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Most popular baby names in the 21st century

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Most popular baby names in the 21st century

What is in a name? Though neither Romeo nor Juliet can claim a spot on any lists of the most popular baby names of the 21st century in the U.S., this collection has a little bit of everything. There are reimagined surnames, Puritan virtue names, and names born from rom-coms, sitcoms, and dreamed up by Shakespeare himself.

Each year, the Social Security Administration annually gathers and analyzes name data, offering tremendous insight into past and present time periods; thus, we are able to get a glimpse into those cultural connections and trends that influenced the naming of our parents, grandparents, and so on. Maybe this doesn’t entirely explain why we refer to certain first names (Ethel, Beatrice, Clarence) as sounding “old-fashioned” or "old” for a baby, though it at least shows the first-choice names in the previous century when our families’ older generations were growing up.

Today, “vintage” and “retro”—equal parts uncomplicated response to an increasingly complicated, connected society and proof that what’s classic and simple prevails—is truly en vogue in sectors like fashion, home music listening, and mobile phones. Well, names are similar. In data released in December 2019, the SSA’s most popular names of the 2010s still included timeless, transcendent favorites like Noah, Sophia, Elijah, and Olivia. 

For this particular list, Stacker brought together a wider range of data provided by the Social Security Administration, ranking each entry by the total number of American babies given a certain name in the 21st century. The list’s data is split up by birth gender, as reported on the baby’s Social Security card application.

As the list shows, the era of Tom, Dick, and Harry is mostly gone. Instead, fascinating names (and traditional ones) populate the most popular baby names in the 21st century; though celebrity babies help boost a name’s popularity, Blue Ivy, Suri, or Apple have yet to crack the list. 

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#50. Cameron (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 156,587
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #69 (5,271 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #31; 12,761 babies born)

Though originally Scottish in origin, this name's 21st-century popularity is perhaps more rooted in Hollywood. Director James Cameron's “Titanic" dominated the theaters during many 21st-century parents' formative years, and Cameron Crowe's “Almost Famous" was released in September of 2000.

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#50. Aubrey (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 90,677
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #36 (5,190 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2012 (ranked #15; 8,047 babies born)

No, the surge in popularity isn’t directly attributable to Aubrey “Drake” Graham, much of whose worldwide fame came after 2012, the year that “Aubrey” reached its peak as the 15th most popular baby name. Aubrey—the French, English meaning of which is "elf ruler”—has grabbed a spot in SSA’s 21st-century rankings, having been popular among boys in the Middle Ages, becoming a common name for girls beginning in the 1970s, and today evoking such female stars as Aubrey Plaza.

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Rowena of the Rants // Flickr

#49. Kevin (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 159,595
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #125 (3,124 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #32; 12,667 babies born)

Kevin is actually the English version of the Irish name Caoimhín, who was a saint in sixth-century Ireland. Now, what spurred the name's peak in 2000? It's hard to know if it was Kevin Bacon's performance in “Hollow Man" or Kevin Garnett putting up 22 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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Ivanna-Ivashka // Shutterstock

#49. Gabriella (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 91,827
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #70 (3,677 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2010 (ranked #33; 6,177 babies born)

This name is the female version of Gabriel, a biblical name which in Hebrew means “God is my strength.” In the Christian Bible, the archangel Gabriel appears to tell Mary that she is pregnant with Jesus. All through the 2000s, Gabrielle Union was starring in films, appearing in both “Bring It On" and “Love & Basketball" in 2000.

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#48. Jordan (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 160,920
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #82 (4,646 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #36; 12,167 babies born)

This name gets its roots from the ancient river that runs between Jordan and Israel, which also was the site of Jesus' baptism by John in the New Testament. But let's be real: It also got a popularity boost when a kid from North Carolina named Michael Jeffrey Jordan became the greatest man to ever play basketball.

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marina shin // Shutterstock

#48. Brooklyn (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 92,622
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #47 (4,611 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2011 (ranked #21; 7,164 babies born)

Based on the property value hike in Brooklyn this last decade (68.1% according to the appraisal firm Miller Samuel), young Americans seem to have an affinity for the New York City borough. Naming your child Brooklyn can serve as a way to vicariously exist near the increasingly affluent borough—based on Kanye West's “Couldn't afford a car so she named her daughter Alexis" theorem). The name is also favored by David and Victoria “Posh Spice" Beckham, who named their eldest son Brooklyn.

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#47. Isaiah (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 162,296
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #51 (6,614 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2006 (ranked #39; 10,448 babies born)

This biblical name draws its roots in the Hebrew Bible. Isaiah was an eighth-century B.C. prophet and is mentioned specifically in Christianity's Gospel of John for having predicted the coming of Christ. Detroit Pistons' great Isiah Thomas' name is spelled without the first “a,” but current NBA star Isaiah Thomas uses the more traditional spelling.

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gualtiero boffi // Shutterstock

#47. Riley (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 95,803
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #28 (5,976 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2016 (ranked #22; 7,131 babies born)

This name actually entered use as a surname, which meant “wood clearing" or “rye clearing" in Old English. Today, it's one example of the growing trend of using surnames as first names to give your kid a distinctive name or to honor a celebrity (see: Hendrix, Bowie).

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Public Domain Pictures

#46. Hunter (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 164,020
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #56 (6,066 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #35; 12,535 babies born)

It's not hard to unscramble the meaning of this name, which comes from the Old English “hunta" which means: “hunter." This name's popularity is likely more related to Hunter S. Thompson, who was portrayed by Johnny Depp in 1998's “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” than by “Survivor" cast member Hunter Ellis, but who can say.

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javi_indy // Shutterstock

#46. Leah (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 96,463
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #41 (4,995 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2009 (ranked #29; 6,788 babies born)

This name comes from the Old Testament. Leah was the first wife of Jacob, who was tricked by her father into marrying Leah rather than her younger sister, Rachel.

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Pexels

#45. Robert (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 164,123
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #71 (5,140 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #29; 13,737 babies born)

This name comes from Germanic roots but can trace its popularity in England all the way back to the Norman Conquest in 1066. While Robert the Bruce's pop culture renaissance in 1995's “Braveheart" might have helped spur the name's rise, it's more likely linked to Redford, De Niro, and, of course, Downey Jr., who was very much in the news in 2000.

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#45. Morgan (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 96,657
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #163 (1,749 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #25; 9,502 babies born)

This name came into popular use after Geoffrey of Monmouth named a sorcerer Morgan le Fay in his King Arthur stories. Morgan fits nicely into the trend of unisex names.

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PxHere

#44. Thomas (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 165,158
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #49 (6,779 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #33; 12,639 babies born)

Thomas is a biblical name, coming from the New Testament apostle who doubted Christ had risen until he inspected his wounds. The name has long been extremely popular, with notable standouts like Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, and, of course, Thomas the Tank Engine.

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#44. Katherine (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 96,942
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #112 (2,666 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #33; 8,107 babies born)

This name has Greek roots and has many regal forbearers: Catherine the Great, Katherine of Aragon, Catherine de' Medici, and more. It's unclear what spiked this specific spelling of Katherine's popularity in 2000—Katharine Hepburn spelled her name a bit differently and Katherine Heigl wouldn't join “Grey's Anatomy" until 2005.

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Pixabay

#43. Justin (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 165,836
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #141 (2,787 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #19; 17,779 babies born)

The name Justin traces its roots to the Latin name Justus, which means “just." The name peaked in 2000, right when a certain famous Justin's album “No Strings Attached" was breaking records with its first-week sales. This I promise you, the era of Justin as a niche name went bye, bye, bye right when that NSYNC hit the scene.

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#43. Kaylee (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 98,313
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #97 (2,938 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2009 (ranked #26; 7,211 babies born)

This name is exceptionally new in the United States, showing up in 1984 and growing rapidly in popularity until 2009. It's unclear what spurred the jump, aside from American parents' love of original names (and odd spellings).

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Thomas // Flickr

#42. José (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 166,613
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #89 (4,292 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2002 (ranked #30; 12,861 babies born)

This popular Spanish name derives its roots from the Bible. Joseph was Jacob's favorite son, and as payback, was sent by his brothers to Egypt, where he went from destitute to a valued advisor to the Pharaoh.

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#42. Zoe (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 101,565
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #40 (5,062 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2012 (ranked #30; 6,455 babies born)

The name Zoe traces its roots to ancient Greece; it means “life." The name first gained popularity in 1989 and then peaked in 2012. Zooey Deschanel's “New Girl" premiered in 2011, the same year that Zoë Kravitz made her blockbuster debut in “X-Men: First Class.”

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#41. Austin (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 167,245
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #80 (4,651 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #23; 15,944 babies born)

Though Austin technically derives from a contracted form of Augustine from the Middle Ages, it seems more likely that this name comes from the trend of using surnames as first names. The name could also be a nod to the city in Texas, but in this case, the popularity spike in 2000 seems most linked to the one and only actor and wrestler Stone Cold Steve.

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Nolte Lourens // Shutterstock

#41. Sydney (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 102,928
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #163 (1,749 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #23; 10,242 babies born)

This name first came into use as an English surname, spelled Sidney. The spelling of Sydney with a “y" is more often a female name, though a few generations ago, it was unisex (see: Sydney Pollack, Sydney Lassick).

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#40. Jack (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 171,574
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #28 (8,834 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2005 (ranked #34; 10,903 babies born)

Sometimes used as a nickname for John (see: Jack Kennedy), Jack is a historic English name in its own right. There was Jack London and Jack Kerouac, but the popularity in the 2000s may likely stem from two fictional Jacks: Jack Dawson from “Titanic" and Dr. Jack Shephard from “Lost."

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Canva

#40. Jasmine (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 103,156
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #136 (2,133 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #27; 9,097 babies born)

Jasmine comes from the star-shaped flower of the same name, used in perfumes, and originally originates from the Persian word “yasamen." This name boom is probably most closely tied to a certain Disney princess.

