The 20 Most Popular Baby Names of 2021 — Best Life



There are so many things to do before having a little one: preparing the nursery, maybe taking a parenting or birth class, and stocking up on baby gear. But perhaps the most important—and sometimes, most challenging task—is choosing a name. While some may have their options picked out years before even having a child, others might need to meet their baby before deciding what fits. Regardless of the situation, landing on a name is always a big moment.

But sometimes no matter how original you think your little one’s moniker may be, plenty of other people across the country are feeling the same way about the same name—the popularity of baby names is funny like that. So, we’re taking a look at the top baby names of 2021 courtesy of the Social Security Administration, in case you need some baby-naming inspiration, or perhaps want to know what to avoid so there aren’t four kids with your child’s name in their kindergarten class, or you’re just curious about the hot names of the moment. Read on to discover the top 10 most popular boys and girls names of 2021.

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baby sitting in front of wipes to be changed

According to VeryWell Family, the name Liam means “strong-willed warrior” and “protector.” For those looking to go against the grain from the more traditional name, William, Liam is a modern alternative.


As you might already know, the name Noah is biblical and references the Bible story about Noah’s Ark. According to Babycenter, the name’s origin comes from the Hebrew word “noach,” meaning “rest” and “comfort.”

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Man holding his son and working with laptop at home

While the name Oliver has a variety of meanings, it’s derived from the old Norse name “Áleifr,” meaning “ancestor’s descendent,” according to VeryWell Family. However, in French, it translates to “olive tree” and it later came to be synonymous with “the Latin word oliva, which means ‘olive.'” The site explains that “the olive tree has long been associated with peace, dignity, fruitfulness, and beauty,” which means the name has a lot of promise.

Newborn baby

Elijah is another name rooted in the Bible. According to, it comes from the Hebrew language and means “My God Is Yahweh.” Elijah, however, “is an anglicized form of the Hebrew name Eliyahu.”

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Also derived from the Bible, James has a relation to Jacob, explains VeryWell Family. Both James and Jacob mean “‘supplanter’ or ‘substitute.’

Closeup of baby

If Liam isn’t for you, then you’ll be glad to know that William is still incredibly getting some love. The name, which was popularized thanks to William the Conqueror back in 1066, means “strong-willed warrior,” according to Babycenter.

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closeup of hand wiping face of asian baby in rocker

Another name derived from the Bible, Benjamin means “son of the right hand,” per VeryWell Family.

Color photo of a laughing baby boy lying on his back on a textured blanket.

According to Babycenter, Lucas originated in Greece and meant “man from Lucania.” But in its Latin form, it translates to “bringer of light.”

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Close-up photo of a baby laughing

Henry is a very popular French name, according to VeryWell Family. With roots in Germany, it translates to “house ruler.”

Baby following his dog

A name of Greek origin, Theodore translates to “gift of God” or “divine gift,” according to VeryWell Family.

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Oliver and Olivia have the same meaning! VeryWell Family says Olivia means “olive” or “olive tree,” according to its Latin translation.

Baby in highchair with hiccups

According to Babycenter, “Emma has been one of the top three most popular girl names in the United States since 2003.” With Germanic roots, it means “universal” or “whole.”

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young child playing with blocks while her father looks on in background
Shutterstock/Syda Productions

Of French origin, Charlotte is the feminine version of Charles, says Nameberry. It can be translated to “free man.”

Baby girl in pom pom hat

With Latin roots, Amelia means “work,” per VeryWell Family. However, it doesn’t refer to labor, instead it signifies “industriousness and fertility.”

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Black baby girl smiling
Shutterstock/pixelheadphoto digitalskillet

While the origin of Ava is unclear, it has a few possible meanings, according to VeryWell Family: “bird or birdlike” in Latin; “voice and sound” in Farsi; “life or lively” in Hebrew.

Cute baby girl tickling on pink blanket

According to VeryWell Family, Sophia is appealing for its “modern elegance.” The Greek name translates to “wisdom.”

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girl baby playing outside looking around

Isabella means “pledged to God” and has roots in Hebrew, Spanish, and Italian, according to Nameberry.

asian baby holding carrot

Linked to ancient Egyptian, Italian and Slavic, Mia means “beloved,” “mine,” and “dear or darling,” respectively, according to VeryWell Family.

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Derived from English origin, Evelyn means “desired” or “water or island,” according to Nameberry.

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While it was generally used as a surname, Harper has become a more common first name in recent years. According to VeryWell Family, the name comes from the word “harp” and it refers to someone who plays the stringed musical instrument.

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