America's Next Top Baby Names

America's Next Top Baby Names

What are America's next top baby names, the future favorites that nobody is using today?

A few generations ago, in 1980, names like Luna and Luca, Kennedy and Maverick were shuffling along at the bottom of the charts. Today, they’re among the most popular names USA, each ranking within the Top 100. That got us thinking — if some of the least common baby names of the 1980s are so trendy in the 2020s, a number of today’s lowest rankers are bound to be on top in generations to come.

We posed a challenge to our editorial team. Find ten names — five girls, five boys — given to around 20 or fewer babies in 2020 that could be America's next top baby names. The five of us independently combed the charts and nominated our picks for future chart-toppers.

There was more variation than anticipated, but four names were nominated more than once:


Nominated by Das and Pam

“Mythology is in and it’s not going anywhere. Ione is a strong name (just overlook the story). The Harry Potter fever generation is still having kids and if you look closely, “Ione” is a nod to the end of Hermione, another Greek name that parents are too shy to name their children with the strong Harry Potter association.” — Das


Nominated by Emma and Clare

At three syllables but only five letters, with a flowery meaning but a fiery (although still super-feminine) sound, it feels like a good ‘futureproof’ bet. No matter whether short or long names, soft or strong names, turn out to be the next vogue, Fiora slots comfortably into both camps and feels stylishly Italianate, but not culturally exclusive.” — Emma


Nominated by Das and Pam

The incoming generation is more flexible on gender. In the same vein that girls were given boy names, I see future names dropping the stigma of boys having a feminine tie. Florian has the formality of Benjamin and William, but with an earthy nature undertone. If Gideon could do it, so will Florian.” — Das


Nominated by Emma and Clare

“It’s got the cute sound and boho, nature vibe of trending names like Sylvie, Birdie and Indie. And the literary connection to Little House on the Prairie gives it the potential widespread cultural appeal of names like Harper, Atticus and Wilder. Almost everyone, even non-readers, knows and feels a personal connection to these childhood classics, and the literary background of these names gives them an extra shot of cultural cachet. The cottagecore aesthetic is only going to grow and get more adventurous in the coming years, and Prairie feels like a good contender to rise in terms of sound and general vibe.” — Emma

America's Next Top Girl Names


"Cosima is such a rich international name and I love the meaning of order and beauty. Now that Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost have named their son Cosmo, Cosima will feel more accessible to American parents." — Pam


Dot is a formidable standalone that is a fresh alternative to a growing trend of nicknames being full names.” — Das


Franklin has many of the same qualities that made Madison popular: a famous name with gravitas that's surprising on girls but with a plausible feminine sound. It’s an alternative way to get to Frankie.” — Clare


“-land is the new -lynn. And Ice-, which is super fresh today, will still be an exciting, modern prefix decades from now. It’s cool, literally and figuratively.” — Sophie


The boys will keep Louis, but this cutesy-er, more casual version will become the standard for girls.”  — Sophie


With the current rise in sweeter, more nickname-y names for girls in the US, the British style of double names will gain traction across the pond.” — Emma


We haven’t reached the tipping point yet, but after we tire of those liquid, vowel-heavy names, there will be a shift back to strong, clunky consonants, and Maude will be the star.” — Sophie


“Mavi has that long A vowel and soft, sweet appeal, plus the trendy V and the I ending that is finally coming back into mainstream fashion after the boom of Loris and Teris in the 1960s sent it into style limbo for the past half century.” — Emma


“The Greek myth associations are very strong, and Morgana is more feminine than the familiar Morgan.”  — Das


After decades of Max and co. for baby boys, Pax will sound more original on girls.” — Sophie


"I'm obsessed with Pixie. Such a cute, sprightly name with that stylish middle X." Pam


Riviera is a romantic nature name, and an international one at that, which makes it all the more appealing.” — Sophie


"Cool, sleek, evocative, Snow is a nature name that also summons the attractive image of Jon Snow from Game of Thrones." — Pam


Something about the combination of a short, bright, punchy sound and starry night sky imagery seems to really appeal to parents at the moment. Vega is a continuation of the trend started by Luna and Nova.” — Emma