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PxHere

#39. Luke (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 175,061
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #29 (8,577 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2014 (ranked #28; 10,503 babies born)

This is the English version of Lucas and is also a biblical name. If the name had peaked around the turn of the millennium, perhaps its popularity could be tied to “Beverly Hills, 90210's” Luke Perry, but this Luke bump seems more likely linked to Luke Bryan's “Crash My Party" hitting #1 on the Billboard 200 in August 2013. Rolling on 35s with a pretty girl by your side is one way to start a Luke baby boom.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#39. Julia (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 103,885
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #93 (2,989 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2001 (ranked #27; 8,837 babies born)

Julia is the female version of the Roman name Julius, which was first popularized by Julius Caesar. Why the 2001 peak in babies named Julia though? Perhaps it was this amazing three-year run (1999–2001) by Julia Roberts: “Notting Hill," “Runaway Bride," “Erin Brockovich," “The Mexican," “America's Sweethearts," and “Ocean's Eleven.”

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Pixabay

#38. Isaac (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 176,628
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #34 (8,417 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2007 (ranked #41; 10,258 babies born)

Isaac is another biblical name. Isaac was Abraham's son; God tested his first follower's faith by asking him to kill Isaac, which he almost did.

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#38. Allison (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 105,415
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #69 (3,678 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2009 (ranked #30; 6,581 babies born)

This name was common in both England and France as far back as the Middle Ages. It's hard to know if this name bump is connected to the later years of the “Smallville's" Allison Mack run or just an enduring love for Elvis Costello's classic song, "Alison."

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Pixabay

#37. Lucas (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 176,828
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #8 (12,585 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2017 (ranked #11; 12,951 babies born)

This name is the Latin form of the biblical name Luke, who is believed to be one of the four men who wrote a Gospel about Jesus' time on earth. It's unclear what caused the 2017 Lucas boom, though it does seem common among YouTube and Instagram stars. Parents in their late 20s or early 30s may also have grown up watching "One Tree Hill," a teen drama that starred Chad Michael Murry as hunky basketball player Lucas Scott and aired from 2003–2012. 

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Tetiana Iatsenko // Shutterstock

#37. Jessica (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 107,804
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #312 (1,057 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #8; 15,709 babies born)

Amazingly, this name traces its roots to Shakespeare; his character Jessica in “The Merchant of Venice" is the first known use of the name. The 2000 Jessica peak could correlate with Jessica Alba's 1999 appearance in “Idle Hands" or pop star Jessica Simpson's debut album "Sweet Kisses" (1999). 

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Pixabay

#36. Zachary (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 182,573
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #109 (3,528 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #15; 19,849 babies born)

Zachary is an English version of the biblical name Zacharias, who was John the Baptist's father. The name was most popular throughout the '90s, with Zachary hitting its peak in 1993 and declining ever since. 

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DanielReche // Pixabay

#36. Lillian (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 108,984
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #34 (5,534 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2012 (ranked #25; 7,156 babies born)

Lillian came to use as a nickname for Elizabeth; today, it is more likely connected to the name Lily. It's hard to know which famous fictional mother led to the Lillian bump: Queen Lillian from “Shrek" or Serena's mom Lillian in “Gossip Girl.” 

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#35. Caleb (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 190,044
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #45 (6,929 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2002 (ranked #35; 11,657 babies born)

Caleb is also an Old Testament biblical name; he was one of the 12 spies sent by Moses into Canaan. It's hard to know what caused the Caleb bump in 2002; Nathan Fillion played a character named Caleb in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer" the next year, but wouldn't gain a cult following until much later.

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Patryk Kosmider // Shutterstock

#35. Savannah (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 112,199
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #45 (4,745 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #37; 7,099 babies born)

Deriving from the American English word for “large grassy plain,” Savannah actually traces its roots to a Native American word, Zabana, which means “meadow." It's also the name of a popular city in Georgia.

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Canva

#34. Brandon (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 194,209
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #124 (3,183 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #12; 20,336 babies born)

This name came to use originally as a surname, which has its roots in Old English. The Brandon bump seems correlated to a generation growing up watching Brandon Walsh (Jason Priestley) on “Beverly Hills, 90210”; the name first began to rise in the United States in 1991, a year after the show premiered.

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#34. Charlotte (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 113,217
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #6 (12,940 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2016 (ranked #7; 13,080 babies born)

The French female version of the name Charles arrived back in England in the 1600s. It was the arrival of another Charlotte in England in 2015, this time in the form of a royal baby, that helps explain the name's 2016 peak.

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Donnie Ray Jones // Flickr

#33. Liam (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 197,777
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #1 (19,837 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2018 (ranked #1; 19,837 babies born)

Liam is the shortened Irish version of the name William, a famous name of kings and conquerors throughout Medieval and modern British times. The name's peak in 2017 could be linked to an unlikely demographic tsunami (a rare occurrence where a name has purchase in both the 18–35 and 36–51 demographics) with both Liam Neeson and One Direction's Liam Payne making headlines.

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#33. Amelia (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 113,843
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #8 (12,301 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2018 (ranked #8; 12,301 babies born)

This spelling of the name first came to England when the German Hanover family named two English princesses Amelia in the 1700s. The most famous Amelia may just be Amelia Earhart, the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a solo flight. She made the successful ocean crossing in 1932 in under 15 hours.

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Public Domain Pictures

#32. Jackson (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 200,148
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #17 (10,323 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2013 (ranked #16; 12,585 babies born)

Jackson traces its roots to the surname, which literally means, “Son of Jack.” However, as is often the case with other presidential surnames, Jackson has become a popular first name.

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#32. Evelyn (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 117,042
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #10 (10,376 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2017 (ranked #9; 10,675 babies born)

Evelyn traces its roots to an English surname brought over by the Germanic Normans. It has become related to similar-sounding girl's names, Eve and Evelina. There is a male character named Evelyn on “Downton Abbey," but it's unclear what caused the bump in popularity for female Evelyns in 2017.

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#31. Aiden (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 203,333
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #19 (9,979 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2009 (ranked #12; 16,017 babies born)

An English form of the old Irish name Aodhán, use of the name Aiden grew exponential in the United States between 1995 and 2009. Some of that growth was spurned by John Corbett's portrayal of Aidan Shaw on “Sex and the City.”

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Coy_Creek // Shutterstock

#31. Avery (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 117,092
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #16 (8,053 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2014 (ranked #13; 9,563 babies born)

This is another example of a girl's name that originated as a surname. What's interesting about Avery though is its usage as a girl's name at all. From 1880 on, between 0.01% and 0.1% of boys in America have been named Avery. But starting in 1990, 0.01% of girls were given the name, and by 2014, almost 0.5% were named Avery.

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#30. Jayden (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 206,201
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #30 (8,553 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2009 (ranked #8; 17,286 babies born)

This relatively recent name first came into use in the late '90s. Though differently, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith's son Jaden began his film acting career with “The Pursuit of Happyness" in 2006 and appeared in “The Day the Earth Stood Still" months before the name peaked.

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Oleksiy Avtomonov // Shutterstock

#30. Addison (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 117,696
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #35 (5,203 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2007 (ranked #11; 11,946 babies born)

Originally a surname meaning “Son of Adam,” Addison has since taken off as a popular girl's name. The name peaked in 2007, soon after Kate Walsh began her run as Dr. Addison Montgomery on “Grey's Anatomy.”

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#29. Nathan (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 216,474
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #48 (6,790 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2004 (ranked #20; 14,627 babies born)

The name Nathan traces its roots to the Old Testament; Nathan was a prophet in the times of King David. The name first peaked in the United States use in 1981 before slumping and then reaching its ultimate peak in 2004.

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Kateryna Gurska // Shutterstock

#29. Sofia (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 118,187
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #17 (7,621 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2015 (ranked #14; 9,684 babies born)

Sofia is an alternate spelling of Sophia, which means “wisdom" in Greek and was the name of an early saint. Both Sofía Vergara and Sofia Coppola use the “f" spelling, which could explain its steady rise in popularity in the United States throughout the 2000s.

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Public Domain Pictures

#28. Gabriel (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 217,139
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #35 (8,335 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2008 (ranked #24; 13,027 babies born)

Gabriel is a biblical name, which means “God is my strength.” In the Bible, the archangel Gabriel appears on behalf of God multiple times. Though unlikely, one hopes the name bump comes from a generation falling in love with “Miller's Crossing” and the criminally underrated Gabriel Byrne.

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Durganand // Shutterstock

#28. Lily (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 118,791
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #31 (5,706 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2011 (ranked #15; 8,177 babies born)

The name Lily gets its roots from the flower, which has become a symbol of virtue and as well as associated with funerals. The 2000s have been awash with notable Lilies: Harry Potter's mother and characters on “Modern Family," “Gossip Girl," and “How I Met Your Mother."

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#27. Jonathan (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 218,839
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #63 (5,712 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #21; 16,882 babies born)

Jonathan is a biblical name; he was the son of Saul, the first king of Israel. The name peaked in the United States in 1985 and has been steadily declining since, save for a slight uptick during the height of Jonathan Taylor Thomas' “Home Improvement" years.

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Studio Romantic // Shutterstock

#27. Kayla (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 122,897
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #149 (1,875 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #13; 13,312 babies born)

This is a relatively new name, first appearing in popular use around 1960. Some credit the name taking off in the 1980s with the character Kayla Brady appearing on “Days of Our Lives.” The name's use has declined steadily since 1995.

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#26. Christian (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 220,407
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #55 (6,509 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #22; 16,056 babies born)

As you'd expect, the name Christian has its roots in the religion; it comes from Christanus, “a Christian" in Latin. The name's popularity first sparked in the United States in 1989, a year after Christian Slater starred in “The Heathers”; it descended in popularity in 1996 when he starred in the ill-received “Broken Arrow.”

