Baby Name Trends: Top Names of 2030?

Scanning the popularity charts of some of the current most popular and stylish baby names (yeah, that’s how I spend my spare time), I noticed something fascinating the other day.  Many of them – Ava, Ella, Peyton, Aiden, Emmett, even number one Isabella – were at the very bottom of the Top 1000 in 1990.

That means that they were rarely used when the parents of today – most popularly named Jennifer and Melissa, Christopher and Jason – were born, but were starting to rise up the charts by the time Jennifer was drawing hearts around Jason’s name in her Geometry notebook.

By that theory (who says baby name trends prediction isn’t a science?), we should be able to predict which names will be most popular 20 years from now by combing the bottom of today’s Top 1000.

Of course, not every name down in the 800s and 900s is destined for baby name greatness.  But we see the following as likely popular choices for your grandchildren.

Interesting note: The boys’ names are a lot more adventurous and interesting than the girls’ names.  Based on this, we’d peg the long range girls’ name trend as Strong Vintage (Adele, Edith) and boys’ name as Modern Hero Surname (Branson, Landry).




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27 Responses to “Baby Name Trends: Top Names of 2030?”

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Kelley Says:

July 12th, 2011 at 10:45 am

My prediction is that it won’t take nearly as long for those names to rise up the charts. Why? The internet. Word of mouth and books used to be the way to get names out there — now it’s so much easier to find crazy names and see them used. I predict trends will circulate more quickly than they did in the past. However — I do think that the trend of bringing back great-grandparents’ names will still be going on. Parents names sound out-of-date, grandparents sound fuddy-duddy, but great-grandparents have that unique charm about them.

Abby@AppMtn Says:

July 12th, 2011 at 10:46 am

Fascinating list, and I’d put money on some of these! I’ve heard a handful of these names here in DC, too – 3 of the girls, 2 of the boys. I think Seamus could be BIG.

corsue Says:

July 12th, 2011 at 10:49 am

I agree with Matilda, Tess, Edith, Livia, Adele, Adelina, Esme, India, Mae. Some others I think might do it for girls are:

Leia (832)
Ireland (838)
Kenna (839)
Lina (848)I’m going with a Lina craze (Melina, Emmalina, Evelina, Annalina, Carolina-people are going to get real touchy about how to pronounce this one, etc)
Mira (856)
Bree (866)
Joyce (874)
Kynlee (886)
Briella (891)
Rosemary (721) Roselyn (932)- Rose craze will be the first name cause of all of the Rose middle names
Emmy (942)
Thalia (942)
Myra (967)
Donna (984)

corsue Says:

July 12th, 2011 at 11:08 am

For buys I agree with Crew, Slade, Thaddeus, Gibson, Vaughn, Theo, Edison, Winston, Seamus, Branson, Bronson, Clay, Westin, Lennox, Lennon, Bo, and Hank. I’ll also add:

Broderick (964)and therefore, Roderick (960)
Darryl (941) will make a comeback
Cortez (940) there will be a big hispanic influence
Ross (931) Friends will be far from the mind
Ronin (857)
Callum (851)
Randall (847) I love the Randy nickname and I think Austin Powers “I feel randy” will have passed
Cael (845), Kael (970)-Cale, Kale, Kalen, Caleb
Todd (815) I WANT this name to make a comeback!!!

Lola Says:

July 12th, 2011 at 11:11 am

Since my oldest got married, they’ve been talking names and quite a few of these have come up in conversation! I’m partial to Adele, India, Clarence & Remy myself, so I agree, it’d be lovely to see these rise!

bcc Says:

July 12th, 2011 at 11:46 am

Heh. I’m feeling proud of myself for picking a beautiful name that’s so obscure it hasn’t even been in the top 1000 since the ’40s. The peak of its popularity was in the 1880s, at which time it was in the high 400s.

Chloe Says:

July 12th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

You’ve put together a fantastic list. My questions is… Why are you giving away all the secrets?!!! lol I guess the baby name gems aren’t so secret anymore. I love so many of these names- Adele, Edith, Beatrice, Esme and Lilia for girls, and Bodhi, Bronson and Hayes for boys. Obviously, books, tv, and celebs have added to the popularity of uncommon baby names- singer Adele, Twilight’s Esme and the royal family’s Beatrice.

pam Says:

July 12th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Interesting observations, everyone.

