The parenting advice website Babycenter.com has just released its annual list of top baby names. As in past years, parents are picking up a newspaper or flipping on television for inspiration and to figure out what to names avoid.
But unlike previous years, when Game of Thrones or Mad Men shifted the trends, this year’s rankings have taken on more serious themes befitting for 2020.
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, both killed in a January helicopter crash, were honored by many families. Kobe jumped to the 216th most popular name and was the biggest riser on the list. Gianna moved up 52 spots to 24 among girls.
In the world of politics, BabyCenter spotted Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris’ first name rising 100% in popularity since last year. The name “Liberty” also climbed 69 spots up the list, perhaps partially fueled by Meghan McCain’s decision to name her child after the American ideal.
As a trend, BabyCenter editors said the uncertainty of 2020 had parents seeking out inspiration, a sense of stability and a desire to hold on to things lost.
“Parents are seeking comfort by naming their babies after people they admire, especially those who’ve passed on. We expect this trend to continue well into 2021,” said Linda Murray, BabyCenter’s global editor in chief.
As for Karen, the widespread use of the name on social media has cratered popularity for newborns. The name fell 153 spots compared to 2019. The name Alexa was likely dragged down by Amazon’s voice assistant and dropped 121 spots.
While BabyCenter found that politics and pop culture shifted preferences, nobody could stop Sophia’s decade-long reign as the top girl name. Liam also repeated as the top male name (better luck next year, Fauci).
Check out the top 100 for each gender on the BabyCenter website.