Kobe and Gianna gain popularity as baby names in 2020 while Karen declines

Chelsea Ritschel
·2-min read
Names Kobe and Gianna see increase in popularity after death of basketball star and his daughter (Getty Images)
Names Kobe and Gianna see increase in popularity after death of basketball star and his daughter (Getty Images)

The names Kobe and Gianna have gained popularity among new parents, who are increasingly choosing the monikers for their babies following the passing of the basketball star and his daughter.

In January of this year, Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter died in a helicopter crash alongside seven others.

According to BabyCenter, which released its list of the top 100 baby names of 2020 this week, both names have since seen huge spikes in popularity, with Kobe experiencing a 175 per cent boost.

Gianna saw an even larger increase of 216 per cent, which propelled the name to the 24th spot on the list of most-popular girl names this year, according to BabyCenter.

“2020 has been an especially emotional year for families, filled with stress, loss, and uncertainty," Linda Murray, BabyCenter's global editor-in-chief said. "At a time like this, parents are seeking comfort by naming their babies after people they admire, especially those who've passed on. We expect this trend to continue well into 2021."

Parents are also gaining inspiration from other notable figures, including Kamala Harris, with the Democratic vice presidential nominee’s name up 104 per cent since 2019.

Other names, however, have seen a decrease in popularity, including Donald, which is now in 981st place after falling 160 spots since 2019.

It is unlikely you’ll see a baby with the name Karen or Chad either, as new parents appear to be avoiding the nicknames associated with those who act in a rude or entitled manner, according to BabyCenter, which reports that the names are down 13 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

As for the most popular names of the year, the baby name inspiration website announced that Sophia has continued to be the number one name for girls, as has been the case since 2010, while Liam is the most popular name for boys for the second year in a row.

Olivia, Riley, Emma and Ava round out the top five most-popular names for girls, with Noah, Jackson, Aiden and Elijah taking the top spots for boys.

The top 100 list is based on the names of more than 500,000 babies born in 2020 to parents registered on the website, with BabyCenter combining names that sound the same but have multiple spellings to reflect true popularity.

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