Most Popular Baby Names Inspired by Travel Destinations
Reference website, Listophile analyzed data from the Social Security Administration (SSA) to discover the most popular travel-inspired baby names in the United States. Here we reveal the most popular locales from across the globe that have inspired our babies’ names.
The names we choose for our children often reflect our personal tastes and the world around us. Analyzing the most recent set of baby names published by the SSA, it seems travel destinations are an important source of inspiration for parents-to-be.
Using cities as names first started gaining popularity in the 1980s. This decade saw a rise in names like Sierra, Sydney, and Savannah for girls, and Orlando, Israel, and Shannon for boys. This trend has grown, and destination names have continued to rise in popularity.
Baby names inspired by cities and places are interesting because they reveal a story. They either reflect our own personal memories and experiences of traveling to special destinations – or they reveal our wanderlust and dreams of travel.
Travel-inspired baby names also have a sense of adventure and worldliness. The names are often meaningful, beautiful, and inspiring. There is also an incredible hint of mystery and possibility to geographical baby names. We of course associate the name with the positive qualities of the culture and allure of the place itself.
Moreover, many travel-inspired names are onomatopoeian. In other words, the sound of the name resembles the city or place that it describes. For example, Italian city names tend to sound sophisticated, such as Siena and Venice. The names Montana and Cheyenne have a rustic vibe; Harlem and Bronx sound tough and edgy. Valencia and Cairo are exotic while sweet names such as Georgia and Savannah have a home-spun country feeling.
Whether you have a favorite travel destination, country, city, or state, it’s always possible to find a geographical baby name that you’ll love. The team at Listophile analyzed the latest set of data from the SSA (released May 2022) to find the most popular geographical baby names for girls and boys in the United States.
Included is a mix of names of far-flung destinations, such as Cairo, Milan, and Sydney, as well as favorites closer to home, including Phoenix, Catalina, and Dallas.
The study also identified the most trending travel-inspired baby names, i.e. names rising fastest in popularity year over year. For girls, these were Marlow, Montana, Memphis, Denver, and Holland; while Zealand, Rhodes, Cypress, Rome, and Rio rose most in popularity for boys.
We start by listing the top 10 travel destination names for girls and boys. Following this, we’ll dig deeper into the top 40 names to seek out more unique travel-inspired names parents are giving their children.
Top 10 Travel-Inspired Girl Names
1. Brooklyn, New York
Located within one of the most famous cities in the world, Brooklyn is a much-favored name for baby girls. As New York’s most populous borough, Brooklyn sparks connotations of excitement, vibrancy, and success. It’s no surprise then that last year more than 3,500 baby girls were named Brooklyn.
2. Savannah, Georgia
Next on our list is Savannah, a beautifully feminine name with historical appeal. Savannah is famous for its horse-drawn carriages, manicured parks, and striking architecture. Savannah also has a nature-related meaning – the name also describes grassy plains found in tropical and subtropical regions. Naming your daughter Savannah is a fitting tribute to this beautiful city. Nearly 3,500 baby girls born last year share this city’s name.
3. Georgia, Georgia State
Third on our list is Georgia, named after the southern US state. The name Georgia has been popular in America for many generations and has made a recent resurgence. The ‘ia’ ending gives this name a particularly feminine touch, combined with an incredible sense of power and history.
4. Catalina, California
If you’re searching for a name that is a little more exotic, perhaps you’d like the fourth name on our list: Catalina. Catalina is one of California’s Channel Islands, lying southwest of Los Angeles. This location is renowned for its dive sites, intriguing wildlife, and stunning peaks. Just as the island is alluring, so is the name itself.
5. Aspen, Colorado
Parents who enjoy skiing or other winter sports could pay tribute to this beautiful mountain town by naming their baby girl Aspen. This ski resort town in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains offers year-round outdoor recreation as well as high-end boutiques and restaurants. Aspen was originally given its name for the abundance of aspen trees in the area, so the name is also associated with nature. Parents who want to destine their daughter for both adventure and luxury might consider this name!
6. London, England
What is more iconic than England’s capital city? London is home to the British royal family, houses of Parliament, and countless historical landmarks. London could be the perfect name for an intriguing, intelligent, and classy young lady. Parents who want to celebrate one of the most famous cities in the world may choose the name London for their baby girl.
7. Sydney, Australia
A gender-neutral name rising in popularity amongst baby girls, parents are flocking to this name from Down Under. As one of Australia’s most famous cities, it is renowned for its famous architectural construction of the Sydney Opera House. The city is clearly celebrated by parents across America, with 1,129 baby girls being named Sydney last year.
8. Adelaide, Australia
Adelaide is the cosmopolitan coastal capital of South Australia, and the name has been favored by royalty and nobility for centuries. Just like the city, the name sounds beautiful, successful, and exciting! This long-time favorite girl’s name has undoubtedly earned its place on the list!
9. Dakota, N. & S. Dakota
Dakota has already become a popular girl’s name, shared by famous American actresses Dakota Johnson and Dakota Fanning. The name has Native American origins and means ‘friendly one.’ While still original, this name is rising in popularity as a gender-neutral name. This cool, hip and modern girl name was given to 1,147 baby girls last year.
10. Phoenix, Arizona
While also the name of a mythical bird, Phoenix has become a popular name for baby girls. This Arizonian location is known for its outstanding hotel resorts, elaborate pools, and desert gardens. The year-round warmth and sunshine make it a perfect vacation destination. This cool and slightly mysterious girl’s name was given to 1,032 baby girls last year.
Top 10 Travel-Inspired Boy Names
1. Kingston, Jamaica
In first place, the most popular travel-inspired boy name is Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. The Caribbean Island is known for reggae music, white sand beaches, lush rainforests, and a warm, sunny climate. More than 3,750 baby boys born last year share this city’s strong, modern name.
