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Top Baby Names 2020: The Playground Analysis

Top Baby Names 2020: The Playground Analysis

These are the real top names you will most often hear on the playground!

The Playground Analysis groups the names from the SSA list according to their sound and then ranks the groups instead of the individual spellings. Grouping the various spellings together gives us a more accurate view of what the #1 name is in the country.

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Playground Analysis: How Does It Compare?

In previous years, I have concentrated on how the Playground Analysis is different than the SSA list, but since we are several years into doing this, I thought it would be more interesting to compare the 2020 PA with the 2019 PA.

The top movers from the SSA list to the PA list (when adding the various spellings increases the rank significantly) are Adeline, Alaia and Kaylee for the girls, and Kayden and Jace for the boys.

The total numbers, along with most of the alternate spellings, are decreasing year to year, leaving us to wonder what new names are taking their places. For example, the total number of spellings for the girls’ #1 name, Sophia, dropped over 1,000 births from 2019 to 2020, while the boys’ #1 name, Jackson, dropped over 2,000 births.

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The Playground Analysis 2020

Let’s get to the lists! Names are given in their most popular form, together with their SSA rankings and total combined births, plus the most common variant spellings.

All variant spellings given to more than 5 babies are included in the figures, but I have only listed those with 50 or more births due to length. For example, Kaylee has 55 alternative spellings used in 2020, but only 14 are listed here.

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Top Girl Names 2020

The top 6 girl names on the PA stay the same from last year. Isla jumped 13 spots from #35 to #22, and Eliana jumped seven spots from #33 to #26, while Aubrey and Lillian both dropped seven spots.

Making their debut onto the PA Top 50 are Gianna, Alaia, Hazel and Nova, while the dropouts are Victoria, Natalie, Violet and Brooklyn.

Speaking of Gianna, who was also a big mover on the SSA list, she leaped from #92 on the 2019 PA to #19 on the 2020 PA. Hazel was #52 last year, moving up to #47, and Nova was #77 last year, moving up to #49.

Alaia is a new entry due to a change in how I have grouped certain spellings. Previously, the spellings for Alaia (ah-lay-ah or ah-lye-ah) were included under Aaliyah (ah-lee-ah). Aaliyah fell eight spots from 2019 to 2020 due to this change as well. 

1. Sophia (5), 20014 births – Sofia, Sofiya

2. Olivia (1), 19121 births – Alivia, Alyvia, Olyvia

3. Amelia (6), 18742 births – Emilia, Emelia, Amilia, Ameliah

4. Emma (2), 15737 births – Ema

5. Ava (3), 13992 births – Avah, Ayva, Ayvah

6. Isabella (7), 13624 births – Izabella, Isabela, Izzabella, Issabella, Ysabella

7. Charlotte (4), 13152 births – Charlette

8. Adeline (100), 12635 births – Adalynn, Adalyn, Adelyn, Adaline, Adelynn, Addilyn, Addilynn, Adilynn, Addalyn, Adilene, Addalynn, Addelyn, Adilyn, Adalynne, Addelynn

