Top Baby Name Trend Predictions for 2024
Naming baby is no small task. After all, you’re not just naming your adorable, chunky newborn, but rather a future adult. As if there wasn’t already enough pressure, there are just so many baby name options to choose from. Suffice it to say, it’s a daunting to-do for new parents.
When it comes to creating your baby name list, it’s difficult to know how and where to start. One option is to consider the types of names that’ll be topping the trend charts in the coming year. With that in mind, we dug into baby name data from The Bump, analyzing the baby names and baby names lists that increased in popularity this year, as well as new studies, pop culture happenings and global shifts to help us predict the biggest upcoming baby name trends. Here are the types of monikers we think will be all over birth certificates in 2024.
While the gender-neutral baby name trend of years past undoubtedly has staying power, a recent study notes that most given names in the US remain “highly gendered.” This year brought to light a lot of strong feminist voices and stories. There were female-dominated box office hits like Barbie, The Marvels and Fair Play, while Beyonce and Taylor Swift proved to be entertainment and economic powerhouses with their respective musical tours. A focus on female empowerment is also a trend we’ve seen in baby names. Roughly two-thirds of the top names on The Bump in 2023 were names for girls.
Many celebrity parents also haven’t shied away from giving their children gender-specific, feminine names. In 2023, actress Kaley Cuoco and her partner Tom Pelphrey welcomed a baby girl named Matilda; actor Robert De Niro and Tiffany Chen named their daughter Gia; comedian Jack Whitehall and arthur Roxy Horner named their daughter Elsie and actress Emilie de Ravin and her partner Eric Bilitch named their daughter Alice.
Some examples of feminine baby girl names to empower the next generation are:
Gentle baby names rooted in simplicity and with softer sounds are on the rise. A quarter of the top 100 baby names on The Bump in 2023 ended in “a,” while 10 percent ended in “e” sounds. According to 2020 data, names ending in vowels may sound more melodic and pleasant. (Historically, most of these names have been tied to femininity, further underscoring that feminine names are on the rise.)
So why might parents be looking for softer, calming names for their children? The past year was one filled with reports of economic instability and political and environmental uncertainty. Moreover, the preceding years were marked by a pandemic that brought turbulence and dismay to many. According to a 2022 World Health Organization report, anxiety in Americans has risen by 25 percent in the last year. Plus, a recent analysis of the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey found that roughly 38 percent of adults aged 25 to 49 experienced anxiety and depression symptoms in 2023. While welcoming baby is an exciting time, an unpredictable and potentially volatile global and political climate can further exacerbate feelings of worry and concern as people enter this new life stage. To counteract this feeling of uncertainty, many have looked for gentleness in everyday aspects of life. Gentle parenting is on the rise, and there’s a growing surge in apps and resources that encourage people to take a more centered approach to navigating life’s ups and downs. What’s more, a renewed focus on self-care inspires people to be kinder and gentler with themselves.
It’s no surprise that this has pervaded the baby name space. Parents-to-be are looking for softness in the monikers they choose for their little ones. Below, some of the most popular gentle baby names from 2023 that end in vowel sounds:
Baby names that are wholly unique are trending. In fact, two of the most visited baby name lists on The Bump this past year were for unique and uncommon baby names, which saw a 3.6 percent spike year over year. Celebrity parents were also feeling the distinctive vibe. In 2023 alone, tennis star Naomi Osaka named her daughter Shai, Rumer Willis and Derek Richard Thomas named their daughter Louetta and Derek Jeter and wife Hannah named their son Kaius. But it’s not just a trend in the US; parents across the globe are looking for unique baby names that break the mold and help shape a strong foundation for baby’s evolving identity. A recent study found that unique names for boys and girls have been on the rise in Japan. (The study also notes unique names are rising more quickly for girls than boys, indicating a strong desire for parents to instill values of individuality and independence in their daughters.)
