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List of most popular baby names in the USA brings news; see top 10

There's something new on the list of the most popular baby names in the US. See the top 10 at the end of the article.

Mateo entered the top 10 boys' list for the first time, becoming the sixth most popular male name in 2023 and knocking Benjamin off the list, according to data recently released by American Social Security Administration.

“Mateo made a huge leap. The fact that Mateo went from #11 in 2022 to #6 in 2023 is crazy. We don't see it very often at the top of the charts,” says Sophie Kihm, editor-in-chief of baby name site Nameberry.

The names that top the list don't tend to change quickly, Kihm says. Liam and Olivia are at the top of the rankings for the fifth year in a row. And Mateo is the only new name to reach the highest level.

The name's inclusion in the list of top 10 boys is also a milestone, says Kihm.

“It's pretty much the first identifiable Latin name too, at least among boys,” she says.

More than 11,000 babies in the U.S. were named Mateo last year, the highest number ever recorded, according to the Social Security Administration.

The name, which means “gift from God,” began ranking in the top 1,000 in 1995, Kihm says.

Two decades later, it reached the top 100. And in recent years, its popularity has intensified at an even faster rate, says Kihm.

CNN chart shows increase in popularity of "Mateo" as a baby name in the US.

Kihm, who also works as a consultant helping people name and rename their babies, points to several trends that she suspects are contributing to Mateo's growth.

The name's growing popularity is likely tied to the growing Latino population in the U.S., says Kihm, who notes that it has become increasingly common for people from many different backgrounds to draw on their heritage when naming their babies.

But Mateo also has cross-cultural appeal, like all the names that rise to the top of the Social Security Administration's list, she says.

“Seems friendlier and more approachable than Matthew. It has that cool '-o' ending, which people really like now. It feels very fresh, but it's still traditional,” she says.

Pop culture and social media are shaping naming trends

Mateo's arrival in the top 10 was not the only surprise in the latest ranking.

Officials also pointed out that pop culture is having an impact on the list of baby names that are growing in popularity the fastest.

Kaeli was the fastest growing female name last year, jumping to position 678 in the ranking.

In a press release, the Social Security Administration credited a social media influencer for inspiring the trend.

“Parents must have really hit the 'like' button on TikTok star Kaeli McEwen (aka Kaeli Mae), who routinely promotes a clean, tidy, aesthetically neutral lifestyle,” the press release said.

Kaeli Mae attends the Naeem Khan show during New York Fashion Week on February 12, 2024 in New York City.

The news that her name was growing in popularity came as a surprise to the influencer, who has 14.7 million followers on TikTok but so far hasn't heard of anyone naming a child after her.

“I was a little shocked to see that, for sure. Even now, I don't know any other 'Kaeli'!” she told CNN in an email statement.

“I love the spelling of my name, so it's really cool to see it become more popular!”

Nameberry's Kihm says social media may also have fueled the growing popularity of the second-fastest growing girl's name in 2023: Alitzel.

“There was a really popular Spanish-language TikTok that featured all these Native American girl names, and Alitzel was the first one, and it had over 1 million views,” she says.

Among boys' names, Chozen also saw its popularity soar, to 813th on the list, after a character with that name became a hero in the final season of “Cobra Kai,” officials said.

Yuji Okumoto as Chozen Toguchi in episode 510 of Cobra Kai

Kihm traces the name's growing popularity even further back, to 2015, when NFL player Cam Newton named his son Chosen.

But one pop culture icon didn't feature highly on the baby name list last year, despite the box office success of the film that featured her: Barbie.

Just 32 people in the United States named their babies Barbie last year, according to official data, just a slight increase from the previous year.

The name didn't make the “top 1,000” baby names list last year. And neither does Ken.

Top 10 Baby Names in the US in 2023

Boys

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. Oliver
  4. James
  5. Elijah
  6. Kill him
  7. Theodore
  8. Henry
  9. Lucas
  10. William

Girls

  1. Olivia
  2. Emma
  3. Charlotte
  4. Amelia
  5. Sofia
  6. Mia
  7. Isabella
  8. Ava
  9. Evelyn
  10. Luna

Source: CNN Brasil

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