These Were the Most Popular Baby Names of 2021 (and 2022 Name Trends!)

Updated: January 10, 2022
Here are just a few of the baby name trends you can expect to see on your social media feeds, and maybe even choose for your child in 2022.
2022 Name Predictions

This year is coming to a close which means it's time to look on to 2022. If you are expecting a baby next year and are curious about the most popular baby names predicted for 2022, we got you covered. Below you will find lists of what baby names were popular in the past year, some fun baby name trends, and our best predictions for the biggest trending baby names to come.

The Most Popular Baby Names in 2021

According to the Social Security Administration, these are the top 10 boys' and top 10 girls' names from 2020. If you take a look at this article from Baby Center, many of these names have kept their top spots for 2021 with a few newcomers that are rising in popularity.

Top Boy Names

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. Oliver
  4. Elijah
  5. William/Lucas
  6. James/Levi
  7. Benjamin/Mason
  8. Lucas/Asher
  9. Henry/James
  10. Alexander/Ethan

As you can see, a couple of names such as William and Benjamin don't crack the top 10 list in 2021. Instead, they are replaced with names like Levi and Mason, which are rising in popularity. Will any of those names stay in the top 10 in 2022?

Top Girl Names

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

Not a lot has changed since 2020 when it comes to the top baby girl names. Most of them have traded places but the only significant difference is that Luna replaces Evelyn completely at the #9 spot. Will Luna stay in the top 10 yet again in 2022?

Popular Baby Name Trends in 2021

Something to take note of is all of the unique names that have made an appearance in 2021. There have been many name trends we’ve seen appear across social media and in name lists from around the world. Here are some of our favorite modern trends for baby names that are happening right now and here are our favorite 7. Maybe one of these playful names will become even more common and top the baby name lists for next year!

1. Vintage Names

Vintage Names

Just like fashion and music trends, names also go in and out of style. This year many names that were once considered old-fashioned started appearing again in 2021. Particularly, names from the 1940s and 1950s are seeing a resurgence. Vintage names carry an air of grace and dignity.

Here is some more inspiration if you want to choose a classic name.

  • Betty
  • Eloise
  • Teddy

2. Nickname Names (Or Shortened Names)

Today, many parents are using common “nicknames” as full legal names when naming their babies. Names like Theo or Ellie that were typically used as an abbreviated version of longer names, now often stand on their own. A nickname baby name sounds cute and whimiscial. Here are some examples of “pet names” or nicknames that make for great first names as well!

  • Alfie
  • Buddy
  • Coco
  • Ella

3. Nature Inspired Names

One of the hottest baby name trends from 2021 brought us back to our roots with many parents taking inspiration from nature, water, and flower names. Perhaps so much time spent indoors due to COVID made people long for the beauty of the outside world. If you’re looking for a fresh and beautiful nature name, this is a great list of plant-inspired baby names.

  • Hazel
  • Hyacinth
  • Lotus
  • River
  • Willow
  • Zion

4. Powerful Names

Strong and powerful names topped many name lists this year. Parents wanted their children to carry the names of warriors and leaders. Many people believe that giving your baby a strong name will set them up for a successful life. You can find the best warrior boy names here and for girls here.

  • Alessia
  • Bridget
  • Gideon
  • Milo

5. Superhero Inspired Names

Superhero Names

The superhero craze continued this year with more superhero movies topping box office records. The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to drop a lot of new content so there's no surprise that some of the most popular characters are being used as inspiration for some awesome baby names. While Avenger names like Tony and Steve are always classic, perhaps we’ll see more baby boys named “Chadwick” to honor Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman who sadly passed away in 2020.

Here are 75 superhero names that you may want to use for your little hero.

  • Agatha
  • Falcon
  • Loki
  • Wanda

6. Literary Names

People always love naming their kids after popular fictional characters, and in 2021 some new literary-inspired baby names gained popularity. Series like “Game of Thrones” have inspired many unique baby names. Plus, classic names inspired by Jane Austen novels and other great works of fiction remain popular. However, you may want to do some reading up on the character name you choose. Many parents who named their babies “Daenerys” after the GoT dragon queen, regretted their choice later...

For some literary inspiration here are some of our favorite character names for boys here and girls here.

  • Hermione
  • Arya
  • Rhett
  • Sawyer

7. Biblical Names

These names from the Bible were widely used in 2021.

  • Angel
  • Delilah
  • Isaiah
  • Naomi

Looking to 2022

So what do we think will be the most popular baby names of 2022? Here are some predictions we have. Nameberry was a big help with their suggested trends. From names from popular media to names that represent specific aesthetic, we expect these name trends to grow.

