The most popular baby names of the last 20 years revealed… and it looks like parents are BIG royal fans

BABY name trends come and go, but some monikers come to define a generation.

While Olivia has topped the charts for girls’ names since 2016, Emily takes the generational crown after featuring in the top five every year between 1996 and 2018.

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These are the names that defined a generation, from 1996 to 2019Credit: Getty

Jessica, Sophie and Chloe fill the rest of the first five spots.

For boys, Jack, Thomas, Harry, Oliver and Joshua top the charts.

Baby name expert and co-creator of Nameberry, Pamela Redmond Satran, says: “With boy names especially, you see some of the classics holding steady over the whole generation, a trend you’d see if you stretched the chart back a hundred years.

“Names like Thomas, James, William, and Daniel are never really in or out of style.


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“They command a top place on baby name popularity lists generation after generation.

“You see more movement with girls’ names, even the classics you might think would be immune to fashion swings.

“Elizabeth barely sneaks onto the top 25 and Sarah has nearly fallen off the top 50.”

Using the latest Office of National Statistics data from 1996 to 2019, it’s possible to see which names rose and fell in popularity over the generation – and there appears to be a royal influence.

Charlotte leapt in popularity the year following Princess Charlotte’s birth and has stayed steady since, with between 2,000 and 2,500 girls named Charlotte in England and Wales every year.

While it’s another classic, George was ranked 10th in the year Prince George was born but has steadily moved up the charts since, peaking in second place in 2018 and 2019.

Louis also grew in popularity the year after Prince Louis’ birth in 2018 and we can probably expect to see a similar trend for Archie who was born the following year – although it’s currently too early to tell.

Pamela says: “You can see some names that are on the upswing taking over for similar names that are losing their fashion edge.

“Sophia is the new Sophie, for instance, Amelia has taken over for Emily, Freya is the new Leah.

“For boys, Archie is moving up while Alfie is trending down. Leo is heading up while Liam is on the way down.

“Seeing these names together on the generational popularity list spotlights how connected many baby name trends are.”

TOP 50 GIRLS’ NAMES OF THE GENERATION

EMILY

OLIVIA

JESSICA

SOPHIE

CHLOE

CHARLOTTE

GRACE

AMELIA

ELLA

LUCY

LILY

MIA

ELLIE

HANNAH

HOLLY

ALICE

ISABELLA

PHOEBE

MOLLY

DAISY

EMMA

ABIGAIL

RUBY

MEGAN

ELIZABETH

ISABELLE

GEORGIA

MILLIE

POPPY

FREYA

ELEANOR

JASMINE

SOPHIA

ERIN

IMOGEN

AMBER

ROSIE

KATIE

LEAH

AMY

ANNA

MAISIE

BETHANY

EVIE

HARRIET

SARAH

ZOE

REBECCA

PAIGE

SCARLETT

TOP 50 BOYS’ NAMES OF THE GENERATION

JACK

THOMAS

HARRY

OLIVER

JOSHUA

JAMES

WILLIAM

GEORGE

DANIEL

SAMUEL

JOSEPH

CHARLIE

JACOB

BENJAMIN

ALEXANDER

MOHAMMED

ETHAN

ADAM

ALFIE

JAKE

MATTHEW

MAX

DYLAN

LUKE

HENRY

LEWIS

RYAN

EDWARD

LIAM

MUHAMMAD

HARRISON

MICHAEL

OSCAR

CALLUM

NATHAN

ISAAC

ARCHIE

TYLER

DAVID

CONNOR

JAMIE

HARVEY

CHARLES

LUCAS

TOBY

LOUIS

AARON

ALEX

MASON

NOAH

Baby name expert Pamela Redmond Satran shared her thoughts

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Baby name expert Pamela Redmond Satran shared her thoughtsCredit: Mark Hanauer

In related news, we recently revealed the most popular baby names of this year so far – and, no, Olivia doesn’t make the top 10.

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