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Elvira Koneva // Shutterstock

#26. Lauren (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 124,469
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #170 (1,696 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #11; 14,175 babies born)

Lauren began as a boy's name, but became a popular female name during the age of Lauren Bacall. The name peaked in the United States in 1989 and had another mini-moment in 2000 before beginning to decline in popularity.

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Max Pixel

#25. Tyler (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 221,636
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #119 (3,298 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #10; 21,503 babies born)

Tyler came into use as an English surname, meaning, “one who tiles a roof." The name took off in popularity in 1987 and reached its peak in the United States in 1994. It was never a hugely popular name for women, but it peaked as a unisex name in 1993.

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Pushish Images // Shutterstock

#25. Hailey (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 126,089
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #79 (3,449 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2003 (ranked #26; 8,793 babies born)

Hailey is a variant spelling of the name Hayley, which actually came into use as a surname (it means “hay-clearing” and was the name of an English town). It’s unclear who caused the initial jump in that variant spelling of Hailey, but now that Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin have tied the knot, the “ai” spelling could once again take off.

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Pixabay

#24. Dylan (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 228,625
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #31 (8,549 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2001 (ranked #21; 16,496 babies born)

The name Dylan comes from Wales, where it means “great tide" and is the name of a Welsh mythological sea god. The name was the chosen surname of Bob Dylan, which was then used by parents hoping to honor their favorite artist. It also received an exponential “Beverly Hills, 90210" bump when Luke Perry's Dylan McKay arrived on televisions and stole hearts.

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Oleggg // Shutterstock

#24. Brianna (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 134,621
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #132 (2,235 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #15; 12,878 babies born)

Brianna is the female version of the name Brian, which traces its roots to Medieval Ireland. This spelling of Brianna rose in popularity throughout the 1990s before peaking in 2000; its popularity has plummeted since then.

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PxHere

#23. Elijah (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 233,286
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #7 (12,886 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2011 (ranked #13; 13,960 babies born)

This biblical name traces its roots to the Hebrew Bible's Book of Kings; Elijah was a prophet 800 years before Christ. The name's popularity took off in 1993, peaked in 2011 and has since stayed steady at over 13,000 babies per year, or 0.67% of babies.

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Darkdiamond67 // Shutterstock

#23. Taylor (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 137,025
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #121 (2,478 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #10; 15,078 babies born)

Taylor began as an English surname to denote that a family worked as a tailor; it was first popularized as a girls name in the 1980s. The name's use exploded from 1989 to 1993, during which time singer-songwriter Taylor Dayne became a giant pop star (her first single charted in 1987).

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Pixabay

#22. Mason (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 236,426
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #9 (12,435 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2011 (ranked #2; 19,507 babies born)

Mason, which came to use as a surname, traces its roots all the way back to Old English, where it meant “stone worker." The name grew in popularity exponentially between 2009 and 2011; Scott Disick and Kourtney Kardashian named their son Mason Dash Disick in December 2009.

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Nina Buday // Shutterstock

#22. Anna (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 137,380
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #54 (4,145 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #22; 10,588 babies born)

The name Anna traces its roots to the Old Testament and was hugely popular in Eastern Europe, but began to become popular among Westerners during the Middle Ages to honor Saint Anna (also known as Saint Anne), Mother Mary's mother. The name was actually most popular in the 1880s in the United States, but had a second mini-peak around 2000. The protagonist of “Frozen" is named Anna, which cannot hurt its prospects going forward.

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#21. Samuel (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 236,726
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #21 (9,734 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2001 (ranked #26; 14,790 babies born)

This biblical name comes from the Old Testament; Samuel was a Hebrew judge who appointed both King Saul and King David to the throne. The name regained its late-1800s popularity in the late 1990s to early 2000s. As usual, Samuel L. Jackson was in many, many films during that period.

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Keeshi Ingram // Shutterstock

#21. Ella (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 144,958
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #15 (8,055 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2010 (ranked #13; 9,872 babies born)

This name was introduced to England by the Normans and was popular during the Middle Ages. The name's use dipped precipitously in the United States to the point where it was not on the charts in the mid-80s, but Ella has seen a renaissance since the turn of the millennium. Ella Fitzgerald, the Queen of Jazz, passed away in 1996, which may have brought the name back to the front of America's mind.

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Michael Beck // Flickr

#20. Nicholas (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 239,507
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #74 (4,801 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #6; 24,652 babies born)

The name Nicholas comes from Greece and is, of course, also the name of a saint (though that saint is better known as Santa Claus). The name hit its absolute usage peak in 1995, the year Nicolas Cage (spelled slightly differently) won Best Actor for his performance in “Leaving Las Vegas.”

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Evgeny Atamanenko // Shutterstock

#20. Victoria (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 149,341
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #21 (7,089 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #20; 10,923 babies born)

The name comes from the ancient Roman word for victory, but became much more popular in the West after the reign of Queen Victoria. The name's popularity rose exponentially between 1983 and 1993; the character Victoria Newman was born on “The Young and the Restless" in 1982.

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#19. Logan (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 249,894
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #10 (12,352 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2007 (ranked #17; 15,324 babies born)

The name Logan came into use as a Scottish surname; it meant “little hollow" in Scottish Gaelic. The name peaked in 2007 but reached the same level again last year. The YouTuber Logan Paul earned $12.5 million off of his streams in 2017; he received 3 million views per day that year.

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Natalia Kirichenko // Shutterstock

#19. Alyssa (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 150,567
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #150 (1,870 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #12; 13,553 babies born)

This spelling of Alyssa comes from the alyssum flower, thought to cure madness by early healers. The name's use peaked in the United States in 1999; Alyssa Milano starred on “Charmed" the year before and “Melrose Place" the year before that.

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#18. John (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 254,403
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #27 (9,119 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #14; 20,092 babies born)

This name is used in both the Old and New Testaments, but became one of the most common names in antiquity thanks to both John the Baptist and the apostle John. An incredible 8.2% of American babies were named John in 1880; in 2017, less than 0.5% were given the popular name.

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Elena Efimova // Shutterstock

#18. Natalie (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 158,202
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #39 (5,095 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2006 (ranked #17; 10,946 babies born)

Natalie comes from the name Natalia, which means “Christmas morning" in Latin. The name was much more popular in Eastern Europe, but has taken off in the United States since the 1960s, peaking in 2006, right after Natalie Portman ended her run in the "Star Wars" prequels.

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#17. Ryan (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 257,832
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #46 (6,905 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #13; 20,264 babies born)

This name originated as an Irish surname and stems from an Irish word that means “king.” The name peaked in popularity in 1985 but had another smaller uptick in 2003. “The O.C."—with protagonist Ryan Atwood (Benjamin McKenzie)—premiered on Fox that year.

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#17. Sarah (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 167,426
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #67 (3,734 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #5; 17,697 babies born)

This is a biblical name that traces its roots to the Old Testament; Sarah was the wife of Abraham and the matriarch of the Jewish people. The name took off in the 1970s and was already in decline by 2000 when it accounted for 0.89% of babies' names.

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#16. Benjamin (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 258,226
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #6 (13,381 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #26; 14,840 babies born)

This is a biblical name from the Old Testament; Benjamin was Jacob's youngest son and was thought to be the leader of one of the 12 tribes. The name became hugely popular starting in the early '70s and has stayed relatively consistent since that moment. The early-'70s jump may have been tied to Capt. Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye" Pierce, the character played by Alan Alda on the television series “M*A*S*H*," which premiered in 1972.

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greenaperture // Shutterstock

#16. Ashley (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 168,152
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #129 (2,267 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #4; 17,997 babies born)

This name began as an English surname and then was mainly given to boys until the 1960s. Today, it is almost exclusively a girl's name. The name first took off in 1982 (eventually peeking in 1987); the character Ashley Abbott first appeared on the soap opera “The Young and the Restless" in June of 1982.

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#15. David (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 286,988
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #22 (9,697 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #16; 19,767 babies born)

The biblical name comes from the Old Testament story; David defeated the giant Goliath with a slingshot and then became the Jewish king. The name was most popular in the mid-1950s in America has slowly, but has steadily declined in popularity throughout the 2000s. Of course, David is the first name of one of the great rock stars (Bowie), one of the most divisive sitcom stars (Schwimmer), one of the best modern directors (Fincher), and that one statue in Florence (Michelangelo's "David").

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#15. Alexis (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 169,673
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #179 (1,640 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #6; 17,629 babies born)

Alexis stems from ancient Greece where it meant “helper" or “defender." It is a unisex name, but was given mainly to girls in the United States, especially after 1990. The uptick in female Alexises began in the 1980s around the time Alexis Colby (Joan Collins) started her run on “Dynasty.”

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#14. James (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 288,973
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #4 (13,525 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #18; 17,981 babies born)

The name James comes from the New Testament; it was the name of two of the 12 apostles. It was hugely popular through the 1940s and has declined since then, but has stabilized over the last two decades. A few famous James include: character James Bond, singer-songwriter James Brown, Founding Father James Madison, and James from "James and the Giant Peach."

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Kenny Louie // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Chloe (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 175,065
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #25 (6,626 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2009 (ranked #9; 11,906 babies born)

Chloe is a Greek name that refers to new plants blooming in the spring. The name Chloe has taken off in popularity in the United States since 1997, peaking in 2009. Actresses Chloë Sevigny and Chloë Grace Moretz both spell their name with an umlaut.

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#13. Anthony (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 295,865
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #38 (8,003 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2003 (ranked #10; 20,144 babies born)

The name Anthony traces its roots to an ancient Roman surname, Antonius, most notably borne by Marcus Antonius, also known as Mark Anthony. The name took off in the 1960s and then again in the 1980s, hitting its absolute popularity peak in 1987. It has declined in popularity since then, but had a short resurgence in the early 2000s, at the same time James Gandolfini was playing Anthony Soprano on HBO.