I absolutely agree with Callum — forgot that one. Cortez a good pick too. Ronin and Cael I didn’t include because I see them as spelling variations of names that are already more popular. Broderick, Darryl, Randall, I disagree (especially with Darryl).

For girls, I can see Ireland, Kenna, Bree, the Roses, Thalia. Joyce and Donna feel terminally tired to me but I’m sure our parents said that about Beatrice and Florence. By 2030 some of the oldest baby boomer names like Barbara and Carol will feel fresh and daring (hard to imagine, yet….)

Olivia Says:

July 12th, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Doesn’t surprise me one bit! All the girls are absolutely gorgeous. The boys are alright. Octavio and Winston are amazing!

Sj Says:

July 12th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

I find this an interesting topic. I would think what we will see come around in 2030 is more of the variant spelling options – such as the Cale/Cael @Pam mentioned. But my prediction is more of what is at the bottom of the current list, especially for boys. Names used 50 times or less last year. For instance – there were 7 uses of Barnaby, Birch, Dodger, Cephas, Georges, Helios, Ivor and Rush.

I keep hearing Barnaby bandied about, but only 7 babies were named. If you study the historical bottom – you find many that rise to the top.

As for girls – these days I think anything will go. More traditionally boys names co-opted for girls, last names, great-grandma names.

It is fun to think about – that’s for sure!

Teo Says:

July 12th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I think this list also forgets all the “mom” names (for my generation, at least—30-somethings with Boomer parents). We’re considering some “grandma” names—and know many little ones with these vintage names—specifically because they *are* grandma names—our grandmas! We and our Gen Xer friends are naming after our grandparents (and great-grandparents) who were born between 1900 and 1930. I suspect the same may be true for my children’s generation; they’ll look to the names of the 50s and 60s that seem very blah today because we all have a mom or dad or aunt or uncle named that. But our kids will only know the names in the context of their grandparents’ generation. So in 2030, keep an eye out for comebacks from Robert, David, Linda, Patricia, Susan, Nancy, Donna, Barbara, Carol, Sandra, Shirley, Judith, Gary, Donald, Karen, Lisa, Cynthia, Mark, Richard, and friends. I don’t know a single kid under the age of six with any of these names and we didn’t even give them a thought because they sound like they should be in the PTA with our parents—but in fairness, my parents feel the same way about the list of vintage 20s and 30s names we *did* consider! Everything old is new again.

anniebee Says:

July 12th, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I have to go with Kelley on this and say that I think these will be popular sooner than 2030. I’d guess 2018 or so. Winston is my favorite boys name right now, so I’m really hoping that people forget about this post!

I agree that the Barbaras and Karens will be back in style then. I also think that people will venture out into nature names that seem too adventurous now – Birch, Maple, Petal, Hyacinth. It seems like people like to pull names from somewhat recognizable origins that aren’t used commonly. In that vein, I think ancient names – Isis, Ulysses, Achilles – will take the place of last names as a trend. Medieval-ish names too.

We’ll see. It’s always fun to try and guess!

Taylor Says:

July 12th, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Nooo, not Matilda! That was my great-grandmother’s name, and I have every intention of naming my future child that. Its popularity won’t change my mind, of course, but I’d like to have something obscure. =)

Leslie Owen Says:

July 12th, 2011 at 11:02 pm

My son Thomas is 20, and he’s talking about Alexander and Beatrice for his children. (Then, when he was six, he was talking about Ethan and Julia. They were his Hebrew school friends.)

Isabella Says:

July 12th, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Oh wow @Corsue you just named half of my favorite girl names , Roselyn , Emmy(probably short for Emerald or Emerson) , Kenna , Thalia , these all sound so cute and not old yet not… i guess popular i like the whole unique thing for names , yet not different if that makes any sense ahaha. 🙂

Dotsmom Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 12:56 am

I definitely see Florence making it big sooner rather than later! Adelaide and Florence.