1. TV and Movie Characters

Character Names

Image source: Netflix

There have been many notable TV Shows and Movies that have been released in 2021, along with characters people love. Here are some examples of characters' names that we think we will see a lot more of next year.

Bridgerton was one of the biggest Netflix shows of 2021. Many viewers were inspired by the beautiful costumes, royal atmosphere and the regency names used in the show. Some popular Bridgerton character examples include: Cressida, Daphne, Euphemia, and Francesca for girls, and Albion, Benedict, and Simon for boys. These European names will make your little one feel like the belle of the ball!

Bridgerton Name Meanings

  • Cressida- Greek for "gold"
  • Daphne- Greek for "laurel"
  • Euphemia- Greek for "well-spoken"
  • Francesca- French for "free"
  • Albion- Latin for "white land"
  • Benedict- Latin for "blessed"
  • Simon- French for "God is heard"

Encanto Name Meanings

Disney’s Encanto is one of our favorite children’s movies from 2021. This tale of magic and music gives examples of Latin American and Spanish names. Examples of character names include, Alma, Luisa, Mirabel for girls and Augustin, Bruno, and Felix for boys. Disney has done it again by embracing Latino culture and creating a world where Colombian boys and girls can see themselves come to life on the big screen.

  • Alma- Spanish for "soul"
  • Luisa- Old German and Spanish for "warrior maiden"
  • Mirabel- Latin for "wonderful" or "beautiful"
  • Augustin- French for "great"
  • Bruno- English and Italian for "brown" as in complexion or hair color
  • Felix- Latin for "happiness"

2. Spiritual and Soulful Names

In ancient times, a person’s name was often said to possess a mystical quality and power. Many parents feel inspired by names with positive energy. Spiritual names give your baby a unique connection with the world around them.

These baby names are strong, bold, and are meant to represent aspirations for the new year. They are new and fresh and parents love them.

  • Praise- Latin for "worth" and English for "prayer"
  • ​Rishi-Sanskrit for "an enlightened person"
  • Shine- English for "to illuminate"
  • Stellan- German for "peaceful one"
  • Veda- Hindi for "wisdom" and Hebrew for "beloved"

3. Escapism Nature Names

Nature Names

Similar to the nature name trend from 2021, we predict more exotic names to take the stage in 2022. From the ocean to the desert, our landscape offers vivid imagery that make for memorable baby names for boys and girls. Here are some bold names inspired by nature that we love.

  • Dune- English for "small hill"
  • Prairie- French for "meadow"
  • Sequoia- Native American Cherokee for the giant redwood tree

4. Retro Baby Names

Names from your grandparents' generation are set to make a real comeback. From the dapper boy names of the 1960s to the proper girl names of the 1950s, here are some classic names that are coming back in 2022.

  • Bobby- English for "bright" or "famous"
  • Lois- Hebrew for "better" and French for "warrior"
  • Mae- Several origins and meanings including Greek for "high tower"
  • Ned- Slavic for "born on Sunday"

5. Musical Names

Musical Names

A beautiful name has a musical quality to it. What could be better than naming your baby something that sounds like a song? These musical names are slowly rising in popularity, making them perfect candidates for the top baby names in 2022.

  • Cadence- English for "rhythm"
  • Calypso- Ancient Greek for "to conceal"
  • Drummer- English for "one who drums"
  • Madrigal- Latin for "song for unaccompanied voices"
  • Major- English word to describe a scale or chords

6. Whimsical Names

After a difficult 2020 and 2021, fun and creative names are what we all need in 2022! These unique names will make your baby stand out in a crowd. Here are some of our favorite modern baby names that inspire joy and happiness just by hearing them!

  • Honey- English for "sweet" and German for "darling"
  • Lulu- Arabic for "pearl"
  • Pixie- English for "tiny"
  • Ziggy- Teutonic for "victory shield"

7. Non-Binary and Gender-Neutral Names

Unisex baby names are more popular for ever. Today, more parents are considering raising their child without constrictions to gender. Names no longer fall into stereotypical girl names or boys names. These gender-neutral names are great examples for baby boys, baby girls, and really anyone!

  • Artemis- Greek for "moon goddess"
  • Blair- Gaelic and Irish for "plain"
  • Laurie- Latin for "crowned with laurel"
  • Sasha- Russian for "defender of mankind"
  • Sunny- English for "cheerful"
  • Wren- Welsh for "chief"

For even more baby name inspiration, check out our list of popular boy and girl names.