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Spanish Names Trending in the US

Spanish Names Trending in the US

Spanish is the second language of the USA, spoken by around 60 million native and bilingual speakers – the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world after Mexico.

So it’s little wonder that so many beautiful Spanish names feature prominently on the US popularity charts!

Handsome Spanish favorite Mateo climbed to #11 last year – its highest ever rank. And for girls, cross-cultural choices like Olivia, Mia and Isabella are joined in the Top 20 by more specifically Spanish picks.

Luna, Spanish for “moon”, now sits at #10, Camila is at #12, and Sofia ranks at #13. This spelling rose five spots last year alone, and is closing on the traditional English spelling Sophia.

Rarer Spanish names rising fast include Teo and Camilo for boys, Cielo and Sol for girls. All jumped well over 150 spots last year.

Today, we look at what the latest data reveals about the hottest Spanish names and trends in the US right now.

Top Spanish Names in the US

The top Spanish names in the US are surprisingly tricky to pinpoint. Do popular cross-cultural favorites like Olivia, Isabella, Daniel and Sebastian count? 

The limited data we have suggests that they are disproportionally popular among parents of Hispanic and Latin American heritage. For example, Biblical Ezekiel ranks #49 nationally, but is the #4 boy name in New Mexico, which is the state with the highest proportion of Hispanic residents.

Other disproportionally popular choices in New Mexico include cross-cultural candidates like Elias, Josiah and Gabriel for boys, Aurora, Eliana and Leilani for girls.

But there’s no doubt that multi-cultural names like these are firm favorites across the board. The top Spanish names listed below are the highest-ranking choices with a more specifically Spanish flavor. All sit within the current Top 150 baby names in the US.

Top Spanish Girl Names

Other Spanish girl names that rank particularly highly in states with a large Hispanic and Latin American population – such as New Mexico, Texas, California and Arizona – include Aitana, Ariana, Amaya, Cataleya, Daleyza, Liliana, Mariana, Selena and Xiomara.

Top Spanish Boy Names

Other Spanish names for boys that rank particularly highly in the states with the largest Hispanic and Latin American populations include Alejandro, Antonio, Carlos, Emilio, Emiliano, Luciano, Jesus, Juan, Manuel and Miguel.

Spanish Name Trends in the US

Many of these popular Spanish names – especially on the boys’ side – are classic choices in Spanish-speaking communities. But many of the most traditional Spanish names are currently trending downwards in the US, in line with their English equivalents.

In recent years, more modern favorites have decisively overtaken Spanish classics for the first time in US naming history. The pool of names used by the Hispanic and Latin American community is widening, in step with the broader trend across the country for more innovation and individuality in naming.

The top Spanish names are now less tied to family or religious naming conventions, and more influenced by pop culture and celebrity connections, and by trends in sound and style.

Top Spanish Girl Name Trends

Fashionable trends in Spanish girl names include glide girl names like Amayah, Anaya, Araya, Cataleya, Dayana, Inaya, Itzayana and Raya.

Girl names starting with Ya-, such as Yara, Yareli, Yaretzi, Yaneli, Yaritza and Yatziri, also enjoy particular popularity with Hispanic and Latin American parents. 

Similarly, girl names ending in -eli/-ely (Araceli, Nayeli, Yarely), -lani/lany (Kailany, Leilani, Melany), -is/-ys (Amaris, Genesis, Odalys) and -eth (Arleth, Arisbeth, Yamileth) are especially popular in the Latin American community.

Top Spanish Boy Name Trends

The hottest Spanish boy names of the moment include lots of trending -el ending choices.

Adriel, Azael, Azriel, Dariel, Eliel, Emanuel, Ismael, Jadiel, Jaziel, Leonel, Misael, Uriel and Yael were among the -el ending choices that rose in the rankings last year. All are disproportionally popular in states with a large Hispanic and Latin American population.

Long, liquid, romantic boy names like Aurelio, Eliseo, Luciano and Valentino are also heating up in a big way, in line with recent trends in Spanish girl names.