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#13. Grace (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 177,318
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #24 (6,724 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2003 (ranked #13; 12,776 babies born)

This name comes from the word Grace, but its roots as a name trace to the Puritans penchant for names that signaled virtue (or warned of sin). The name grew in popularity, taking off in 1998 before peaking in 2003; the NBC sitcom “Will and Grace" originally ran from 1998 to 2006.

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#12. Christopher (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 297,982
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #42 (7,261 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #5; 24,931 babies born)

Christopher is a combination of the Greek words for “Christ" and “carry.” The name took off in popularity during the 1960s before hitting its absolute popularity peak in 1984. There have been steadily less Christophers born each year since then.

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#12. Samantha (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 187,675
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #60 (3,897 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #7; 17,266 babies born)

An adaptation of the biblical name Samuel, Samantha is thought to have been created in the American South during the 1800s. The name grew in popularity starting in 1965, but did not hit its absolute peak until 1991. The premiere of “Bewitched," which starred Elizabeth Montgomery as a beautiful witch named Samantha, is credited with the name's popularity boost in the mid-1960s.

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#11. Andrew (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 300,262
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #43 (7,234 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #7; 23,639 babies born)

This is the English form of an ancient Greek name and also traces its roots to the New Testament; Saint Andrew was one of Jesus's apostles. The name took off in the 1960s before peaking in popularity in 1987; “The Andy Griffith Show" ran from 1960 to 1968 and then Griffith starred in “Matlock" from 1986–1995. Also, Orson Scott Card named the protagonist in 1985's “Ender's Game" Andrew “Ender" Wiggin.

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#11. Mia (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 199,699
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #7 (12,642 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2015 (ranked #6; 14,892 babies born)

Mia originated as a shortened version of the name Maria, which was the name of Jesus' mother. The name jumped in popularity in 1999, the same year that Mia Hamm starred in the United States-hosted FIFA Women's World Cup.

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#10. Joseph (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 300,629
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #23 (9,555 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #8; 22,825 babies born)

This is a biblical name from the Old Testament; Joseph was Jacob's 11th (and favorite) son, who was sent to Egypt as punishment by his vengeful brothers. Joseph was an incredibly popular name in the early 1900s and has steadily declined since that point. Still, the name remains one of the most popular among American boys.

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Donnie Ray Jones // Flickr

#10. Hannah (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 214,279
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #33 (5,629 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2001 (ranked #3; 20,712 babies born)

This name comes from the Old Testament; Hannah was barren until a prayer was answered and she became the mother of Samuel. The name took off in the early 1980s and finally peaked in popularity in 2000. Its popularity fell precipitously until 2011 when it stabilized; “Hannah Montana" concluded its run in January of that year.

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#9. Noah (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 306,859
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #2 (18,267 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2015 (ranked #1; 19,613 babies born)

This biblical name comes from the Old Testament story of Noah, his ark, and the great flood. The popularity of the name Noah has grown since 1994 and exploded after 2004. Ryan Gosling played Noah Calhoun in “The Notebook" in 2004.

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#9. Elizabeth (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 219,121
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #13 (8,513 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #9; 15,094 babies born)

This biblical name comes from both the Old and New Testaments; Elizabeth was the name of the wife of Moses' brother Aaron and of the mother of John the Baptist. The name has been popular since the reign of Elizabeth I and continues to be a favorite for the royal set.

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#8. Alexander (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 309,095
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #11 (11,989 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2008 (ranked #6; 18,693 babies born)

This name was first popularized by the Macedonian King Alexander the Great who conquered huge swaths of land four centuries before Christ. The name took off in popularity in 1980 before peaking in 1993. The year before Alex Trebek hosted “Jeopardy," there were 4,798 Alexes born in America; a decade later, there were 20,094.

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#8. Ava (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 245,362
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #3 (14,924 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2007 (ranked #4; 18,047 babies born)

Ava is a variation of the name Eve, which comes from the New Testament; Eve, along with Adam, were the first people created by God, according to scripture. The most famous bearer of the name is the actress Ava Gardner; the name took off in popularity in 1997, the same year Heather Locklear named her daughter Ava. Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe named their daughter Ava two years later in 1999.

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#7. Daniel (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 326,515
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #15 (11,173 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #9; 22,312 babies born)

This Old Testament name also got a bump from a pair of 17th- and 18th-century Daniels: “Robinson Crusoe" author Daniel Defoe and the frontiersman Daniel Boone. The name has been declining in popularity since its 1985 peak, but stabilized for a moment in 1994, the year Dan Marino appeared in the Jim Carrey classic “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.”

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#7. Abigail (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 260,005
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #11 (9,796 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2003 (ranked #6; 15,925 babies born)

This is an Old Testament name; Abigail became the third wife of King David. The name's popularity exploded throughout the 1990s before reaching its peak in 2003. There were characters named Abigail on the popular soap operas “Days of Our Lives" and “As the World Turns" during that period, and Maura Tierney began her run as Abby Lockhart on the hit series “ER" in 1999.

