Special Report

America's Fastest Growing First Names

Source: santypan / iStock

25. Kai
> Boys named Kai in 2013: 1,977 (199th most popular)
> Boys named Kai in 2017: 3,121 (126th most popular)

Popularity of the name Kai went from the 199th most popular boy name in 2013 to the 126th most popular boy name in 2017. The name Kai is Hawaiian for “sea.”

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

24. Axel
> Boys named Axel in 2013: 2,427 (167th most popular)
> Boys named Axel in 2017: 3,764 (105th most popular)

Only 2,427 baby boys were named Axel in 2013 compared with the 3,764 boys that were given the name in 2017. Axel has German origins and means “father of peace.” The name Axel gained some exposure from the character Axl Heck in the family show, “The Middle.”

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23. Dawson
> Boys named Dawson in 2013: 1,033 (320th most popular)
> Boys named Dawson in 2017: 2,004 (196th most popular)

The name Dawson has made a considerable leap in popularity over the past five years. In 2013, Dawson was the 320th most popular boy name and by 2017, it became the 196th most popular name. The name is said to have emerged at cusp of the 20th century but disappeared by 1912 and did not make a comeback until 1994. The drama series “Dawson’s Creek,” which aired from 1998-2003, likely piqued the interest of many parents of that decade. In 1999, one year after “Dawson’s Creek” debuted, Dawson was the 136th most popular boy name.

Source: Riccardo Lennart Niels Mayer / iStock

22. August
> Boys named August in 2013: 1,042 (319th most popular)
> Boys named August in 2017: 2,041 (191st most popular)

The name August is the 22nd fastest growing first name for boys. About 1,000 more boys were named August in 2017 than in 2013, an increase of 128 places on the popularity ranking. August has Latin roots meaning “great” or “magnificent.” Celebrities Mariska Hargitay, Lena Olin, Dave Matthews, and Jeanne Tripplehorn have sons named August and have likely given other parents inspiration to name their boys August.

Source: Nikhil Patil / iStock
Indian child wear eyeglass

21. Messiah
> Boys named Messiah in 2013: 973 (334th most popular)
> Boys named Messiah in 2017: 1,970 (198th most popular)

In previous years, Messiah has not been considered a go-to baby boy name. However, in the past five years the popularity of Messiah has increased considerably. Fewer than 1,000 of all baby boys born in 2013 were names Messiah, compared with the nearly 2,000 baby boys that were given the name in 2017. Messiah is Hebrew biblical name meaning “anointed.”

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