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The UK’s trending baby names

Written by
Tim Knighton
Life, health and income protection insurance expert
12 MARCH 2024
6 min read
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Whether you’re going for an old-fashioned classic or a more modern moniker, there are endless possibilities when it comes to choosing a name for your newborn. To help new parents with the difficult — yet very exciting — decision, we’ve taken a look at which baby names have seen the biggest increase and decrease in popularity since 2011.

Using data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), we reveal which baby names are trending, including traditional and gender neutral names. We’ve also taken a closer look at those that have fallen out of favour over the last decade and are going ‘out of fashion’.

Trending baby names

To determine the current trends in baby names, we analysed the increase in popularity of names over a 10 year period.

Saint is by far the number one trending name for a baby boy. It experienced a huge 1,867% increase over the 10 year period. Kim Kardashian catapulted the name into the limelight back in 2015, when she gave the name to her baby boy. Since 2015, there has been a 1080% increase in the number of babies called Saint.

For girls, Harper is the trendiest name, seeing a rise in popularity of 3,424% since 2011. This might be, in some part, thanks to David and Victoria Beckham, who named their daughter Harper Seven back in 2011.

Bowie (1,850%) and Ezra (1,326%) round off the top three most trending baby boy names.

Meanwhile, Aubrey (2,000%) and Ariah (1,260%) round off the trendiest names for baby girls.

Rank Boys Girls
Baby boy name Increase in popularity from 2011 to 2021 (%) Baby girl name Increase in popularity from 2011 to 2021 (%)
1 Saint 1867% Harper 3424%
2 Bowie 1850% Aubrey 2000%
3 Ezra 1326% Ariah 1260%
4 Bodhi 1247% Blake 1175%
5 Hunter 1236% Sloane 1000%
6 Hendrix 1007% Etta 996%
7 Grayson 803% Luna 917%
8 Otis 637% Ada 774%
9 Killian 633% Monroe 740%
10 Archer 600% Winnie 681%


Trending gender neutral names

In addition to unveiling the top trending boys and girls names, our study has also shed light on the gender neutral baby names increasing in popularity.

Rank Gender neutral name Increase in popularity from 2011 to 2021 (%)
1 Ezra 1356%
2 Wren 943%
3 Aubrey 931%
4 Avery 908%
5 Parker 787%
6 River 698%
7 Remy 694%
8 Lowen 629%
9 Monroe 580%
10 Blair 509%


Using a seedlist of the 150 most popular gender neutral names, the data has revealed that Ezra is the trendiest gender neutral name - by far. It has seen the largest increase of 1,356% over the 10 year time period.

Wren, symbolising good luck, prosperity and strong spirit, follows in second place. The gender neutral name has seen a 943% increase in popularity since 2011.

Rounding off the top three is Aubrey (931%), which has also appeared previously in the top trending girl baby name.

The trending traditional baby names

Some parents might like to stick to slightly more classic names for their child. With this in mind, our research has also taken a look at which of the more traditional names have gained popularity since 2011.

Traditional boy names 

When it comes to classic boys’ names, Ezra, standing for ‘help’, has seen the biggest surge since 2011, with a percentage increase of 1,326%. Grayson is the second boys name which has seen a drastic increase of 803% over the 10 year time period. Originally the name Grayson was a surname which referred to someone who was ‘the son of a grey haired man’. 

Killian rounds off the top three most popular traditional baby boy names in the UK, with an increase of 633%. The name comes from a Celtic word ‘ceallach’ and translates to ‘little warrior’ and ‘bright-headed’. 


Ada has been crowned the most popular traditional girls’ name, with a jump in popularity of 774% since 2011. The name is derived from ‘Adelaide’ and means ‘noble’. 

In second place is Nora, with a 638% increase in popularity among baby girls. Esmerelda has come in third for girls, with a 575% increase. The name has Spanish and Portuguese origin, and quite literally means ‘emerald’.

Rank Boys Girls
Baby boy name Increase in popularity from 2011 to 2021 (%) Baby girl name Increase in popularity from 2011 to 2021 (%)
1 Ezra 1326% Ada 774%
2 Grayson 803% Nora 638%
3 Killian 633% Esmerelda 575%
4 Reginald 529% Delilah 572%
5 Theodore 472% Mabel 570%
6 Arthur 292% Penelope 525%
7 Walter 252% Bonnie 392%
8 Ralph 226% June 386%
9 Orson 205% Dorothy 331%
10 Hugo 196% Athena 242%


The baby names going out of fashion

In addition to unveiling the most sought-after baby names between 2011 and 2021, our study has also shed light on some names that have fallen out of favour in the UK.


The name Brandon has seen the biggest decrease for boys, with an 87% decrease. Coming from the Old Welsh word ‘breenhin’, which translates to ‘prince’, or the slightly more niche ‘broom covered hill’, the name enjoyed a resurgence in the 90s but is clearly falling out of fashion again.

Ashton, meaning ‘ash tree town’, comes in second, having decreased by 83% for boys. In third is Mackenzie, with a decline of 81%, which means ‘child of the wise ruler’ — or simply ‘good-looking’. Interestingly, though, the name Mackenzie has seen a slight increase among baby girls, with a 14% increase over the 10 year period. 


In terms of the girls’ names that have slightly fallen out of fashion, Amy has seen the biggest decrease in popularity by 86% since 2011. 

This is followed by Brooke — which means ‘small stream’ — with a drop of 83%. Fiona is in third, with a decrease in popularity of 76%.

Rank Boys Rank Girls
Baby boy name Decrease in popularity from 2011 to 2021 (%) Baby girl name Decrease in popularity from 2011 to 2021 (%)
1 Brandon -87% 1 Amy -86%
2 Ashton -83% 2 Brooke -83%
3 Makenzie -81% 3 Fiona -76%
4 Connor -80% 4 Kimberley -75%
=5 Justin -73% =5 Samantha -73%
=5 Matthew -73% =5 Lucy -73%
=5 Luke -73% =6 Honour -72%
=6 Ashley -72% =6 Kate -72%
=6 Bradley -72% 7 Holly -71%
7 Bailey -70% 8 Rebecca -69%


Methodology & Sources

Compare the Market used several seedlists of popular baby names, traditional baby names and gender neutral names to determine the most and least trendiest names in the UK.

Each seedlist was then compared against ONS data to identify the number of times a name has been used and how this has changed between 2011 and 2021. The ONS data is split into boys and girls’ names, and the full seedlist was compared against both genders.

Names were then ranked according to which experienced the biggest increase in use between 2011 and 2021.