Baby name trends tend to follow pop culture – the people and things we see around us every day, movie stars, music artists, and even book authors.
It explains why certain names trend around certain time periods. For example, the traditional name, Craig, saw an uptick in popularity in the early 1980s, when singer and DJ Craig David was born. His career fueled even more parents to name their baby Craig, but the number of babies named Craig have slumped by 97 percent since 1996.
Other traditional names – names like Gemma, Lee, Kristie (and its variations), Lauren, and Danielle, and Shannon are also falling off the map. Instead, parents are opting for more “unique” names, such as Aria, which is as popular now for girls as Hayley was 23 years ago. For boys, Jaxon is the fastest rising name, now reaching the same popularity as Mark back in 1996.
Names still continue to trend around current television shows, celebrities, and iconic figures as well. In fact, one of the most interesting new name trends is Khaleesi, attributed to the popularity of the Game of Thrones series.
There are even trending names in different cultures and regions. As an example, consider the baby name trend among Muslims in the UK: Zayn, Musa, and Dawud for boys and Ameerah, Imaan, and Aasiyah for girls.
This current trend also highlights just how the pursuit for unique often leads to a sort of commonality in baby name trends. (How many parents named their babies after fruits and herbs after Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their girl Apple?)
“Towards the present day, we can speculate that the comparatively greater range of media, freedom of movement, and ability to maintain globally distributed social networks increases the number of possible names, but also ensures they may more quickly be perceived as commonplace,” Dr Stephen Bush wrote in his analysis of name choices from 1838 to 2016.
So, if you want to go for something truly unique, consider doing what baby name analysts do: search for a name that is declining in popularity and then either choose it or put your own little spin on it. Or, perhaps, find inspiration in your own life, rather than looking to celebrities. Of course, if a trending baby name is more your concern, then certainly look to what’s popular now.
The following are the top 10 for both boys and girls in the U.S. right now: