Baby name trends are relatively predictable. Some names have been common or popular for a long time – since our grandmas were kids. Other names become trendy when a TV show, movie, or celebrity thrust the name into the spotlight. While trendy names often come in groups, have you ever wondered what the trendiest name was in any given year? Or, more importantly, have you been looking for a name that is off the beaten path? Vintage baby names might be a great place to start — like if you’re looking at popular names, 1930s through the 20th century, or names from other vintage decades. But where do you find that? Thankfully, we don’t have to wonder because someone narrowed down the trendiest baby names for every year since the 1930s.
According to Flowing Data, baby name trends change over time and while we sometimes see the same names pop up on most popular baby name lists, popularity and trendiness aren’t always the same thing. Nathan Yau, who looked into all the data, wanted to find the most trendy names so he used data from the Social Security Administration.
From there, he looked for the “greatest relative increase in the percentage of all names,” to get the trendiest one. “To avoid really rare names that would appear just because of single-digit totals, I limited the search to names with at least 1000 babies given the name between 1930 and 2020.”
And that’s how we got the trendiest baby names for every year for the past 90-plus years. “To be honest, I’ve never heard of a lot of these names,” Nathan admitted. “But it’s interesting to see how parents draw from music, sports, and other entertainment. I’m also surprised that a good number of baby names are only small bumps percentage-wise in their induction year, but then go on a big run many years later.”
Here Are Some of the Trendiest Names of Each Decade
The charts are fascinating to look at and the trendiest names for both boys and girls are really interesting.
For example, in 1930 the trendiest girl’s name was Marlene and for boys it was Marcello. In the ‘50s, Krystal and Wilhelm were the trendy ones. By the ‘80s Evita and Kellen were tops. In the 1990s, names like Devante, Jalen, Aldair, Kobe, and Ennis were huge for boys while, for girls, Alannah, Kadijah, Calista, Charlize, and Litzy were big, too. By the turn of the millennium, names like Ashanti, Carma, Suri, Allisson, Coraline, and Jaslene were big for girls — some major celeb baby name inspo there. For boys at the same time, the trendiest names of the moment were Sincere, Omarion, Kanye, Leonidas, Neymar, and Bronx.
Looking at the names closer to our timeline, we can see a lot of music and sports influences in the trendy names. This includes Kanye, Aaliyah, Alanis, and Urijah. Surprisingly, the TV show Dawson’s Creek appeared to have some influence on the trends, too.
You can check out the full charts for trendiest baby girl names and trendiest baby boy names on Flowingdata.
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