Classic baby names among top 10 for 2020

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Many traditional baby names made a comeback in 2020, and some saw a surge in popularity not seen in over a century.

Spectrum Health Beat released the top 10 lists of baby names at the Family Birthplace and Natural Birthing Suites at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital for 2020, and Eleanor scooted her way to No. 7 for girls, and Leo crawled to a ninth-place tie with Levi for boys.

Nationally, both names steadily grew in popularity in recent years, according to the Social Security Administration, which keeps records dating to 1900.

Eleanor ranked No. 27 on the national list last year. The last time it reached that height was in 1918 — coincidentally during another pandemic year. The name remained popular throughout the 1920s, then gradually became less common over the years, dropping to No. 693 in 1986. Since 2010 however, Eleanor has steadily regained popularity

Leo also hit a recent high point last year — No. 40 nationally — after steadily gaining ground in the past five years. The name reached its peak of popularity in 1903 when it was the 28th most common name for newborn boys.

New parents Christine and Matt Stevens said they wanted to give their baby girl a traditional name — something “elegant and relatable.” When delivery day arrived, they looked at their 6-pound, 14-ounce baby and knew her name would be Eleanor.

For a middle name, they paid tribute to Christine’s grandmother, Rosella Bujold, who died earlier this year, on the same day the couple found out they were expecting a girl.

“We wanted to keep the memory of my grandma going, so we shortened (Rosella) to Rose and made it our own,” Christine said.

The Stevens said they had no idea Eleanor would hit the top 10 list for the year.

“I guess we are kind of trendsetters,” Matt said jokingly.

Top 10 baby names of 2020


  1. Ava
  2. Charlotte
  3. Nora
  4. Olivia
  5. Amelia
  6. Emma
  7. Eleanor
  8. Hazel
  9. Evelyn
  10. Harper


  1. Oliver
  2. William
  3. Liam
  4. Owen
  5. Benjamin
  6. Theodore
  7. Noah
  8. Elijah
  9. Leo and Levi (tie)

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