The 50 most popular baby boy names

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What are the most popular baby boy names in America? 

Thanks to the Social Security Administration’s most recent data, we have the answers — and, apologies to the baby pictured here, but Peter is not one of them.  

What follows is a ranking of the 50 most selected baby boy names in the U.S. in 2020. Let’s start with No. 50.  

(And, by the way, if you’re curious: Here are the most popular baby girl names.)

50. Josiah


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Josiah drops five spots, down from 45th in 2019. The baby boy name is cooling after steadily gaining popularity beginning in the late 1970s. 

NFL tight end Josiah Deguara is pictured. Deguara was born in 1997, when the name ranked 223rd in the Social Security Administration’s data. 

49. Maverick


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Tom Cruise’s high-flying character from “Top Gun,” pictured, presumably would approve of this trend: Maverick has become a top-50 baby boy name in the U.S. for the first time on record.  

In the latest rankings, Maverick moves up nine places, from 58th in 2019. As recently as 2010, it wasn’t even in the top 500. 

48. Jaxon



This upstart variation of Jackson appears to be on its way out of the top 50 after busting its way into the group in 2013. In the latest rankings, Jaxon drops six spots, down from 42nd in 2019.  

Pictured is the character Jax Teller, played by Charlie Hunnam in “Sons of Anarchy.”

47. Christopher


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This is the lowest Christopher has been in the rankings since 1956. The name drops three spots, down from 44th in 2019. 

Christopher ranked as high as ninth as recently as 2008. It reigned as a top-three name from 1972 to 1995. 

Pictured is actor Chris Evans. Evans was born in 1981, during peak Christopher popularity.  

46. Charles


Justin Casterline/Getty Images

A top-50 name throughout the 20th century, Charles returns to the top tier of baby boy names after falling to 64th place in 2009. In the latest rankings, Charles jumps six spots, up from 52nd in 2019.

NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo is seen at the 2021 NBA Finals with his Charles: son Liam Charles Antetokounmpo. 


45. Thomas


Karen Neal/CBS/Getty Images

Since Thomas Magnum returned to the pop-culture forefront, via the 2018 reboot of “Magnum P.I.” starring Jay Hernandez, pictured, as the titular, Ferrari-driving private detective, the name Thomas has perked up.

Thomas has moved from 49th place in 2017 to 45th here. This is Thomas’ best showing since 2005. 

The name was a top 10 favorite from 1931 to 1966.

44. Ezra


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Since the debut of the animated series “Star Wars Rebels,” featuring protagonist Ezra Bridger, pictured, the name Ezra has zoomed in popularity. 

In 2014, the first year of “Star Wars Rebels,” Ezra ranked 119th. In the latest Social Security Administration rankings, it jumps five places, up from 49th in 2019. This is its best showing to date. 

43. Dylan


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The name Dylan falls four spots, down from 39th place in 2019. The cooling trend is new for a name that, since actor Luke Perry first brought the character Dylan McKay to the small screen via “Beverly Hills, 90210,” had been going up, up, up.  

Perry is pictured here in an early “90210” publicity photo. 

42. Hudson


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This name is on the move. In 2000, Hudson was the 588th most popular baby boy name. It cracked the top 100 in 2012. In the latest rankings, it jumps eight spots, up from 50th place in 2019. This its best showing yet.

Stock-car racer Timmy Hill is pictured in 2021 with son Hudson.

41. Anthony


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Anthony drops three spots, down from 38th place, a position it held in 2018 and 2019. Anthony was a top 10 name from 2005 to 2008. 

Pictured is NBA star Anthony Davis. Davis was born in 1993, when Anthony was the 19th most popular baby boy name.  

40. Lincoln


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Lincoln bumps up one spot, from a three-year run in 41st place. This is its best showing to date in the Social Security Administration rankings. 

Pictured is TV favorite Alfonso Ribeiro with his family, including son Alfonso Lincoln Ribeiro, Jr. 

39. Isaac


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Isaac slips five spots, down from 34th place in 2019. The name has been a top 50 perennial since 2001. 

Pictured is NFL defensive end Isaac Rochell, of late with the Indianapolis Colts. 

38. Gabriel


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This is the lowest Gabriel has ranked since 2001. On the whole, the name is more popular this century than last. 

Actor Richard Speight Jr. played the archangel Gabriel on the TV series “Supernatural” (pictured).  

37. Jayden


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The fourth most popular boy name in 2010 and 2011, Jayden has dropped to its lowest mark since 2006. In the latest rankings, it slips two spots, down from 37th place.  

Pictured is former Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels. 

36. Leo


Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The name Leo has never been more popular. It jumps four spots from 2019. 

A top 50 name of the early 1900s, Leo stood in 482nd place in 1996. Then came “Titanic” and the rise of movie star Leonardo DiCaprio, pictured. By 2000, the name Leo had moved up to 389th place. It continued to climb from there. 

