Every year, the Social Security Administration releases the updated list of the most popular names in the US. They publish the Top 1000 names for boys and the Top 1000 names for girls on the Friday before Mother’s Day.
The new list is based on birth data for the prior calendar year, so this May’s update covers births recorded between January 1st and December 31st of 2021.
Inevitably, that list shifts from year to year. Some names debut for the very first time. Others return after a long absence. And some teeter-totter on the edge of the charts, in one yer and out the next.
Appearing on the list matters. Why? Because it’s the main source of data among names consulted by … well, everyone. A name ranked in the US Top 1000 is more likely to be seen by expectant parents, and thus, more likely to rise in the rankings going forward.
At the same time, it’s good to remember that even this list of 1000 names isn’t exhaustive. As of calendar year 2022, a mere 66.88% percent of all girls received a Top 1000 name – the lowest percentage ever. (It’s been steadily dropping for ages.)
The new girls names 2023 list numbers 46 – a respectable count! Here’s how it compares to prior years:
- 36 names returned or debuted on the 2021 list.
- In calendar year 2020, 47 names debuted or returned.
- The 2019 list included 40 new names.
- For calendar year 2018, the new data revealed 50 newcomers.
- Names chosen in 2017 gave us 43 new girl names.
- In 2016, 45 girls’ names ranked in the US Top 1000 that did not appear in the prior year.
- The list from calendar year 2015 included 47 new names
- The update for the year 2014 set the number at 38.
- And for 2013, it stood at 45.
Now, for the list!
NEW GIRL NAMES 2023
A Sanskrit name with a strong meaning: original power. Actress Aadhya Anand is a rising star in India.
Popular Amaya with an extra H.
A unisex name, Amiri ranks #521 for boys, and claims roots in Arabic and Japanese.
Like many of the new girl names 2023, Araya is culture-spanning and potentially unisex. It could be a Tigrinya name or a Thai one, and it’s a place name in the Spanish-speaking world, as well as Japan. In the US, though, it succeeds on sound, following names like Aria and Raya into wider use.
Arlet fits with so many girls’ names ending in -et at the moment. Arlette, as well as Arleth, also appear in the current US Top 1000. But this spelling is on the new girl names 2023 list. They’re Spanish and French by way of the Germanic Herleva, the mother of William the Conqueror.
Isabelle and Annabelle are long-time favorites. Bella is a Top 100 staple. But Belle has dipped in and out of the Top 1000 in recent years, despite the name’s status as the heroine of Beauty and the Beast.
A feminine form of Charles, via the Germanic Carl, Carla was a 1950s favorite. It’s faded in recent decades, but only spent a few years out of the rankings before appearing on the new girl names 2023 list.
Kayce makes the boys’ list thanks to Yellowstone, but Casey’s comeback on the girls’ side is a little more surprising. Like so many of these names in the 900s, it might simply come down to chance. It only takes a few dozen births – sometimes less! – to tip a name back on to the list.
The Spanish word for sky, and also heaven, Cielo has the makings of a blockbuster. The rich meaning combined with the stylish sound and unisex potential could put Cielo on the same path as River. It briefly dipped into the Top 1000 early in the 2000s, following a telenovela character named Maria del Cielo in 1999. But now the name is back on its own merits, and poised to climb.
This European Elizabeth variant was gone from the Top 1000 for just one year since 1880, returning in 2022, but still feeling surprisingly rare.
Elowen is a Cornish name meaning elm tree; as is so often the case, American English speakers embraced the -yn spelling. (Think Bronwyn, Gwendolyn, and so on.)
Amelia and Emilia are unstoppable, so maybe it’s no surprise that Emiliana makes the list of the new girl names 2023. It’s never ranked in the US previously, but fits with current and former chart-toppers like Isabella, Alexandra, and Victoria. A video game series called Layton’s Mysteries might have given the name a boost, too.
Another long and lovely girls’ name, Georgina likely owes something to the ongoing success of Georgia – and maybe something to the short-lived Netflix series The Midnight Club, too.
A lovely name with Arabic roots meaning care.
A creative twist on Dream, in the key of Jrue, which debuted on the boys’ list.
