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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 #15 this 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 #11, Camila is at #12, and Sofia ranks at #18.

Rarer Spanish names rising fast include Camilo and Dario for boys, Vida and Dalia for girls. All jumped well over 100 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 #53 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 Julian, 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 well within the current Top 200 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, Andrea, Esperanza, Liliana, Maria, 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, Andres, Antonio, Emilio, Emiliano, Jesus, Juan 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 traditional names like Juan, Miguel and Maria are currently trending downwards in the US, in line with their English equivalents John, Michael and Mary.

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 Alaia, Amaya, Cataleya, Dayana and Itzayana.

Girl names starting with Ya-, such as 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.

Angel, Azael, Azrael, Aziel, Castiel, Dariel, Ezekiel, Ezequiel, Gael, Jaziel, Noel, Rafael and Yadiel all rose in the rankings last year. All are disproportionally popular in states with a large Hispanic and Latin American population.

Sant- boy names like Santos and Santino were also big risers in 2021 – following stylish Santiago up the charts.

And there is evidence of some vintage Spanish boy names returning to favor. Alfonso, Bruno, Carmelo, Esteban, Ignacio, Leandro, Marcelo 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 stars Angelique Boyer (Imperio de mentiras) and Arleth Terán (La reina soy yo) each pushed their distinctive names over 250 spots up the popularity charts in 2021, making them two of the highest climbing girl names of the year.

Other fast-rising girl names influenced by TV and film include Danna (Paola), who voiced the heroine in the Spanish dub of Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon.

Quirky place name Nairobi saw another big bump in births, inspired by a popular character in the Netflix hit Money Heist. And the name of the actress who portrays her, Alba (Flores), reentered the Top 1000 for the first time in almost a century.

Boy names boosted by Spanish-language TV and film are led by Dario, a character in the popular Mexican thriller Dark Desire. And, also inspired by Money Heist, Rio and Denver both made gains in 2021 – both rising substantially for girls, too.

Names Inspired by Music

Popular singers Rosalia and Camilo – both known professionally by their first names only – inspired a boom of little namesakes in 2021.

Camilo almost doubled in usage compared to the previous year, boosted by the release of his album Mis manos in March and the single Índigo in October, in which he and wife Evaluna Montaner announced their pregnancy.

Both Evaluna and Indigo, their baby girl’s name, also made big gains last year.

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.

Other popular personalities who inspired parents in 2021 include Marisol, the musical alias of YouTuber Eva Gutowski; Adrielly Lima and Imaray Ulloa, influencers whose rare names both debuted in the US last year; and Jhayco, the Instagram handle turned professional moniker of rapper Jhay Cortez.

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 names, particularly those ending -lani for girls, are also disproportionally popular. Leilani (#67 nationally) is #21 in New Mexico and a Top 40 pick in the next three states with the largest proportional Hispanic populations: California, Texas and Arizona. Kaylani also makes New Mexico’s Top 100, despite ranking way down at #282 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 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.