Of course, the paradox here is that the more popular a baby name gets, the less unique it becomes. That said, below are some of The Bump’s favorite options for unique and uncommon (for now) baby names:
Expectant parents are looking for baby names with meaning—and many are turning to strong names rooted in spirituality. Organized religion has been on the decline in the US, but people aren’t abandoning their belief in something bigger than themselves. In fact, according to a 2022 study, there was an 8 percent increase in the number of Americans who identified as spiritual from 2012 to 2017. Another 2022 study found that the percentage of people who identified as spiritual rather than religious increased from 18.5 percent in 1998 to approximately 33 percent in 2020.
The Bump’s religious and spiritual baby names list saw a 10,000 percent increase in interactions from 2022 to 2023, while our mythological baby names list saw a 281 percent increase year over year. Along with these, our lists for Catholic, biblical, pagan, ethereal and angelic name were among the most visited in 2023. (The pagan, ethereal and angelic baby name lists are new additions among our most popular lists this year.)
Wanting to give baby a meaningful name rooted in spirituality or mythology is a trend seen among celebrity parents too: Paris Hilton chose to name her son Phoenix, which is associated with rebirth; Karlie Kloss and Joshua Kushner named their son, Elijah, who is an important prophet in Judaism; Patti Murin and Colin Donnell named their daughter Lorelai, which has become synonymous with a beautiful, mythical siren in German folklore and TV host Maria Menounos and her husband Keven Undergaro named their daughter Athena, after the Greek goddess of wisdom.
Below, some of our favorite baby names rooted in spirituality:
While the pandemic has been over for some time, a resounding love for getting out in nature has stood the test of time. According to a survey from Winnebago Industries, outdoor participation has continued to grow year over year since 2020. In May, 97 percent of respondents said they planned to enjoy outdoor activities this year. The trend also correlates with a rise in travel. An August report from Forbes found that, despite inflation, 49 percent of Americans traveled more this year than last year. The Bump’s outdoorsy baby names list saw a 137 percent increase year over year, while our travel baby names page saw an 8.4 percent increase.
With so many Americans returning to nature, it makes sense that parents-to-be are also turning to their love of the outdoors and adventure for baby name inspiration. In fact, earthy, nature-inspired and flower baby names were some of the most viewed lists on The Bump in 2023. Plus, 20 percent of the top baby names of the year were nature-related. It makes sense—not only did the pandemic force many Americans to slow down and refocus on the world around them, but nature-related baby names also offer babies an inherent connection with the world they’re growing up in.
Below, some outdoor-inspired baby names from The Bump:
In 2023, we saw a rise in parents searching The Bump for names starting with a specific letter, such as names starting with the letters, “A,” “M,” “S,” “J” and “R.” (Interestingly, about 20 percent of the top 100 names on The Bump for 2023 start with the letter “A.”) But what’s driving the letter-specific search? One reason could be wanting to match family or sibling names. The concept of naming a child after a loved one isn’t new: Several cultures around the world name children after family members. For example, in Ashkenazi Jewish tradition, babies are typically named using the same first letter as a deceased relative. But while family connection has always been important, a new trend seems to be emerging: matching siblings’ names.
In 2007, the Kardashians were among the first high-profile families to match sibling names with letters, but the concept is catching on. In 2023, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky also chose to name their second son Riot Rose to coordinate with his brother’s name Rza. Duck Dynasty star Sadie Robertson and her husband Christian Huff also stuck with the trend, electing to have each of their kids’ names start with the letter “H,” the most recent of which is their daughter Haven, born in May 2023. Plus, model and TV star Ksenija Lukich also named her son, born April 2023, Max to match with his older sister’s name Mimi.
But matching sibling names don’t always mean matching letters. While some families choose to coordinate with the alphabet, others opt for matching themes and meanings. Last year, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his wife Brittany elected for matching sibling names: The couple named their son Patrick “Bronze” Lavon Mahomes, which matches with his older sister’s name Sterling Skye Mahomes. The pair also matched their kids’ names to their dogs’ names, Steel and Silver. Additionally, actress Shay Mitchell named her second daughter Rome. While the name was given to honor her late-grandmother, it also matches Mitchell’s older daughter, named Atlas. Earlier this year, Kylie Jenner revealed she had changed her son’s name to Aire, which matches with his older sister’s name Stormi.
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