When it comes to baby name data, there are two ways to think about it: rank and count.

The fastest rising girl names by rank are the ones we talk about most often, like the one that leap from #923 to #617. (That’s Scottie, by the way.)

But those numbers obscure something very interesting. Something that’s revealed if we look at fastest rising girl names by count instead – the increase in newborns receiving a name.

For example:

How much did Nora increase in popularity during the most recent calendar year?

Three spots, from #28 to #25. That sounds like we’ll be hearing even more of this popular name, right? Maybe not …

But were more girls actually named Nora last year?

No, as it turns out. 6,143 girls were named Nora in 2022, but only 5,994 in 2023. A name can be declining in terms of absolute use, but still increasing in rank.

Rank tells us something about this year. Count signals the future.

And so let’s take a look at the fastest rising girl names as reported in the May 2023 data release. The number indicates the increase in births compared to the prior year.

25. HALLIE (+232; unranked on last year’s list)

Credit likely goes to the May 2023 release of the live action Little Mermaid, turning Halle Bailey into a star. The actress spells her name without an I, and Halle is rising, too. But Hallie feels like the logical suggestion to Ellie and Hailey.

24. IVY (+233; #13 on last year’s list; #8 in 2022)

A brief nature name with a little bit of bite, Ivy has been a powerhouse in recent years, rising steadily in use. Could Ivy climb into the Top Ten? Maybe …

23. ELLIANA (+237; unranked on last year’s list)

As a name becomes more popular, variant spellings rise, too. In this case, Elliana is following Eliana up the charts.

22. HAVEN (+238; unranked on last year’s list)

Haven has been slowly gaining in use since the 1990s. It’s everything we want in a name right now: stylish sound, deep meaning. It’s also connected to another name on this list: Haven is the younger daughter of Sadie Robertson Huff, of Duck Dynasty fame.

21. ADELINE (+250; unranked on last year’s list)

Adeline peaked in 2016, the year after Blake Lively’s The Age of Adaline debuted. It’s fallen since then, but reversed last year – along with Adaline, farther up this list.

20. MILEY (+262; unranked on last year’s list)

Actress and singer Miley Cyrus sent her nickname-turned-name to a sky high debut back in 2007. It cratered nearly as fast, dropping out of the rankings by 2014. But as Miley as become a well-established singer, and as her name has felt more mainstream as those early Mileys grow up – this name is rising once more. It’s a modern spin on Millie, a fresh update to Kylie.

19. KAIA (+276; unranked on last year’s list)

Cindy Crawford named her daughter Kaia early in the 2000s; now Kaia Gerber is following in her mother’s footsteps. While Kaia is most often related to Katherine, it feels more like a cousin to pan-global Maya.

18. SADIE (+291; unranked on last year’s list)

Sparky retro Sadie has been a Top 100 powerhouse since her family starred on A&E reality series Duck Dynasty from 2012 to 2017. The name has outlasted the show’s run, especially since Sadie Robertson Huff is now an influential podcaster and media personality.

17. MIA (+298; unranked on last year’s list)

Mia has been a Top Ten favorite since 2009. But even Top Ten names rise and fall in use. Popular across much of Europe and throughout the English- and Spanish-speaking worlds, Mia’s sustained popularity might be due to the name’s strong crossover potential, popular with Spanish-speaking Americans.

16. ALORA (+306; #4 on last year’s list)

We love A names. No, we really love A names. It’s far and away the most popular first initial for girls in the US right now. Alora is likely an A-spelling of Elora, a name with all sorts of story and a very appealing sound in our Aurora/Nora/Flora moment.

15. ASHLEY (+312; unranked on last year’s list)

This 1990s favorite ought to be firmly in mom name territory now. And it is! But Ashley is also trending ever so slightly today. One possible reason: it’s the original in the Oakley/Wrenley category. If it hadn’t been big in the 1990s, Ashley would be huge today.

14. ADALINE (+334; unranked on last year’s list)

As with Adeline, this name is rising once again.

13. SOFIA (+367; unranked on last year’s list)

A favorite English-Spanish crossover and a long-time Top Ten choice.

12. MILLIE (+368; #5 on last year’s list)

Millie caught on in the UK first, trending in England where it ranked in the Top 25 early in the 2000s. In the US, Millie followed Molly and Ellie into wider use, and feels like it could keep on climbing.

11. ANTONELLA (+372; unranked on last year’s list)

A logical substitute for long-time favorite Isabella, Antonella appeals to English and Spanish-speaking families, as well as those who love Italian names like Francesca and Gianna.

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10. MAEVE (+373; #11 on last year’s list; #5 in 2022; #9 in 2021)

A twenty-first century powerhouse, intoxicating Maeve is this generation’s Erin or Kelly. The sound, too – a bright A and a sharp V – helps, as does the name’s association with a legendary warrior queen.

9. AITANA (+378; unranked on last year’s list)

Borrowed from the name of a Spanish mountain range, Aitana is a relative newcomer. It’s trended in the US, making this list a few years back. Barcelona-born actress and singer Aitana is boosting the name’s profile anew. You can see her on Disney+ series La Última.

8. MARGOT (+396 births; unranked on last year’s list)

Despite steadily climbing the popularity charts for a decade, this is Margot’s debut on the fastest rising girl names’ list.

7. GEORGIA (+404; unranked on last year’s list)

As with Margot, Georgia is a name that has steadily gained in recent years – the kind of choice everyone likes, equal parts traditional and modern. But once again, this year marks Margot’s biggest gain in use.

6. LUCY (+421; unranked on last year’s list)

Are all of these freshly trending favorites a sign that we’ll have a new US Top Ten soon? Maybe. Traditional Lucy isn’t anyone’s idea of a trendy name, but no question use accelerated recently.

5. ELIANA (+529; #21 on last year’s list; #20 in 2021)

Flowing, liquid, lovely name Eliana first ranked in the US Top 1000 back in the 1980s. It’s gained in use dramatically over the last few years, bringing more spellings up the charts, too.

4. EDEN (+531; unranked on last year’s list)

A Biblical place name with tailored style and strong vowel sounds, Eden has soared in popularity recently.

3. WRENLEY (+538; #6 on last year’s list)

This creative nature name mixes bird name Wren with the popular -ley ending. While it could be a legit surname, with the second syllable meaning “field,” odds are this is a modern coinage.

2. AMIRA (+707; unranked on last year’s list)

Amir comes from an Arabic word for prince; it recently debuted in the boys’ Top 100. So. maybe it’s no surprise that feminine form Amira is one of the year’s hottest names, too.

1. LAINEY (+2231; #8 on last year’s list; #15 in 2021)

Lainey succeeds for so many reasons, but doubtless one of them is country singer Lainey Wilson, known as Abby on Yellowstone. The television series continues to drive what we name our children, and the popular actress has boosted her given name, too.

There’s something about this list, with so many newcomers among the fastest rising girl names, that it feels rich with potential.

Will we see a shake-up in the most popular choices … soon(ish)?

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. Where is Violet on this list?! Shocking she doesn’t make an appearance, she was #1 last year??

    1. Crazy, right? Violet rose in the rankings BUT was given to fewer actual girls in 2023 than in 2022. (6,643 births in 2022; 6,342 in 2023.) For the current Top Ten girls’ names, 9 out of 10 *fell* in terms of actual births. Out of the Top 25, only Mia, Sofia, Hazel, Lily, and Aurora rose in terms of actual births recorded. I feel like the girls’ list is really weird right now – I’m guessing we’ll see some bigger moves in the rankings next year/the year after, because LOTS of popular names are falling in use. There just isn’t enough to replace them – yet.