Keily might be just another spelling for the once mega-popular Kaylee. (In Spanish, the ‘ei’ sounds like ‘ay’.) But it might also be boosted thanks to Cheetah Girls’ alum Keily Williams, who starred in a BET reality series titled The Encore during 2021.
Kenia isn’t really new; it’s been in and out of the US Top 1000 since the 1990s. It’s big in Spanish and Portuguese, but also might’ve developed independently in English. Possible influences include the country of Kenya, or Ken- names like Kennedy, Kendall, Kenna, and McKenna.
Add a -lyn and you’ll create some of the newest names racing up the popularity charts today. And if that first syllable is nature inspired? Even better. Just ask Oaklyn and Emberlyn, both of which are following so many traditional -lyn names up the charts.
Another name that owes something to Willow, a little more to Madelyn.
Hawaii is among the most popular of tourist destinations. From Koa and Kai on the boys’ side to the many girls’ names ending with -lani, it’s now among the hottest of naming inspirations, too.
An Eleanor cousin, Lenora is back on the charts for the first time since 1975. Given our love of Nora (and Cora, Aurora, and more), it’s no surprise.
A #1 name for much of the 1960s, Lisa stumbled out of the US Top 1000 for just two years before returning in 2022.
A sweet Charlotte nickname, Lottie’s success is tied to the popularity of the formal name – and, likely, rumors that this is Princess Charlotte’s nickname. Our love of casual choices like Sadie, Millie, and Hattie helps, too.
A straight-up word name with an irresistible meaning.
The Spanish word for light, Luz has appeared in the US Top 1000 many years previously. Interestingly, though, it makes the new girl names 2023 list at the same time the Latin Lux debuts for boys.
Madison and Madeline – choose your spelling – have been popular powerhouses for years. So how can it be that Maddie only debuted in the Top 1000 with the new girl names 2023? Hard to say, but one possible driver: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 came out in 2020, bringing Tom and Maddie Wachowski back to the big screen.
Another spelling option for vintage nickname name Maisie.
A flower power pick with lots of story to tell, and a Downton Abbey character tie-in, too.
Another Hawaiian-ish name, though it also owes something to long-time favorite Melanie.
A Natalia/Nathalie hybrid.
An Old Testament name, Neriah means “lamp of God” in Hebrew. While it’s masculine in the Bible, it’s been more popular for girls in the US. Influencer Neriah Fisher, daughter of Brooke Burke, might get some credit.
It might be a Japanese name. And it’s a nickname used for Kardashian family member North West. But given the popularity of Eleanor and Nora, it’s easy to imagine Nori catching on because of the sound alone. 2022 marks the name’s debut in the rankings.
A long-time character in the Super Mario Bros universe, Rosalina is a popular figure. But does that explain the name’s recent debut? It might also make the new girl names 2023 list thanks to our love of Rose names, like Rosalie and Rosemary.
Another Y swap turns Rowan into Rowyn.
A Hindu import, Saanvi first appeared in the US Top 1000 in 2011. 2022 marks the name’s fourth time on the charts.
A glittering blue stone, Sapphire fits with our love of names like Ruby and Pearl … and Navy and Goldie, too. It also shares sounds with long-time favorite Sophia.
In the Old Testament, Sarah started out as Sarai. Sarahi seems to combine them both, in a name that’s popular in Mexico and has previously ranked in the US Top 1000.
Stevie, Frankie, and Charlie all make the girls’ Top 1000, so why not Scottie?
The Spanish word for sun, Sol is a fresh nature name debuting on the list with the new girl names 2023.
A virtue name, brief and modern.
A Native American name made mainstream by singer Wynonna Judd and actress Winona Ryder.
Minimalist nature name Wren has soared. Synthetic surname Wrenley followed, and now comes Wrenlee.
At first glance, Xyla was invented to maximize this name’s Scrabble score. But Xyla is also a surprising spiritual choice, based on the Greek word xylon. It translates to wood, but it’s also one of the terms the New Testament uses to describe Jesus’ cross.
Latin American Spanish transformed Jamila into Yamileth, making a name popular across much of the world – but relatively rare in the US.
The Arabic form of Jasmine, also used in Spanish and English in recent decades.
Another spelling of rising favorite Zuri, which means beautiful in Swahili.