100 Popular Baby Boy Names for 2021

Martha Sorren
·4-min read
Photo credit: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc - Getty Images

From Woman's Day

2020 was arguably one of the strangest this country (and the world) has experienced. But even amongst all the unknowns, there was one constant — people were still having babies. And in these unprecedented times, bringing new life into the world takes on even more meaning. Babies can bring joy to even the darkest moments in our history, and those babies need names. Some of the trends over the past year can help predict the top baby names for boys in 2021, in case you have a little one coming and need some help coming up with the perfect moniker (or even if you're just interested to see what's trending these days, because why not?).

The Social Security Administration releases the top baby names each year, and also shared data on which names are rising or falling out of favor. Their most recent data is from 2019, but since the top names tend to stay pretty similar from year to year (with just a few changes), the 2019 list is likely to inform the 2021 list. Plus, BabyCenter has analyzed trends to come up with some of the most popular names from 2020, which are likely to bleed over into 2021 and beyond.

Pop culture names are likely to remain big.

People consumed a lot of media in 2020, which means that celebrities and characters will continue to inform plenty of parents when it comes time to name junior. Joseph, which ranked 24th in 2019 is likely to see a boost from Joe Biden's presidential victory, as well as from the popular Tiger King star Joe Exotic. Expect a few boys out there to even be named Baskin after Carole Baskin. Also from the TV side, two Grey's Anatomy characters named their newborn son Scout, which may encourage fans to follow suit. Additionally, Remi has been growing in popularity for a little while now, and the viral TikTok Ratatouille musical is only going to add to that. And since Prince Harry's exit from the royal family was big news, Harry and Archie's names were more in the public eye.

  • Hunter

  • Maverick

  • Leo

  • Charles

  • Creed

  • Keanu

  • Liam

  • Oliver

  • Mylo

  • Tru

  • Crew

  • Banks

  • Remi

  • Archie

  • Joseph

  • Henry

  • Jacob

  • Christopher

  • Nolan

  • Cameron

  • Jack

  • Ryan

  • Nathan

  • Logan

  • Sebastian

  • Owen

Social justice-inspired names rose in popularity.

As the Black Lives Matter movement became a major storyline this year, BabyCenter saw a rise in names like King, Malcolm, and Frederick (for Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Frederick Douglas). This next year could also see the rise of names like George or Floyd since it was George Floyd's death that ignited a lot of the protests this summer.

  • Malcom

  • King

  • Lincoln

  • Frederick

  • Jackson

  • William

  • James

  • Benjamin

  • Alexander

  • Theodore

  • Carter

  • Mason

International names weren't a priority.

As people couldn't travel in 2020, they started giving their kids names that hit closer to home — literally.

  • Baylor

  • Denver

  • Memphis

  • Salem

  • Hudson

Unique monikers grew in popularity.

The Social Security Administration found that names like Chad have been decreasing in popularity while names like Sekani, Aziel, Seven, Legacy, Crew, Wells, and Bear were growing significantly in popularity. They're not necessarily breaking the SSA's Top 100 list, but they're moving swiftly through the ranks and could be even more popular in 2021.

Photo credit: Artem Varnitsin / EyeEm - Getty Images
Photo credit: Artem Varnitsin / EyeEm - Getty Images

Biblical names are still popular.

Baby Center also found that while biblical names have always been popular, the ones people are going for these days are a little more unique than Matthew or Peter. Instead, Gideon, Genesis, and Zion were all rising monikers.

  • Matthew

  • Lucas

  • Samuel

  • Aaron

  • Levi

  • David

  • Luke

  • Caleb

  • John

  • Isaac

  • Gabriel

  • Ethan

  • Josiah

  • Andrew

  • Thomas

  • Joshua

  • Ezra

  • Jeremiah

  • Noah

  • Daniel

  • Michael

  • Isaiah

  • Genesis

  • Zion

  • Gideon

  • Jonathan

Gender neutral names are on the rise.

Traditionally "female" names like Riley jumped 10% in popularity for boys and Emery, Morgan, and Marley were also used more for boys than in years past.

  • Riley

  • Morgan

  • Marley

  • Emery

  • Kendall

Honoring those we've lost.

In 2020, we lost a lot of our loved ones as well as our heroes. Baby Center saw names reflect that, with both Kobe and Bryant rising significantly in popularity. They projected that Chadwick and Eddie will grow in 2021 after Chadwick Boseman and Eddie Van Halen passed away. And perhaps for any moms out there who want to pay tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsberg but who had a boy — Bader could work as a name.

Photo credit: Catherine Delahaye - Getty Images
Photo credit: Catherine Delahaye - Getty Images
  • Elijah

  • Kobe

  • Bryant

  • Chadwick

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