Photo KnowInsiders
Photo KnowInsiders

Parents try to choose what they consider the best name for their child. And in some cases, that means a unique name instead of a popular one — these are the most popular girl names in the USA in the 21st century.


Meaning and origin: Derived from the Germanic word ermen meaning “whole” or “universal.”


• Girls named Emma, 2001-2019: 11,872 (out of 835,174)


• Girls named Emma, 2001-2019: 7,147 (out of 472,840)


• Girls named Emma, 2001-2019: 1,835 (out of 74,194)


• Girls named Emma, 2001-2019: 7,155 (out of 453,241)


• Girls named Emma, 2001-2019: 600 (out of 23,067)


• Meaning and origin: Derived from the Hebrew name Elisheba, which is a form of Elizabeth.

Popular in: Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York.

The name Isabella is a girl's name of Hebrew, Spanish, Italian origin meaning "pledged to God".

Isabella is the Latinate form of Isabel, a variation of Elizabeth which originally derived from the Hebrew name Elisheba. Variations Isabelle and Isabel are also popular, with the Scottish spelling Isobel another possibility. Newer alternatives include Sabella and Isabetta.

Isabella is a major superstar among popular girls' names. Isabella was the top girls' name in the US for two years running- from 2009 to 2010—due at least in part to the 'Twilight' effect and lead character Isabella 'Bella' Swan.

Isabella has incredible cross-cultural appeal, feeling both modern and traditional, and is popular among parents ranging from Anglophile to Hispanic, and more feminine and romantic than Isabel. An amazing success story for a name that wasn't even in the Top 1000 in the 1980's.

Part of the reason Isabella is so successful is that it appeals in a wide variety of ways to a large number of parents. It's feminine but also classic, has a long history as a royal and classic Spanish name for girls yet is comfortable on the international stage. Some parents choose it to get to the short form Bella, while others prefer to use the irreverent Izzy or Issy, while still others insist on using it in its full four-syllable glory.

Isabella is familiar through various European queens, and was used by Shakespeare in Measure for Measure.


• Meaning and origin: The name is of Latin origin, derived from the word “oliva,” meaning “olive tree.”


•Girls named Olivia, 2001-2019: 8,866 (out of 511,924)


• Girls named Olivia, 2001-2019: 1,043 (out of 53,352)


• Girls named Olivia, 2001-2019: 15,107 (out of 1,180,676)


• Meaning and origin: The name is of English origin, meaning “good” or “child of Maud.” It was first popular as a last name.

The name Madison was first popularized as an English surname, meaning son of Maddy (or Maud), and was commonly spelled Maddison in Northeastern England. Madison is a unisex name that gained viral popularity as a girls name, and was the second most popular name in 2001.

Popular in: South Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi.

Family name origins & meanings:

  • English : metronymic from the medieval female personal name Madde, a form of Maud or Magdalen.
  • James Madison (1751–1836), 4th President of the U.S. (1809–17), was born in VA, the son of a planter. He was descended from John Madison, a ship’s carpenter from Gloucester, England, who had settled in VA in about 1653.
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