9. Mia (8), 11785 births – Miah, Miya, Miyah

10. Camila (11), 11382 births – Kamila, Camilla, Kamilah, Kamilla, Kamyla

11. Riley (33), 11321 births – Rylee, Ryleigh, Rylie, Rhylee, Rilee, Reilly, Rylei, Ryley, Rileigh

12. Aria (26), 11275 births – Arya, Ariyah, Ariah, Ariya, Aarya, Aryah, Aariyah

13. Evelyn (9), 11074 births – Evelynn, Evalyn, Evalynn, Evelin, Evelynne

14. Zoey (32), 10568 births – Zoe, Zoie, Zoei

15. Madelyn (66), 10316 births – Madeline, Madilyn, Madeleine, Madelynn, Madilynn, Madalyn, Madalynn, Maddilyn

16. Layla (24), 10285 births – Leila, Laila, Leyla, Laylah, Lailah, Leilah, Laela

17. Elena (55), 8926 births – Alaina, Alayna, Elaina, Alena, Elayna, Aleyna, Ellena, Aleina

18. Harper (10), 8778 births

19. Gianna (12), 8724 births – Jianna, Giana, Jiana

20. Everly (43), 8649 births – Everleigh, Everlee, Everley, Everli, Everlie

21. Emily (18), 8314 births – Emely, Emilee, Emilie, Emmalee, Emmaleigh

22. Isla (44), 8289 births – Ayla, Ila, Aila, Iyla, Eila, Aylah, Iylah, Aiyla, Islah, Ilah, Aayla

23. Abigail (13), 8242 births – Abbigail, Abigale

24. Chloe (27), 8177 births – Khloe, Khloee

25. Avery (19), 8080 births – Averie, Averi

26. Eliana (53), 8066 births – Elliana, Elianna, Ellianna, Eliyanah, Elyana, Ellyana, Elyanna, Eliyana

27. Luna (14), 7830 births

28. Scarlett (21), 7645 births – Scarlet, Scarlette, Skarlett

29. Madison (23), 7560 births – Maddison, Madisyn, Madyson, Madisson

30. Elizabeth (16), 7532 births – Elisabeth

31. Ella (15), 7493 births – Ela

32. Aaliyah (65), 7416 births – Aliyah, Alia, Aleah, Aliya, Aliah, Alya, Aleigha, Eliyah, Alea

33. Nora (30), 7364 births – Norah

34. Lily (35), 7019 births – Lilly, Lillie, Lili

35. Mila (20), 6987 births – Milah, Milla

36. Eleanor (22), 6987 births – Elinor, Eleanore, Elanor, Elleanor

37. Leah (45), 6448 births – Lia, Lea, Liah, Liya, Leigha, Liyah, Lya

38. Aubrey (56), 6334 births – Aubree, Aubrie, Aubri, Aubreigh

39. Penelope (25), 6129 births

40. Ariana (79), 6109 births – Arianna, Aryanna, Aryana, Ariyana, Ariyanna

41. Maya (61), 6036 births – Mya, Maia, Myah, Mayah, Maiya

42. Alaia (120), 5984 births – Alayah, Alaya, Alaiya, Aleia, Alaiyah, Alaiah, Aleyah, Aleya, Aleiah, Aalayah, Aaleyah

43. Ellie (29), 5939 births – Elly, Elli

44. Hannah (39), 5853 births – Hanna, Hana

45. Paisley (50), 5758 births – Paislee, Paisleigh, Paizley, Paizlee

46. Kaylee (117), 5664 births – Kayleigh, Kailey, Keily, Kaylie, Caylee, Kailee, Kaleigh, Kaley, Caleigh, Kayley, Cayleigh, Kayli, Kaily

47. Hazel (31), 5611 births

48. Grace (28), 5597 births

49. Nova (38), 5492 births – Novah

50. Lillian (46), 5435 births – Lilian, Lilyann, Lilyan, Lillyann

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Top Boy Names 2020

Jackson remains the convincing leader on the boys PA list. The top four stayed the same from 2019 to 2020, with Oliver and Lucas switching places between #5 and #7.

Big movers up include Miles (from #48 to #33), Theodore (from #40 to #28), and Levi (from #31 to #23), while those who descended by more than a few places include Matthew (from #25 to #32) and Isaac (from #32 to #38).

Nicholas, Christopher and Christian dropped off the PA Top 50, allowing room for Isaiah (#53 to #48), Asher (#52 to #40) and the biggest jumper onto the list, Luca (#57 to #37).

1. Jackson (17), 20213 births – Jaxon, Jaxson, Jaxxon, Jaxen, Jaxyn, Jaxsen, Jaxsyn

2. Liam (1), 19903 births – Lyam

3. Noah (2), 18352 births – Noa

4. Aiden (24), 15117 births – Ayden, Aidan, Adan, Aden, Aydin, Aydan, Aidyn, Eiden, Aedan, Aiyden, Aaden

5. Oliver (3), 14197 births

6. Elijah (4), 13896 births – Alijah, Elyjah

7. Lucas (8), 13071 births – Lukas

8. Grayson (35), 12608 births – Greyson, Graysen, Greysen, Graycen, Gracen, Graceson

9. William (5), 12547 births

10. James (6), 12286 births

11. Benjamin (7), 12184 births

12. Kayden (99), 12009 births – Kaiden, Caden, Kaden, Cayden, Caiden, Kaeden, Kaidyn, Kaedyn, Keyden

13. Mateo (20), 11273 births – Matteo, Matheo

14. Henry (9), 10818 births – Henri

15. Mason (11), 10765 births – Maison, Mayson, Masen

16. Alexander (10), 10621 births – Alexzander, Aleksander

17. Michael (12), 10583 births – Micheal, Mikael, Mikel, Mykel

18. Carter (33), 9902 births – Karter

19. Ethan (13), 9839 births – Eithan

20. Jayden (37), 9726 births – Jaden, Jaiden, Jadon, Jaydon, Jaeden, Jaidyn, Jaydan

21. Jacob (15), 9636 births – Jakob, Jaycob

22. Daniel (14), 9511 births

23. Levi (18), 9158 births – Levy

24. Sebastian (19), 9123 births – Sabastian, Sebastien

25. Logan (16), 9116 births

26. Jack (21), 8901 births

27. Owen (22), 8661 births

28. Theodore (23), 8641 births – Theodor

29. Samuel (25), 8559 births

30. John (27), 8499 births – Jon

31. Joseph (26), 8472 births – Josef

32. Matthew (30), 8407 births – Mathew

33. Miles (59), 8204 births – Myles

34. David (28), 8187 births

35. Wyatt (29), 8155 births

36. Julian (34), 8045 births – Julien

37. Luca (67), 7937 births – Luka, Lucca, Lukah, Lucah

38. Isaac (39), 7860 births – Issac, Isaak, Izaac, Izaak

39. Luke (31), 7783 births

40. Asher (32), 7720 births

41. Josiah (50), 7690 births – Jasiah, Joziah, Jesiah, Jessiah, Jaziah, Josiyah

42. Dylan (43), 7577 births – Dillon, Dilan, Dillan

43. Caleb (56), 7333 births – Kaleb, Kayleb

44. Lincoln (40), 7331 births – Linkin

45. Leo (36), 7185 births

46. Cameron (64), 7134 births – Kameron, Kamryn, Kamron, Camron, Kamren, Camryn, Camren, Kamran

47. Gabriel (38), 7093 births

48. Isaiah (51), 7052 births – Izaiah, Izayah, Isiah

49. Anthony (41), 7000 births

50. Jace (97), 6974 births – Jayce, Jase, Jayse

Do these lists echo what you are hearing on the playground? I’m also curious if any of you readers have changed the choice for your child’s name based on the Playground Analysis? Join the discussion on the forums!

About the Author

Kelli Brady

Kelli Brady is a stay at home mom of two who needed an outlet for her name obsession. She found it at NameFreak!, a blog dedicated to a wide variety of name-related whims and fancies. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Her eBook, Name-alytics, is a look at the history of the Top 100 names in the United States. Check it out at https://gumroad.com/l/name-alytics!

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