35. Grayson

Florida State v Duke

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Grayson slips two spots, down from 33rd in 2019. After entering the top 1,000 in 1984, the name rose to 32nd place in 2018, its best showing to date. 

Pictured is NBA guard Grayson Allen. Allen was born in 1995 as the name Grayson cracked the top 500 for the first time.  

34. Julian


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The name Julian drops three spots, down from its all-time best mark of 31st place in 2019.

Pictured is Super Bowl LIII MVP Julian Edelman. Edelman was born in 1986, when Julian was the 172nd most popular baby boy name.

33. Carter


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Carter continues to cool after reaching an all-time high as the 24th most popular baby boy name, a position it held from 2017 to 2018. On the whole, Carter is far more popular in the 21st century than it was in the 20th century. 

Pictured is TV host Carter Oosterhouse. Oosterhouse was born in 1976, as Jimmy Carter was on his way to defeating President Gerald Ford for the White House. 

32. Asher


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After breaking into the top 100 for the first time in 2014, the name Asher has surged in popularity. This is the name’s best showing ever in Social Security Administration data. In the latest rankings, Asher jumps 11 spots, up from 43rd in 2019. 

Pictured is actor Asher Angel, who portrayed Billy Batson in “Shazam!”

31. Luke


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“Star Wars” didn’t necessarily make Luke a top baby boy name, but it sure didn’t make it less a popular one. In 1977, when actor Mark Hamill brought the hero Luke Skywalker to life, Luke was the 190th most popular baby boy name. Over the next 25 years, the name slowly, but surely, worked its way into the top 50. 

In the latest Social Security Administration data, Luke ticks up a spot, from 32nd in 2019. To date, its all-time best standing was 28th place, a position it held from 2015 to 2016. 

Hamill is pictured here as the lightsaber-wielding Luke of “Star Wars.”  

30. Matthew


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This is the lowest Matthew has ranked in Social Security Administration data since 1966. Matthew was a top 10 name from 1974 to 2007. 

Oscar-winner Matt Damon is pictured. Damon was born in 1970, just prior to Matthew going from a popular name to a super-popular name.   

29. Wyatt


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The name Wyatt holds steady after slipping from an all-time high in 2017, when it ranked 25th. 

Pictured is Wyatt Oleff, who plays Stanley Uris in the It horror movie franchise.

28. David


Jason Merritt

This is a new low for David. A top 5 name from 1950 to 1984, David hasn’t been this unpopular, relatively speaking, since 1919. 

Pictured is comedian Dave Chappelle. Chappelle was born in 1973, amid David’s dominance in the baby-name world. 

27. John


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The most popular boy name of the early 20th century, from 1900 to 1923, John bumps up a spot, from 28th, in the latest rankings. 

Pictured is EGOT winner John Legend, one of the star judges on “The Voice.” 

26. Joseph


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With the latest rankings, Joseph reaches a new all-time low, down two spots from 24th in 2019. The name was a top-10 fixture from 1900 to 1933, and again from 1999 to 2005. 

The Jonas Brothers’ resident Joseph — Joe Jonas — is seen in 2022.

25. Samuel


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So far this century, Samuel has been in or near the top 25 among popular baby boy names. In the latest rankings, the name drops three spots, down from 22nd in 2019.

Actor Samuel L. Jackson is pictured here.  

24. Aiden


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The name Aiden has dropped in popularity since its peak showing in ninth place in 2010 and 2011. It falls four spots in the latest rankings, down from 20th in 2019.  

Stand-up comic Aidan Park is pictured. The variation Aidan was the 261st most popular baby boy name in 2020.  

23. Theodore


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This is the most popular Theodore has been in Social Security Administration data going back to 1900. A fast riser, Theodore jumps 13 spots in the latest rankings, up from 36th in 2019. 

President Donald Trump is pictured in 2020 with grandson Theodore Kushner. 

22. Owen



Owen has been far more popular as a boy name in the 21st century than in the 20th century. 

Since 2008, when the character Dr. Owen Hunt (as played by Kevin McKidd, pictured) debuted on “Grey’s Anatomy,” Owen has jumped from the 58th most popular boy name.


21. Jack

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Jack is roughly as popular now as it was in the 1930s. The name slips two spots in the latest rankings, down from 19th in 2019.  

Actor Chris Pratt is pictured in 2018 with son Jack.  

20. Mateo


Scott Everett White/The CW

The name Mateo surged in popularity in the 2010s, rising from 222nd in 2010 to 26th in 2019. This is Mateo’s best showing in the Social Security Administration rankings.  

Pictured (left) is Elias Janssen, who played Mateo in the TV series “Jane the Virgin.” 

19. Sebastian


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The 152nd most popular boy name in 1999, Sebastian broke into the top 20 for the first time in 2018. In the latest rankings, it slips one spot, down from 19th in 2019.  

Sebastian Stan, the actor best known as Bucky Barnes (aka, Winter Soldier) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is pictured.  

