivia and Liam tend to come out on top (or at least near it) these days. But maybe you’ve had your heart set on naming your son Liam for years, and you’re hoping its popularity dies down a bit by the time he arrives. 

Unfortunately, there’s a good chance your Liam won’t be the only one at his school. Earlier this month, the Social Security Administration (SSA) published its list of most popular baby names of 2021—and Liam took first place for the fifth consecutive year. With the exception of Theodore, which made the top 10 for the very first time, the rest of this year’s list of boy names features the same exact names as last year’s. Noah and Oliver rounded out the top three.

There’s even more consistency in the top 10 for girls. Positioning has shifted a little, but all the names are the same. Olivia held steady in the top spot for the third year running, and Emma defended its title as runner-up.

Even if your favorite baby names didn’t make the list, that doesn’t necessarily mean your kids will have the most unique monikers on the block. The SSA also revealed 2021’s “fastest rising” names—meaning they rose in popularity more than any other names. For boys, the top five are as follows: Amiri, Eliam, Colter, Ozzy, and Loyal. The girls’ list comprises Raya, Wrenley, Angelique, Vida, and Emberlynn.

It seems likely that Raya’s upswing was at least partially influenced by the release of Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon in March 2021. Movies, shows, and other pop culture do often affect baby-naming trends.

See the SSA’s top 10 names for boys and girls below, and explore their whole database here.

Most Popular Baby Girl Names

  1. Olivia
  2. Emma
  3. Charlotte
  4. Amelia
  5. Ava
  6. Sophia
  7. Isabella
  8. Mia
  9. Evelyn
  10. Harper

Most Popular Baby Boy Names

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. Oliver
  4. Elijah
  5. James
  6. William
  7. Benjamin
  8. Lucas
  9. Henry
  10. Theodore
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