As 2020 comes to a close, we look to the future to discover which baby names for girls are going to be huge next year. While predicting names might seem like a magical prospect, you can actually glean a lot about which names will rise and fall by looking at the way things shook out the previous year. We looked at the latest official baby naming data from the Social Security Administration to see which names are expected to improve their standing and move to the top of the charts.
We also looked to BabyNames.com, which has hundreds of thousands of users to see which names for girls have been trending on its database. If you’re an expecting parent or just collecting names to save for later, this list is a great jumping-off point for your baby name journey. We’ll discuss names that previously hit the top of the charts and those that are on the rise. Here are our predictions for the most popular names for girls in 2021!
Eleanor is tracking to become as popular as its highest point which happened in way back in 1920. It’s been on an upward trajectory since the eighties and we predict it will better its standing on the popularity charts in 2021. The name ranked at 27 last year. We imagine it will enter the top 25! Eleanor is an English name with an unclear meaning.
The classic Elizabeth has been in the top 25 in the US since records of baby names began. We don’t expect the name to go anywhere in 2021. Elizabeth has Hebrew origins and means “pledged to God.” Believe it or not, the name is currently more popular in the US than it is in the UK.
Since 2003, Luna has been on a meteoric rise to the tops of all the baby name charts. While we predict this name to still land in the top 25 after ranked at 16 last year. However, we do think the novelty of this name might fade a touch as its popularity increased so quickly among new parents. Luna is a Latin name that means “moon.”
According to the latest data, Aria ranked at number 20. However, we think love for this name might wane a touch in 2021 as we believe the name that really took off in 2000 might lose some steam. Aria is a lyrical Italian name that means “air.”
Nadia is a girl’s name with Russian origins that means “hope.” The beautiful name is trending on both BabyNames.com and Nameberry’s databases. We picked this one as a sort of wildcard as it might be a great alternative to other names that have become ubiquitous like the aforementioned Aria. It ranked in the top 500 last year and we predict it will only gain popularity.
Maya has seen increased favor since 1986 and we don’t think new parents are going to shy from this name in 2021. It ranked in the top 75 last year and, fingers crossed, we think we’ll hear it even more in coming days. Maya is the perfect multicultural name as it can be found in a variety of naming traditions! Mass appeal!
Naomi is a name for girls that’s been in the top 500 since 1880. Last year, the name was more popular than ever before! What’s to stop this completely majestic name from continuing to rise? You’ll find the Hebrew name in the Old Testament as the mother-in-law of Ruth. This Hebrew name means “pleasantness.”
Like Naomi, Nora is also a name that’s more popular today in the US than it ever has been. According to BabyNames.com, the name is landing in more and more expecting parents’ favorites lists. You’ll find Nora in both Greek and Irish naming traditions. Nora means “light.”
The baby name database is tracking Eva at number 15, but we’re not sure it will hit that high as it was number 86 last year. Prove us wrong, expecting parents! The name was most popular in the US at the turn of the last century and we’d love to see it best that in 2021. Eva is the Latin form of Eve and also found in Hebrew, meaning “life.”
Harper had only made the top 1000 in the early part of the 20th century as a name for boys before it hit the list in 2004 for girls. And, when we say “hit” we mean completely crashed the party. Harper was a top 10 name for girls last year and it’s predicted to meet that slot or slip by the slightest margin. Harper is an English name that means “harp player.”
Sophia was the in the top five last year but it is not tracking as a favorite of parents at BabyNames.com. Perhaps that’s due to this being a very well-known name that could be a family name at this point. Sophia is more popular here than it’s ever been before. The Greek name means “wisdom.”
Scarlett has steadily stood around the top 20 for the last decade. It’s the the fifth most favorited name on BN’s database which we weighted with the historic averages to predict that it will improve its standing in 2021. Scarlett is a romantic English name that means “deep red.”
Gemma is trending on both Nameberry and BN and it’s been on a rise in the US for baby girls since 2008. We think 2021 will be the year for the playful Gemma to truly take hold and enter the top 25. Gemma is an Italian classic jewel name that means… “gem.” With Emma dominating the charts for so long, we think new parents are going to turn to Gemma as an ultra-cute alternative.