18. Levi


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This is the highest the name Levi has ever ranked on record. As recently as 2008, it was the 116th most popular boy name in the U.S. In the latest rankings, Levi jumps seven spots, up from 25th in 2019.    

Actor Matthew McConaughey is pictured with son Levi in 2009. 

17. Jackson


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Jackson has been the 17th most popular boy name six out of the last seven years. 

Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Lee is pictured with son Jackson at the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. 

16. Logan


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Baby boy names tend to slowly rise or fall in popularity. That is not the case with Logan. In 2017, it jumped from 18th place to fifth place, then dropped to 10th in 2018. 

Logan’s volatility may be ending: This marks its second straight year in 16th place. Actor Logan Lerman (from the Percy Jackson franchise) is pictured.  

15. Jacob


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The name Jacob was the most popular baby boy name from 1999 to 2012. It dropped out of the top 10 in 2018. Its showing in the latest Social Security Administration rankings is its worst since 1992. 

Jacob deGrom, star pitcher for Major League Baseball’s New York Mets, is pictured. 

14. Daniel


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After a three-year stint in 15th place, Daniel moves up one spot in the latest rankings. 

In the U.S., the name has been a mainstay of the top 20 since 1952. Famous American Daniels include two-time Super Bowl champ Danny Amendola, pictured.  

13. Ethan


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From 2009 to 2010, Ethan was the second most popular baby boy name in the U.S. 

Ethan dropped out of the top 10 in 2017, and returned in 2019, before falling to this place in the latest rankings. In the photo is Oscar-nominated actor Ethan Hawke.

12. Michael


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From 1953 to 2010, Michael never ranked lower than third place. It slipped to sixth place in 2011, and all the way down to 14th place in 2018. 

In the latest rankings, Michael rises two spots, up from 14th in 2019. Pictured is “Black Panther” co-star Michael B. Jordan.

11. Mason


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Kim Kardashian West is seen in 2019 with nephew Mason Disick. 

The name Mason has skyrocketed in popularity since Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick welcomed Mason in 2009. In that time, the name has gone from the 34th most popular boy name to a top 10 or near-top 10 perennial. 

10. Alexander


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Alexander returns to the Top 10 after a few years away. The name dipped to 13th place in 2017 before ticking upward again. 

Curiously, the name’s popularity does not seem to be linked to the hit musical “Hamilton,” pictured, which originally starred Lin-Manuel Miranda as U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton. 

In 2016, the year after the show became a Broadway sensation, Alexander went from being the eighth most popular baby boy name to the 11th.    

9. Henry


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The name Henry hasn’t been this popular since the early 20th century. This is its best showing since 1910, which also happens to be the last time Henry was a top 10 name.  

In the picture is actor Matt Bomer with son Henry at the 2019 Tony Awards. 

8. Lucas


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Lucas maintains the position it first reached in 2019. This is the most popular the name has been on record.

Pictured is actor Chad Michael Murray, who played Lucas Scott on “One Tree Hill.” The name Lucas steadily gained popularity during the 2003 to 2012 run of Murray’s character. 

7. Benjamin



This is Benjamin’s second consecutive year in seventh place. The name Benjamin has been in the top 10 since 2015. 

Pictured here is Bravo host Andy Cohen with son Benjamin. 

6. James


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A 20th-century mainstay of the top 10 from 1900 to 1993, James slumped in the aughts. It returned to the top 10 in 2014. 

In 2019, James fell one spot, to sixth, where it remains in the latest rankings. That’s NBA star James Harden in the picture. 

5. William


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William had a long run as a top 10 name from 1900 to 1973. (1900 is as far back as the Social Security Administration’s publicly available data goes.)

The name returned to the top 10 in 2004, dropped out for a couple of years, returned in 2007, and has been there ever since. Pictured is actor Will Smith.  

4. Elijah


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NFL defensive back Elijah Riley, seen here in his college days at Army, was born in 1998 as the name Elijah was storming up the popularity chart. The name cracked the top 10 for the first time in 2016. 

This is Elijah’s best showing in the Social Security Administration rankings since at least 1900. 

3. Oliver


The CW

This is Oliver’s second straight year in third place. On the whole, the name is enjoying a boom in popularity.  

Since the TV superhero show “Arrow,” featuring the character Oliver Queen (played by Stephen Amell, pictured), premiered in 2012, Oliver has risen from 73rd place to its current position. 

2. Noah


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After a four-year run in first place from 2013 to 2016, the name Noah is now on a four-year run in second place.

The social-media star Noah Beck is pictured. Beck was born in 2001 as the name Noah was cracking the top 30 for the first time on record.  

1. Liam


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In 1994, when Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and his band released their first studio album, the name Liam, a longtime British favorite, was the 360th most popular baby boy name in the U.S. Within a few years (and a few Oasis hits) the name cracked the top 200 – and kept right on climbing. 

This is the fourth straight year Liam is the most selected U.S. baby boy name. 

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