With the rise of social media and the increased necessity of having a major online presence, many feel the growing need to develop a personal brand in order to set ourselves apart. For expecting parents this often translates into major anxiety over picking the perfect baby name. After all, the base of any personal brand, online or not, really starts there. Ethnic, religious, political, or specifically gendered names often signal a lot about a person—whether or not that message is intentional.
The impact a name has, and the angst parents feel over choosing just the right one, is nothing new. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported more than a decade ago that parents were facing unprecedented stress over choosing a name and going to untold (and expensive) lengths to find the perfect moniker. Expectant parents are hiring consultants, employing the services of numerologists, and even taking polls among their friends and family to help them narrow down the near-infinite list of possibilities.
Stances on the use of popular names for a newborn have always varied. Some parents appreciate the relative neutrality of a popular name, knowing their child won’t be singled out. Others prefer something more unique in order to set their child apart.
To aid you in your baby name search, Stacker used the Social Security Administration’s historical archives of baby names to compile a count of the birth names from 1980–1999 and 2000–2019 (released in 2020). The names were then ranked in order of the largest percent change between the two datasets to uncover the baby names that are gaining popularity in the 21st century. Overall, the growth of names for baby boys appears much more drastic than the growth of names for baby girls.
Read on to find out which names are poised to be some of the most popular over the next century.
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