And there is evidence of some vintage Spanish boy names returning to favor. Agustin, Alonzo, Alvaro, Arturo, Benicio, Bruno, Cesar, Felipe, Ignacio, Leandro, Marcelo, Mauricio, Raul and Tadeo all gained at least 30 places last year.

Influence of Latin American Pop Culture

Spanish-language pop culture is a huge source of naming inspiration for Hispanic and Latin American parents in the US.

Names from TV and Film

Telenovela star Arleth Terán continues to influence name trends. Both Arleth and variant spellings Arlet and Arlette were among the Top 25 fastest-rising girl names of 2022.

Other rapid-rising girl names influenced by TV and film include Isabela, Luisa, Julieta and Mirabel from Disney's Encanto, released towards the end of 2021.

Spanish teen drama Élite helped to make two unlikely vintage options some of the fastest-rising girl names of the year: Carla and Georgina, cast members who both made big exits in 2022.

Boy names boosted by Spanish-language TV and film are led by Camilo, which along with fellow character names Bruno and Agustin was also given a boost of publicity by Encanto.

Money Heist character names Rio and Denver both made substantial gains in 2022. And Dario from the Netflix series Dark Desire also rose slightly.

Names Inspired by Music

Another mention for Camilo! The mononymous Colombian singer has lent his name a big shot of cool in recent years. It was up almost a third in 2022, when his third album De adentro pa afuera was released.

Similar sound, different gender: sweet Spanish nature name Cielo, meaning "sky, heavens", rose an incredible 225 spots last year, after it was chosen by Michael Bublé and Luisana Lopilato for their daughter.

Spanish singer Rosalia also continues to influence name trends for girls. Her lovely lilting name rose more than 50 spots, along with related choices like Rosa, Rosalie and Rosalina.

And Mexican singer and actress Anahi may be behind the big rise of her unusual name: up over 130 spots. She appeared as a guest judge on the drag contest La más draga in 2022.

Names Boosted by Social Media

Social media is playing a bigger role than ever in the names that are catching people’s attention – and then catching on for real babies.

Popular personalities who inspired parents of girls in 2022 include Marisol, the musical alias of YouTuber Eva Gutowski, and Dulce Candy, a popular beauty and lifestyle influencer.

Jhayco, the Instagram handle turned professional moniker of rapper Jhay Cortez, also rose again, along with variants like Jeyco and Jayko.

Popular Names from Other Languages

Popular baby names with parents of Hispanic and Latin American heritage aren’t limited to Spanish picks, as some of the trending names above show!

Italian names are also well used in the Latin American community – no doubt because of the sound and spelling similarities between the two languages.

In the few areas which release baby name data broken down by ethnicity, like New York City, Italian boy names like Alessandro, Enzo, Giovanni and Valentino along with Italian girl names such as Arianna, Gabriella and Gianna all rank well above the national average for babies of Hispanic heritage.

Hawaiian and Hawaiian-inspired names, particularly those ending -lani for girls, are also disproportionally popular.

Leilani (#59 nationally) is #19 in New Mexico and a Top 40 pick in the next three states with the largest proportional Hispanic populations: California, Texas and Arizona. Kehlani also makes New Mexico’s Top 100, despite ranking down at #152 nationwide.

And of course, names from languages indigenous to Central and South America are also widely used, notably for girls. Some of the most popular in the US today include Yaqui or Zapotec Nayeli, Tupi Anahi and Yara, Mayan Itzel and Ixchel, and Nahuatl Citlali, Xochitl and Quetzalli.

About the Author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from the top baby name trends 2023 to how not to choose the next big baby name. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active forums community ticking.

Emma's articles on names and naming trends have been featured in publications including the Huffington Post, People, Today's Parent, Fatherly, and Good Housekeeping.

A linguist by background, Emma speaks several languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and four young children. You can reach her at emma@nameberry.com.