BeenVerified Study Finds Impact of Disney Movies on Baby Names

Parents love “Encanto” with two names from the movie making the top 10 list

Disney movies are undoubtedly influential, and that influence can be seen in the trend of baby names that come from their iconic films. BeenVerified conducted an analysis of the Social Security Administration's baby names data set that examined Disney’s impact on baby naming trends in the U.S.

In years when a Disney film ranked in the top 50 at the box office, the likelihood of a leading character’s name from that film at least doubling in popularity was significantly higher, occurring 5.9% of the time. This rate is almost double that of the comprehensive name list. 

Here are the top 10 Disney names by increase in popularity since 1980.

NameMovieIncrease in Popularity
KodaBrother Bear937%
ArielThe Little Mermaid253%
RayaRaya the Last Dragon161%

We also found trends based on location as certain states across the country are more Disney-obsessed than others. We created a Disney score for each state based on the number of babies given one of the top 14 Disney names per 100,000 births during the films’ peak years. The top 10 states are as follows: 

StateDisney Score
New York18.25

Cultural differences across the U.S. are also evident in the naming trends. For instance, Montana, known for its vast natural landscapes, ranked #1 for Koda, a bear character. Hawaii, with its strong connection to the ocean, ranked #1 for both Ariel and Moana, characters associated with life in or on the water. Louisiana, with its rich cultural heritage in New Orleans, ranked #1 for Tiana from The Princess and the Frog, a story set in "The Big Easy."


For each year and name in the SSA dataset, a percent-change metric was calculated by dividing the count for that year by the average count from the previous five years. For example, for John in 2022, the count of Johns in 2022 was divided by the average count of Johns from 2017 to 2021. This percent change from the 5-year average served as the basis for ranking the names.

The Disney names analyzed were limited to characters from animated Disney films that made it into the top 50 films for domestic box office revenue since 1980, according to BoxOfficeMojo. The top rankings focused on the years the associated film was released or the year following. States were ranked based on the median per capita births for each of these names.

About BeenVerified

BeenVerified’s mission is to help people discover, understand and use public data in their everyday lives. BeenVerified and our associated websites curate dozens of public data sources and proprietary data sets to give people easy and affordable access to billions of public records, including a people search tool.

For more information, contact Erin Kemp ( 

Source: BeenVerified