Isabella hit number one in 2009 and has danced around the top five ever since. We think this name might slip a couple of spots, but we fully expect to land in the top 25. Isabella is the preferred Italian and Spanish form of Elizabeth and shares its meaning.
Mia is one of the very few Scandinavian names to land in the top in the US. However, Scandi-names are on the rise in this country. While Mia isn’t on BN’s list, it was the eighth-most popular choice for girls last year. We predict this name to still find its way into the top 25. Mia is a form of Mary and means “bitter” or “mine.”
Avery is a name that parents expecting girls saw as a possibility in 1989. It’s been huge ever since. Interest for the name is up 20% according to Nameberry. It was at the eighteenth spot last year, but we hope it lands in the top 10 in 2021. Avery is an English name with the whimsical meaning, “ruler of the elves.”
Evelyn returned to the top 40 for the first time since 1939 less than a decade ago. It ranked at number ten last year and we expect to encounter it a spot or two higher as the name is trending on both BN and Nameberry. You’ll find Evelyn in German, English, and French as a name that means “water; desired.”
Amelia did not make the BN list, but we’re not taking this highly popular name out of the running for the top ten again. The name was seventh last year when it became the most popular it’s ever been and we expect to hold. Amelia has German origins and means “industrious.”
The Greek name Penelope has been rising since 2001 and landed at number 22 last year. It’s currently the second most popular name for girls that parents are adding to their lists. Mythological Penelope was cared for by a duck as an infant, and later was known for delaying her suiters by pretending to weave a garment while her husband was at sea. Thus, the name means “weaver.”
Violet has made a complete comeback following its very low dip in the eighties. Violet is climbing in interest on both BN and Nameberry and we imagine it will improve or land near this exact spot in 2021. Violet is an English name from Latin that means “purple.”
Charlotte has gained steam over the past several years which we think will, again, propel it to the top 25 baby names in 2021. This charming classic comes from French as the feminine form of Charles. Thus, Charlotte means “free man.”
Ava is a wonderful cross-cultural hit that can be found in Hebrew, German, and Latin traditions. Ava has been bopping around the top ten for a decade so we expect to find it there in 2021. Now, we have hopes that Ava will be a shocking number one pick in 2021 but we’re not sure it can boot Emma and Olivia. Ava means “life; bird; island.”
Emma has been in the top three since 2007. We don’t see it straying too far from that perch near the top. The name has been in the top 500 since 1880! Emma is a perfect name for girls that has German origins and means “universal.”
BN’s most popular name for girls is Hazel. While it only hit 33 last year, we think we can expect to hear much more of this name in nurseries. In fact, we believe it might be the most popular year, ever, for this beloved classic. Hazel is an English name that means “hazelnut tree.”
Olivia was queen last year and we think new parents are going to stick with this playful, timeless classic. It’s not just in the US. The name his huge in the UK and around Europe more broadly. Like Hazel, Olivia also refers to a tree! Olivia means “olive tree.”
There you go! 25 baby names for girls that we predict will be the hottest of 2021. Whether you love a name on this list or just want some inspiration, we hope this helps inform you about what’s to come. Happy hunting for the ideal name for your baby girl!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 25. Eleanor
- 2 24. Elizabeth
- 3 23. Luna
- 4 22. Aria
- 5 21. Nadia
- 6 20. Maya
- 7 19. Naomi
- 8 18. Nora
- 9 17. Eva
- 10 16. Harper
- 11 15. Sophia
- 12 14. Scarlett
- 13 13. Gemma
- 14 12. Isabella
- 15 11. Mia
- 16 10. Avery
- 17 9. Evelyn
- 18 8. Amelia
- 19 7. Penelope
- 20 6. Violet
- 21 5. Charlotte
- 22 4. Ava
- 23 3. Emma
- 24 2. Hazel
- 25 1. Olivia
Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.
Baby Name Generator
No baby name sounding good? Want a quick way to generate unique baby name ideas? Try our baby name generator below!
Set your terms (sex of the baby, number of letters, popularity, etc.) and then get a list of names that meet your criteria. Maybe the perfect name is just waiting to be generated for you.