Top 10 Most Popular Girl Names in the US And Meaning
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|Olivia and Emma are the most popular baby girl names in the US. Photo Getty|
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the go-to source for a plethora of information on baby name trends in the United States, including the most popular baby names by year, decade, and more.
The Social Security Administration has released their latest list of the top baby names in the United States. The agency keeps track of every birth in the United States, so the information for its most popular names comes from an exact tally of how many babies were given each name in previous years.
The most popular baby names for girls in recent years are compiled here in this list of the top 10 names given to newborns.
Top 10 Most Common Baby Names for Girls in the US and Meaning
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After making it to the top 10 in 2001, two years after Mariska Hargitay made her acting debut as Olivia Benson on NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," Olivia has now surpassed all other baby girl names to take the top spot.
Olivia's coalition is extensive and varied. From Arizona to Wisconsin, California to South Carolina, it was the most popular girl's name in 24 states in 2019. In Washington, DC, it was also outstanding.
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In the most recent Social Security Administration rankings, Emma drops to No. 2 after holding the top spot for five years. In addition, it moves from being the top baby girl name in 15 states in 2018 to being the top name in 9 states in 2019.
Don't feel sorry for Emma though. Since 2002, a year after actress Emma Watson made her debut in the first Harry Potter film, the name has been a consistently popular choice.
Ava is a popular baby girl name in Hollywood, as evidenced by Ava Sambora (left) and Ava Phillippe (right), who are Richie Sambora and Heather Locklear, and by Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon, respectively. Ava has been among the top five baby girl names in the country since 2006.
From 2016 to 2019, it remained at No. 3 on the popularity charts for four years.
When it comes to this name, Prince William and the former Kate Middleton, the parents of Princess Charlotte, are on the same page as Americans.
The name has never been more well-known in the US. In 2022, Charlotte placed fourth in the Social Security Administration's rankings.
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Farrah Abraham, a former "Teen Mom" star, is pictured with her daughter, Sophia.
Since 2000, the name Sophia has ranked among the top 50 baby girl names in the country. According to the most recent Social Security Administration rankings, it is the most widely used name for baby girls in Nevada.
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According to the Social Security Administration's rankings, this is Amelia's best ever performance.
Since 2010, when the Shondaland character Dr. Amelia Shepherd (played by Caterina Scorsone on "Private Practice" and "Grey's Anatomy") made her debut, the baby girl name has consistently ranked among the top 50.
|Photo CBS News|
Isabella, who consistently ranks in the top 10, dropped from the top 1,000 in 1949.
It didn't come back until 1990, a year after Staci Greason's portrayal of Isabella Toscano on the NBC soap opera "Days of Our Lives" introduced the character as a new heroine.
Mia Hamm first appeared in the top 100 baby names for girls in 2000, a year after she helped the United States women's team win the Women's World Cup.
Since then, it hasn't turned back.
Evelyn Lozada, a "Basketball Wives" reality star, is pictured in 2019.
Evelyn was the tenth most popular baby girl name according to Social Security Administration statistics in both 2018 and 2019.
Harper wasn't a top-1,000 name for either boys or girls prior to the 2003 premiere of "Two and a Half Men," which featured the antics of the Harper family.
Following the success of the show, Harper exploded in popularity as a baby boy name and shot straight to the top 10 as a girl name. It was the most widely used name for newborn girls in Vermont in 2019.
Baby girl names that are rising in popularity
Emma, Olivia, and Ava have remained the top three choices for girls since 2016, but other girl names are on the rise. For instance, in 2020, the name Charlotte will rank fourth all time, up from 46 in 2010. Also, in 2020, the number of girls given the name Gianna will be 12, up from 79 in 2019. In recent years, Evelyn and Camila have also become increasingly popular.
Clearly, unusual names for girls are also very popular. The most popular growing baby girl names from 2019 to 2020 were all fairly uncommon, which may indicate that unusual names will remain trendy in 2021. Capri rose 608 places, Haisley 382 places, and Wrenley 310 places, just to name a few. Girls are also being given the names Avayah, Denisse, Jianna, Rosalia, and Zhuri.
Classic girl names that were popular 100 years ago
Mary, Dorothy, Helen, Betty, Margaret, Ruth, Virginia, Doris, Mildred, and Frances were the top 10 most popular baby girl names in 1920, according to the Social Security Administration.
Shorter names ending in "E" (like Alice, Irene, Rose, Louise, Annie, and Grace) and names beginning with "E" (Elizabeth, Evelyn, Eleanor, Edna, Edith, and Ethel) were also popular in 1920, as were names beginning with "M" (in addition to Mary, Margaret, and Mildred, Marie, Marjorie, Martha, and Marion were popular choices).
However, every once in a while a name will make a comeback. For instance, in 1900, Emma was the thirteenth most common name for a baby girl, and it remained in the top ten in the 1920s. In 1976, it was the 463rd most popular name for a baby girl, but this year, it is second.
Look to Birthstones
The site has also noted a significant rise in the use of gemstone-related girl's names, as well as some boy's names.
Amethyst, Emerald (and its derivatives like Esmeralda and Esme), Ruby, and Onyx (another unisex name) are among the jewel-inspired names that have seen an increase in searches. There has been an increase in Goldie and Gemma as well. That conforms to a pattern that has persisted for several years now, in which parents choose names for their daughters that have some connection to the natural world: BabyCenter reported an increase in nature-related name suggestions in 2018. Names like Kale, Kiwi, Maple, and Clementine are in this category, as are names inspired by the sky, such as Dawn, Aurora, and Rainbow.
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