With its witchy affiliations, offbeat classic Wanda will have its comeuppance.” — Das


“Like Remington and Ellery, it's an androgynous surname with a feminine-sounding start that could be a nickname.” — Clare


While alternate spellings should see a fallout in popularity, Xoe, “Zoh” or “Zo-ee,” hits a ‘90s generation vibe to the popular Zoey.” — Das


"Vita has the same popular 'life' meaning as Zoe and Vivian and also claims roots in the fashionable world of Virginia Woolf, via Vita Sackville-West." Pam


“Parents will always be looking for fresh, simple, international names like Mila and Luna.” — Clare

America's Next Top Boy Names


The US will fall for ‘cutesy’ nickname names for girls first, following the UK, but the boys will eventually follow. Albie is sweet but has a distinguished appeal as well.” — Emma


“The purple dinosaur gave Barney a bad reputation, but it’s such a classic name. Cute and posh, just like Archie.” — Das


"Clementine is back, clearing the way for her twin brother Clement, due for a revival after being off the Top 1000 since 1969." — Pam


“Following hot on the heels of Cassian and Caspian.” — Clare


This Biblical place name marries spiritual symbolism for religious parents with a simple, soft yet solid sound which I think would appeal to non-religious parents too, reminiscent of Liam and Eli.” — Emma


As we see a shift toward gentler boy names, Elysian, with its mythological and spiritual connections, will rise to the top.” — Sophie


"Hale combines simplicity and strength, feels fresh yet has Early American roots." — Pam


“It has the potential to reach the height of Felix, but with some Helios vibes to back it up for a future generation.” — Das


With a luxe but classic charm, Hermes sends the message of better times to come.” — Das


“The perfect alternative to Theodore, Isidore will appeal to parents from many backgrounds because it has a history of use among Jewish, Spanish, French, Italian, and Greek families.” — Sophie


“Parents are going to like the concept of 'traveling light,' with a short, easily understood and translated international name for their child. Ivo is super stylish with its slim profile and a punchy V.” — Sophie


"I named a character in my novel The Possibility of You Jupiter and have been in love with the name ever since. The popularity of Juniper created the possibility of Jupiter." — Pam


“Kanoa has a strong, energetic, offbeat feel in a boy name, reflective of the general beachy, outdoorsy, alternative vibe which Hawaiian names tend to conjure up in the wider US.” — Emma


The wordier Merit spelling will rise for boys in particular. It feels like exactly the sort of powerful, positive, aspirational modern virtue name that has potential to really catch on.” — Emma


"I've never understood why this vintage nickname isn't more popular. Ned is more than due for a comeback." — Pam


“Oakley, Oaklyn and Oakland are hot, as are -s ending surnames. Oakes is just getting established.” — Clare


The nicknames will seal the deal — whether it’s the preppier, ultra-American Ford or the energetic Ox.” — Sophie


It’s a successor to Magnus — strong and philosophical but more accessible and less geeky than Erasmus.” — Sophie


“Occupational ending? Woodsy feel? Easy to spell and pronounce? Similar Bridger is rising steadily? Tick, tick, tick and tick.” — Clare


“Roark feels half wild and rugged, thanks to that “roar” sound, and half smart and restrained, thanks to the clipped K ending, similar to Clark and Kirk.” — Emma


“A successor both to state names Dakota and Indiana, and country music names like Nash and Knox.” — Clare


“So many uplifting, powerful, optionally-spiritual word names are rising. Vision looks promising.” — Clare


Wilbur is ready to be picked up by the same parents who brought back Archer and Jasper. It has that Gatsby vibe that’s rearing to go.” — Das

Thanks to Nameberry editors Sophie Kihm, Emma Waterhouse, Clare Green, and Das Garcia for their contributions.

Check out our official predictions for Names of the Future.

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About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten groundbreaking books on names, Redmond is an internationally-recognized baby name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, CNN, and the BBC. She has written about baby names for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and People.

Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its sequel, Older. She has three new books in the works.