Here are the baby names at risk of going extinct in the UK - with Gemma and Kieran most 'endangered'

Gemma and Kieran have been revealed as the UK’s most endangered names, whilst Aria and Albie are growing fastest in popularity, according to new research.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 10:49 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 10:52 am
New insights reveal the names that are declining and growing in popularity across the UK.

The analysis, conducted by leading name label manufacturer My Nametags of a database of over 1.5 million names, found that the use of the names Gemma and Kieran has declined by more than 65 percent over the last decade, with the names at risk of dying out completely if the trend continues.

In fact, there were just 36 uses of the name Gemma in 2020, and none in 2021, whilst there have been just four Kierans listed so far this year.

Joining the list of names most at risk of dying out are Rebecca (-59 percent), Lauren (-57 percent), Hannah (-49 percent), Matthew (-43 percent), Ryan (-43 percent), and Robert (-43 percent), which all make the list of the top 50 most endangered names in the UK.

These names have been replaced by new, more unusual names, with analysis showing that many modern parents are being inspired by popular culture. Uses of the name Aria (+597 percent) inspired by the character Arya Stark from the best-selling book series and HBO hit-show, Game of Thrones, have skyrocketed in recent years.

Emilia, after actress Emilia Clarke, who is best known for her role in the fantasy drama, also makes the list of fastest growing names after seeing an increase of more than 90 percent in the past 10 years.

Similarly, Harper (+317 percent), Mila (+261 percent), and Penny (+201 percent) join the list of fastest growing names, inspired by the daughter of British celebrities Victoria and David Beckham, actress Mila Kunis, and Penny Hofstadter, the lead character in the long running sitcom, The Big Bang Theory.

The use of nicknames as given names is another trend that is continuing to grow. Albie (+282 percent), Bertie (+143 percent), Teddy (+211 percent), Belle (+95 percent), and Ronnie (+81 percent) all make the top 50 fastest growing names ahead of their traditional counterparts Albert, Theodore, Isabel, and Ronald. This trend was seen first-hand when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose to name their son Archie in 2019, in place of the more traditional Archibald.

However, despite the growth of new and shortened names, the research also shows a continued appetite for more nostalgic, ‘old-fashioned’ names. Mabel (+84 percent), Flora (+91 percent), Florence (+84 percent), Rupert (+205 percent), and Arthur (+104 percent) are amongst the names that have experienced significant growth during the past 10 years and join the list of the top 50 fastest growing names.

Lars B. Andersen, Managing Director at My Nametags, said: “At My Nametags, we see thousands of names every day and we were interested to see how the popularity of certain names has changed over time. Our analysis revealed that names once popular with Baby Boomers, such as Gemma, Kieran, Hannah, and Ryan, are experiencing a steep decline in overall popularity.

“These names are being replaced by new favourites, and we were interested to find that modern parents tend to fall into three distinct camps when it comes to naming their children. The data shows a strong trend for modern names influenced by pop culture, vintage names that are having a come-back, and shortened versions of more traditional names, such as Ronnie and Albie.

"We hope that our list can provide some inspiration to expectant parents – and perhaps even help to save Gemma and Kieran from total extinction!”

Names most at risk of extinction:

Girls

Gemma (-68%)

Tia (-60%)

Aimee (-59%)

Rebecca (-59%)

Heather (-59%)

Boys

Kieran (-65%)

Scott (-60%)

Kyle (-57%)

Ross (-54%)

Reece (-51%)

Names growing in popularity:

Girls –

Aria (+597%)

Harper (+317%)

Penelope (+290%)

Mila (+261%)

Quinn (+232%)

Boys –

Albie (+282%)

Arlo (+265%)

Seb (+223%)

Joey (+218%)

Teddy (+211%)