Baby names most at risk of going extinct in the UK – including Gemma and Kieran

Baby names go in and out of fashion over the years – what was popular a decade ago isn’t so trendy now.

We’ve recently heard how “cool micro-names” such as Luna and Arlo are proving big winners “across the English-speaking world and much of Europe” for 2021 so far.

And as these names are picked by parents across the UK, a number of monikers find themselves at risk of becoming ‘endangered’ as they drop down in popularity.

According to new research by name label manufacturer My Nametags, Gemma and Kieran are the names most at risk of going extinct, while Aria and Albie are storming up the charts.

The research featured an analysis of a database of over 1.5 million names and found that the use of the names Gemma and Kieran has declined by more than 65 per cent over the last decade.

They conclude that the names are at risk of dying out completely if the trend continues.

My Nametags adds that there were only 36 uses of the name Gemma in 2020 and none so far in 2021, while there have been just four Kierans added to the list this year.

Other names at risk of going extinct include Rebecca, Tia, Aimee, Heather, Scott, Kyle, Ross and Reece.

The use of nicknames as given names appears to be a popular trend of late, with Albie, Bertie, Teddy, Belle and Ronnie all featuring on the list of the top 50 fastest growing names, ahead of their more-traditional counterparts Albert, Theodore, Isabelle 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, Flora, Florence, Rupert and Arthur are amongst the names that have experienced significant growth during the past 10 years.

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%)