2. Zion, Jerusalem
Zion is a unique, colorful name packed with meaning. Indeed, Mount Zion is a hill located just outside the Old City’s walls in Jerusalem. This could be the perfect name for parents who love the history and originality of this short, edgy name.
3. Camden, England
Fourth on our list is Camden – another unique name that has become popular in recent years. Camden is one of the priciest areas of London and has been home to many famous faces, including Charles Dickens, John Keats, and Amy Winehouse. More than 2,000 parents paid tribute to this London borough by naming their son Camden last year.
4. Dawson, Canada
The name Dawson is fitting for parents who will treasure their baby boy like gold. The Canadian city was the center of the Klondike Gold Rush which began in 1896. Nowadays, Dawson celebrates its history and geology through a range of museums, making it an excellent name for any expecting parent intrigued by the past.
5. Israel, Middle East
For a parent who holds Israel close to their heart, this name could be just what they’ve been looking for. While being a simple two syllables, this name is packed with meaning, especially when you look over the span of Middle Eastern history.
6. Phoenix, Arizona
While also making our list of travel-inspired baby girl’s names, Phoenix is also very fitting for baby boys. For a parent with fond memories of Phoenix or with aspirations to visit it in the future, this name pays tribute to this warm, sunny city. The name Phoenix is derived from the name of a mythological bird from Greek myth. Today, the name is Phoenix a symbol of renewal, regeneration, and rebirth.
7. Dallas, Texas
Dallas. Commonly known as northern Texas’ modern metropolis, this city bursts with success as a cultural and commercial hub. These qualities make it a fitting name for any ambitious boy destined to prosper! The name Dallas was given to 1,280 boys last year.
8. Cairo, Egypt
For a parent seeking a name that’s drenched in history, perhaps they might opt for Cairo. This name refers to Egypt’s capital and is famous for the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Musical power couple Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz gave their son the name Egypt. The songstress explained that she was inspired to pass on the name after a life-changing trip to the African country.
9. Dakota, N. & S. Dakota
Ninth on our boy’s name list is Dakota. Dakota is a stand-out unisex name with Native American origins. This name is trendy, original, and memorable. It is certainly a great choice for parents, especially if America’s First Peoples are meaningful to them. Nearly 1,000 boys were given the name Dakota last year.
10. Milan, Italy
The boy’s name Milan has soared in popularity in recent years. Why not celebrate an Italian city with world-famous historical, cultural, and architectural landmarks? Milan is one of the fashion capitals of the world as well as being famous for the majestic Duomo Cathedral and La Scala opera house. The boy’s name Milan is a modern and trendy name, just like its eponym.
Top 40 Travel-Inspired Baby Names
Parents looking for a more unique name for their children may decide to go beyond the top 10 list in search of a more unique geographical baby name.
The top 40 travel-inspired baby names include far-flung travel destinations, and exotic locales, as well as our favorite domestic travel spots closer to home.
Check out the top 40 travel-inspired baby names for girls and boys below:
Top 40 Travel-Inspired Girl Names
|Rank||Baby Name||Location||# Girls|
|4||Catalina||Santa Catalina Island, California||1729|
|9||Dakota||N. & S. Dakota||1147|
|16||Carolina||N.& S. Carolina||606|
|17||Sierra||Sierra Nevada, California||603|
|32||Dixie||Southern states of the US||237|
Top 40 Travel-Inspired Boy Names
|Rank||Baby Name||Location||# Boys|
|5||Israel||The Middle East||1538|
|15||Zaire||Former African country||556|
|20||Caspian||Caspian Sea, Eurasia||366|
|26||Harlem||New York, USA||238|
|31||Bronx||New York, USA||159|
Top 10 Most Trending Travel-Inspired Girl Names
The following girl baby names rose the fastest in popularity year over year:
|Baby Name||Location||% Increase YoY|
Top 10 Most Trending Travel-Inspired Boy Names
The following boy baby names rose the fastest in popularity year over year:
|Baby Name||Location||% Increase YoY|
The draw of travel, combined with the importance of a name’s sentimental value can make geographical baby names a perfect choice. If you’re on a journey to find a baby name, perhaps a city or place name might be just what you’re looking for?
If so, think about the locations that mean the most to you or generate strong emotions. Jump to your travel bucket list or vacation photo albums to spark inspiration.
Perhaps you and your partner have a special memory of the place you met or fell in love? This has been a popular trend among celebrities who have celebrated their favorite places through their babies’ names:
Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale named their son Zuma, which pays homage to a place near and dear to the celebrity family: Zuma Beach, California. David and Victoria Beckham gave their son the name Brooklyn. This name has special significance to the couple because Victoria was in the New York borough when she learned she was pregnant. Actress Drea de Matteo and Shooter Jennings named their daughter Alabama, which is an homage to Jennings’ Southern roots. Former celebrity couple Kanye West and Kim Kardashian named their daughter Chicago after West’s hometown.
Have these geographical-related names inspired you to rethink your potential choices of baby names? Perhaps you will think about naming your children after your favorite vacation spot, city, country, state, or continent!
1. Listophile’s report is based on the collection of given names as recorded by the SSA. This report collected datasets from the year 2021 from 3,361,375 instances of baby names. The names were ranked in order of the largest number of given names to discover the most popular travel-related baby names.
2. For the purposes of the study, names were excluded from the analysis if the connection to the geographical location was deemed ambiguous. For example, if the name is too commonly used, or has other associations. These names included Santiago, Austin, Hudson, Francisco, Preston, Madison, Aurora, Paisley, Lucia, Eden and Bailey.