Photo Getty
Olivia and Emma are the most popular baby girl names in the US. Photo Getty

In the United States, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is the go-to source for finding out the most popular baby names by year, decade, and more, with a plethora of information on baby name trends.

The SSA just dropped its update of the most popular baby names in the United States, based on 2020 data. The agency records all births that happen in the U.S., and the data for its top-ranked names comes from an exact count of how many new babies were given certain names in years prior.

This list comprises the tally of the most commonly chosen new-born monikers in 2020—the top 10 girl's names.

List of 10 Most Popular Baby Names for Girls in the US

1. Olivia

2. Emma

3. Ava

4. Charlotte

5. Sophia

6. Amelia

7. Isabella

8. Mia

9. Evelyn

10. Harper

Check out the meaning of each name

1. Olivia

Photo CBS News
Photo CBS News

After cracking the top 10 in 2001, two years after Mariska Hargitay debuted as Olivia Benson on NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," Olivia has finally become the No. 1 most popular baby girl name in the U.S.

Olivia's coalition is broad and diverse. In 2019, it was the top name for baby girls in 24 states, from Arizona to Wisconsin and California to South Carolina. It was also tops in Washington, DC.

2. Emma

10 Most Popular Baby Names for Girls in the US
Photo CBS News

After a five-year run in the No 1 spot, Emma dips to No. 2 in the latest Social Security Administration rankings. It also goes from the most popular baby girl name in 15 states in 2018, to the reigning name in nine states in 2019.

But don't feel too bad for Emma. The name is a perennially popular pick, and has been in overdrive since 2002, a year after actress Emma Watson emerged via the first Harry Potter movie.

3. Ava

A trendy baby girl name in Hollywood circles, as Richie Sambora and Heather Locklear's Ava Sambora (left) and Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon's Ava Phillippe (right) can attest, Ava has been among the nation's five most popular baby girl names since 2006.

It has held the No 3 spot on the popularity charts for four straight years, from 2016 to 2019.

4. Charlotte

According to CBS News, Princess Charlotte's parents, Prince William and the former Kate Middleton, are on the same wavelength as Americans when it comes to this name.

In the United States, the name has never been more popular. Charlotte finished in 4th place in the Social Security Administration's rankings in 2020.

5. Sophia

Photo CBS News
Photo CBS News

Former "Teen Mom" star Farrah Abraham is seen with her daughter, Sophia, in 2020.

The name Sophia has been a top 50 baby girl name nationwide since 2000. It's the most popular name for baby girls in Nevada in the most recent Social Security Administration rankings.

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6. Amelia

This is Amelia's highest-ever showing on the Social Security Administration's rankings.

The baby girl name has been a fixture in the top 50 since 2010, the year Shondaland character Dr. Amelia Shepherd (played on "Private Practice" and "Grey's Anatomy" by Caterina Scorsone) made her debut.

7. Isabella

Photo CBS News
Photo CBS News

Now a top 10 fixture, Isabella slipped out of the top 1,000 in 1949.

It didn't return until 1990, a year after the NBC soap opera "Days of Our Lives" introduced a new heroine, one Isabella Toscano (played by Staci Greason).

8. Mia

In 2000, a year after soccer star Mia Hamm helped lead the U.S. team to a Women's World Cup championship, Mia cracked the top 100 baby-girl-name popularity rankings for the first time.

It hasn't looked back since.

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9. Evelyn

"Basketball Wives" reality star Evelyn Lozada is seen in 2019.

Per Social Security Administration data, Evelyn was the 10th-most popular baby girl name in both 2018 and 2019.

10. Harper

Before "Two and a Half Men," featuring the antics of the Harper clan, premiered in 2003, Harper wasn't a top-1,000 name for either boys or girls.

After the show became a hit, Harper bubbled up as a baby boy name — and rode a rocket to the top 10 as a girl name. In 2019, it was the most popular name for baby girls in Vermont.

Baby girl names that are rising in popularity

While the top three baby girl names have remained the same since 2016 (Emma, Olivia and Ava in varying order), other girl names are on the rise. The name Charlotte, for example, went from number 46 in 2010 to number four in 2020. The name Gianna, too, rose from number 79 in 2019 to number 12 in 2020. The names Evelyn and Camila have also been on the rise in recent years.

It’s clear that unique baby girl names are also popular. From 2019 to 2020, the names that increased most in popularity were all rather unique, perhaps suggesting that not-so-common baby girl names will continue to be popular in 2021. For example, the name Capri jumped 608 spots, Haisley surged 382 spots and Wrenley rose 310 spots. Other trending names for baby girls include Avayah, Denisse, Jianna, Rosalia and Zhuri.

Classic girl names that were popular 100 years ago

The SSA's list of the most popular baby girl names looked a little different back in 1920, when the top 10 featured Mary, Dorothy, Helen, Betty, Margaret, Ruth, Virginia, Doris, Mildred and Frances, in that order.

Also popular in 1920: Names starting with "E" (Elizabeth, Evelyn, Eleanor, Edna, Edith and Ethel were all in the top 50), names starting with "M" (in addition to Mary, Margaret and Mildred, Marie, Marjorie, Martha and Marion were popular choices) and shorter names ending with "E" (such as Alice, Irene, Rose, Louise, Annie and Grace).

Still, sometimes a name will come back in style. Emma, for example, was the thirteenth most popular baby girl name in 1900 and remained popular in the 1920s. It bottomed out at number 463 in 1976, but is now the number two most popular baby girl name of the year.

Look to Birthstones

Another hot, hot trend the site has noticed for girls (and even some boys) are names inspired by gemstones.

Of the jewel-inspired names, there's been a rise in lookups for Amethyst, Emerald (and its derivatives, like Esmeralda and Esme), Ruby and Onyx (another unisex name). Even Goldie and Gemma have seen an uptick. That tracks with a trend that's been going on for a few years now, with baby-girl names inspired by the surrounding world: In 2018, BabyCenter saw an uptick in names inspired by nature. This includes food names like Kale, Kiwi, Maple and Clementine, as well as sky-related names like Dawn, Aurora and Rainbow.

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