The 15 trendiest, fastest rising baby names

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We recently shared a list of the 10 baby names trending down in popularity. FindTheBest has now identified the 15 baby names that are trending up in popularity.

We’ll start with #15 and count down to the trendiest, fastest rising baby name of all.

Note: FindTheBest  graphed each name’s US rank over time and calculated the slope of the line between 2003 and 2013. You can see the graph corresponding to each name on the following slides.

#15 | Easton

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Gender: male*
Rank in 2003: 490th
Rank in 2013: 88th

A moderately popular name in the early 1900s (~1,000th in the US), Easton bottomed out in 1975 (~5,000th) before making a huge comeback throughout the 80s and 90s. The name continues to rise in popularity year after year.

*Note that all rankings in this article are gender-specific. So for example, Easton’s male ranking excludes any instances of female Eastons.

#14 | Jaxson

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Gender: male
Rank in 2003: 531st
Rank in 2013: 92nd

Jaxson hit parents’ radars around the turn of the millennium, rising steadily ever since. The name cracked the top 100 in the US for the first time last year. Alternate spelling “Jackson” is by far the more popular name overall, but its popularity has only risen slightly over the last decade.

#13 | Lincoln

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Gender: male
Rank in 2003: 531st
Rank in 2013: 92nd

After ascending to the 368th most popular boy’s name in 1895, Lincoln’s popularity declined steadily for a century, despite its presidential pedigree. In the 1980s, the name fell out of the top 1,000, but surged in the late 90s. It cracked the top 100 for the first time in 2013.

#12 | Violet

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Gender: female
Rank in 2003: 586th
Rank in 2013: 69th

Fashionable in both the United States and United Kingdom, Violet was an extremely popular name for the first 30 years of the 20th century. The name’s popularity faded over the next several decades, reaching its lowest point in 1990. Since then, Violet has enjoyed a significant resurgence—it’s even more popular today than it was 100 years ago.

#11 | Aubree

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Gender: female
Rank in 2003: 639th
Rank in 2013: 52nd

While not as popular as the more traditional spelling—Aubrey (18th in the US)—Aubree is catching up fast, poised to take the lead in the next two or three years if trends hold.

#10 | Aria

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Gender: female
Rank in 2003: 660th
Rank in 2013: 40th

Game of Thrones fans will recognize Aria (spelled “Arya” in the books and television show), but the name’s popularity likely has nothing to do with its popular culture counterpart (compare this to Katniss and Hermione, which were clearly influenced by books and films). Both Aria and Arya have been on the rise since at least the 1970s—the first Game of Thrones novel was published in 1991.

#9 | Penelope

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Gender: female
Rank in 2003: 711th
Rank in 2013: 56th

A classic name tracing its roots to Greek mythology, Penelope has risen and fallen many times over the centuries, peaking most recently in the mid-20th century, then falling again in the 80s and 90s. Today, Penelope is back on top, on pace to crack America’s top 50 girls’ names by next year.

#8 | London

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Gender: female
Rank in 2003: 784th
Rank in 2013: 85th

Unlike many of the names on this list, London’s popularity is a new phenomenon—there’s just no early 20th century precedent for this now-popular American girl’s name. Incidentally, the name is far less popular in the United Kingdom, despite the fact that it matches the nation’s capital city.

#7 | Scarlett

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Gender: female
Rank in 2003: 760th
Rank in 2013: 42nd

Scarlett surged in popularity after the 1936 release of Gone with the Wind, based on the central character, Katie Scarlett O’Hara. The name then hovered just outside of the top 1,000 girls’ names until the turn of the millennium, when it jumped from simply a familiar name to one of America’s most popular. It continues to grow in popularity to this day.

#6 | Jase

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Gender: male
Rank in 2003: 970th
Rank in 2013: 89th

Ascending from irrelevance to mild popularity in the mid-1980s, Jase—a shorter, trendier version of Jason—has continued to rise ever since. The name’s jump from the mid-500s (in 2011) to the top 100 (2013) is particularly impressive.

#5 | Khloe

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Gender: female
Rank in 2003: 1143rd
Rank in 2013: 79th

While Khloe may have seen its peak (there were over 5,000 baby Khloe’s born in 2010 vs. around 3,500 in 2013), the name remains a 21st century phenomenon. Compared to just ten years ago, Khloe is still much more popular today. One explanation: Khloe Kardashian, who rose to fame in 2007 on the reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

#4 | Harper

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Gender: female
Rank in 2003: 1100th
Rank in 2013: 16th

At 16th overall among girls’ names in the US, Harper is currently the most popular name on this list, and the the fourth-fastest riser overall. In popular culture, the most clear precedent here is Harper Lee, author of the 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.

#3 | Mila

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Gender: female
Rank in 2003: 1198th
Rank in 2013: 78th

Similar to several of the names on this list, Mila enjoyed moderate popularity in the late-19th and early-20th century before dropping in relevance during the 80s and 90s. Since then, however, the name has rocketed back to relevance, rising faster than all but two other top-100 names today.

#2 | Bentley

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Gender: male
Rank in 2003: 1559th
Rank in 2013: 81st

Among today’s top 100 boys’ names, Bentley is the fastest rising in America, jumping nearly 1,500 spots in just ten years. Unlike Khloe, however, Bentley is a classic name—over the last century, the name has seen an almost rhythmic cycle of popularity drops and surges. It will be intriguing to see how long the current peak lasts.

#1 | Paisley

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Gender: female
Rank in 2003: 1855th
Rank in 2013: 80th

Ascending all the way from 1855th in 2003 (fewer than 100 baby girls per year) to 80th today (over 3,500 per year), Paisley is the fastest rising baby name in America (at least among America’s current top 100 boys’ and girls’ names). Almost as popular as the fabric design itself, Paisley is poised to become even trendier over the next several years.

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