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#6. Joshua (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 331,012
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #41 (7,364 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #4; 27,538 babies born)

This is a biblical name that comes from the Old Testament; Joshua was Moses's right-hand man who became the leader of the Israelites when Moses died. The name became hugely popular in America in the 1970s before peaking in 1985; Josh Hartnett, born in 1978, was part of that Joshua baby boom.

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#6. Madison (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 284,973
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #22 (7,036 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2001 (ranked #2; 22,164 babies born)

This name came into use as an English surname before becoming a common first name for women in the mid-80s. The name's popularity surge was brought on by the 1984 Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah rom-com “Splash” — the mermaid played by Hannah chooses the name Madison after seeing it on a street sign. 

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Roman Sorkin // Shutterstock

#5. Matthew (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 336,846
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #20 (9,924 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #3; 28,572 babies born)

This biblical name traces its roots to the New Testament in which Matthew was one of the 12 apostles and the author of the first gospel. The name steadily rose in prominence from 1960 to 1983 before beginning its popularity decline. Its decline slowed in 2010, but the name there still have been a smaller percentage of Matthews born each year since 1983. Not even the McConaissance could bring Matthew a bump.

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#5. Sophia (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 286,063
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #5 (13,928 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2012 (ranked #1; 22,304 babies born)

The name Sophia means “grief" in Greek and was the name of an early saint who lost three daughters during a Roman emperor's reign. The most iconic Sophia of modernity is the actress Sophia Loren, but the name actually had its biggest popularity boost starting in 1995 before its 2012 peak. Madison Lintz played the character Sophia Peletier on “The Walking Dead" from 2010 until 2012.

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Vasiuk Iryna // Shutterstock

#4. Ethan (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 339,169
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #12 (11,854 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2004 (ranked #5; 22,204 babies born)

This name comes from the Old Testament, which featured a number of Ethans. The name took off in popularity in the mid-90s; Ethan Hawke starred in “Reality Bites" in 1994 and the “Mission: Impossible" film series, starring Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, began its run in 1996.

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#4. Isabella (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 306,013
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #4 (14,464 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2010 (ranked #1; 22,905 babies born)

This name is related to the name Isabel, which itself traces its roots to a Medieval version of the name Elizabeth. The name Isabella was rare until 1990 when its popularity rose exponentially until its peak in 2010. The name's growth was buoyed by the “Twilight" series, which was published in 2005 and followed protagonist Bella Swan. But one diligent blogger traced the Isabella spark back to 1993 when Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise adopted a little girl named Isabella.

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#3. William (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 340,037
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #3 (14,516 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #11; 20,659 babies born)

This English name has been given to many a king since William the Conqueror became king of England in 1066. Prince William is currently second in line to the English throne; he, his wife Kate Middleton, and their children are favorites of English and American tabloids. The name was incredibly popular in 1880 and has been steadily declining in prominence since then in the United States.

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#3. Olivia (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 321,398
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #2 (17,921 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2014 (ranked #2; 19,791 babies born)

The name Olivia traces its roots to the Shakespeare play “The Twelfth Night"— it probably comes from the name Oliver, Oliva, or the word “olive.” The name's popularity took off in the 1990s and continues to rise today. Today, the name is borne by the actresses Olivia Munn and Olivia Wilde, and is the name of Kerry Washington's much-loved character on the ABC megahit drama “The Scandal.”

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#2. Michael (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 384,402
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #14 (11,620 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #2; 32,035 babies born)

This biblical name comes from both the Old and New Testaments; Michael was an archangel who was said to lead the army of Heaven against Satan in the Book of Revelation. The name took off in America in the mid-1930s, finally hitting its peak in 1969. Both Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson were born during the name's high-water mark period.

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#2. Emily (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 332,728
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #12 (8,656 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2003 (ranked #1; 25,688 babies born)

Emily is the English and female version of the name Emil and came to prominence in England when the German Hanover princess Amelia began to go by Emily after her family took the English throne. The name exploded in popularity in the 1970s and was the most popular girl's name in the United States from 1996 to 2007. Amber Tamblyn began her run as Emily Quartermaine on “General Hospital" in January of 1995.

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#1. Jacob (boys)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 425,654
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #13 (11,770 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2000 (ranked #1; 34,471 babies born)

This biblical name comes from the Old Testament; Jacob was the grandson of Abraham and is considered to be the father of the Israelites. Jacob was the most popular name for American boys from 1999 to 2012. Jake Gyllenhaal had his breakout performance in “October Sky" in 1999.

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#1. Emma (girls)

- Total babies born in the 21st century: 358,490
- Name popularity rank in 2018: #1 (18,688 babies born)
- Most popular year: 2003 (ranked #2; 22,704 babies born)

The name Emma came to England at the beginning of the 11th century when she married first King Ethelred and then King Canute who both ruled Medieval England. The name was hugely popular in America in the late 1800s and then had a renaissance beginning in the mid-1990s. The late-1800s popularity could have been tied to the writer Emma Lazarus or the Jane Austen novel, “Emma”; the 2003 peak can be explained by the birth of Emma Geller-Green, the daughter of Ross and Rachel on “Friends" in May 2002.

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