KatieB Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 12:23 pm

You definitely have my girls names pegged. I think my taste is even more obscure for the boys though. 🙂

Renee Says:

July 20th, 2011 at 8:52 pm

This list must be copied directly out of my notebook! This is my taste, pegged straight on. And I’m just barely into my 30s. If these are my grandchildrens’ names I will be delighted! We considered many names on this list for our own children, and in fact chose two (1 boy, 1 girl) that are extremely similar to two on the list, and also considered many others here. Your boy’s picks are fantastic! I can’t wait to see some more creativity and style work their way up to the top of the list. Love:


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mariahsweet Says:

December 22nd, 2011 at 1:17 am

I predict Theo and Matilda will be in the Top 50 by 2020.

ebenezer.scrouge Says:

February 25th, 2012 at 8:04 pm

My sister is named Adele she’s younger than me and she’s ten so she will be 29 when Adele is number 1 name. I have always preferred my name (Ebony) which is quite a common name in Australia for my age and for babies and my name is not just used by african american parents. If my name is only used by african american parents is Blue only used by avatars? Any way my sister gets called Dele, Bele, Dele Bele but HATES Addie.

notcinnamon Says:

March 20th, 2012 at 9:55 am

Certainly the trending of baby names is a science, albeit an inexact one, thanks to pop culture and iTechnology.

As an observer of global charts for the past 25 years, I would point out that the obslaught of instant naming information available online, esp. msg boards, blogs, and “trending now” lists, is pushing names up the charts much faster. Twenty years ago (1990), you wouldn’t see a name enter the charts at #280, as Miley did a few years ago…Likewise, they are falling faster because the internet takes them in and out of vogue more quickly than in 1990. Certain names will climb the charts slowly, always, but others will take more giant leaps than in the past. And those with that head of steam, will be the most popular ones. I agree with a lot of the names on your list mostly because they haven’t been popular YET. However, it’s quite possible that many of them will have already had a rise and fall by 2030.

One thing remains true and has for the duration of charting (first British chart I saw was from 1925 in 1986)- England borrows about 1 out of 10 of our names. We borrow about 3/4 of their top 100. We used to be a good 15 years behind. Now, we are about 5. If you want to know what American kids’ names will be in 2030, look to 800s and 900s of British charts for names moving 10-20 places up per year IMO 🙂

notcinnamon Says:

March 20th, 2012 at 10:34 am

PS- Oh! Another important thing is that sub-categories and certain sounds and letters go in and out of vogue too, you know.

Example- K is tired right now, in favor of L- and letter A- has made way for E- and even more posh (of late) I-. Same with endings! You have several L- names on the list, but won’t they move up fast right now, and be (and I’m being VERY general) going down in favor of whatever the next fun letter is…

Another example, you have Willa on your list. Short, old names ending in -a have been soaring for about ten years now. So by 2030, the sound of them in general will probably be out of vogue, just like Addie, Sophie, Millie, etc. seemed frumpy in 1985.

Things going on in society push these trends too (the sub-categories I mentioned). An example- the push toward tailored names for girls in the 80s as they accomplished more in the work world.

It’s so hard to say what the mindset will be. If I had to take two guesses for girls (keeping in mind multiple trends and sub-categories going on at once), I’d say that we’ve been exposed to a lot of short names lately, and-or shortening the long forms (nn). So maybe by 2030, we’ll be searching for really long names for girls and no nicknames? Andromeda? Desdemona? My second guess to be really hot WITHIN the next 20 years would be French names (and they MAY have already moved up and OUT by then LOL). After so much of the -a and -ie endings, the crisp French endings are already sounding so fresh and confident- Colette, Cosette, Yasmine, Sabine, Camille, etc.The easiest of them will give way to less expected, like Lorraine or Babette instead of Camille in 15 years. Perhaps THOSE will be overdone in favor of even more French-entrenched names by 2030, or another country altogether, or a more global meshing of all names! — I’d have to give the boys a lot more thought, but a quick observation is that -n endings are giving way to -r and -o endings are coming on strong…Could perhaps the eventual snubbing of -ie nn for girls give way to -ie and -y for boys? Hard to believe our children may love Bobby, Kenny, Robbie for their children?!

maddiejadore Says:

January 20th, 2013 at 5:16 pm

After talking to some of my friends ( parents of 2030) we’re teens/kids now, this is what I found.

Girls: Malia, Carlotta, Jordan, Kenley, Colette, Julianne, Melissa, Olivia, Shannon, Leila, Elowen.
Boys: Raymond, Brent, Nicholas, Hugh, Ezra, Stone, Harmon, Fox, Allen, Clayton, Colin, Kevin.

sweets12 Says:

October 16th, 2013 at 9:24 pm

India is VERY popular in the D.C. area

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