04 Oct 2022

REVEALED: Gender neutral and superhero names among most popular for babies in 2021

REVEALED: Gender neutral and superhero names among most popular for babies in 2021

REVEALED: Gender neutral and superhero names among most popular for babies in 2021

The most popular baby names of the year have been revealed by Baby Centre, with gender neutral and superhero names among the most popular for 2021. 

The list was created using data collected on names registered by UK Babycentre parents, with Muhammad and Olivia taking the top spots for boys and girls. 

Maeve, Kiara and Hazel all appeared in the girls’ top 100 for the first time, while established names like Noah and Oliver haven't budged from their second and third spots for boys. 

BabyCentre has also announced the names on the verge of extinction – it would seem like girls’ names from the 1950s and 1960s have fallen out of favour (such as Pauline and Glenda) and parents don’t seem to be calling their children Piers any more.

These are some of the top trends to emerge from the most popular baby names of the year: 


Superheroes dominate film and TV, and they seem to be making a play for baby names, too. While Loki didn’t break into the top 100, BabyCentre notes it doubled in registrations – and Sylvie, a character from the same show, also moved up the rankings.

Other superhero-inspired names include Tony (from Ironman), Steve (from Captain America) and Scott (Antman) – with one baby even named after the Marvel villain Thanos.

TV shows

We’ve all spent a lot of time in front of Netflix this year – could that have inspired a whole host of popular baby names? Names from the show You – including Theo and Henry – proved popular, as did Otis, Eric and Maeve – from Sex Education. Penelope – a character from the smash hit show Bridgerton – even climbed 18 positions to chart at number 71.

Gender neutral

The trend for gender-neutral names shows no sign of slowing down, with Blake, Willow and Noah all climbing for both boys and girls.

Travel names

We might not have been able to travel as much as we would’ve liked this year, but that didn’t stop parents from looking all over the globe for names. For girls, names such as Florence and India increased in popularity, and boys saw Rio, Cairo, Israel and Milan on the rise.

New beginnings

It would seem like this year’s new parents have been full of hope, and names symbolising new beginnings proved particularly popular. Nova and Neo were popular for girls and boys respectively, with both names meaning ‘new’. Other names on the rise included Phoenix and Blossom. 

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