How Millennial Is Your Name?

How Millennial Is Your Name?

Millennial names define their generation. John and Mary were the Number 1 names for The Greatest Generation, Linda and Gary emblematic names of the Baby Boom, and now Jessica and Michael emerging as the top names for Millennials.

Nameberry tabulated the names of all babies born from 1982 until 2004, widely agreed as the boundaries for Millennials, and found that Jessica and Michael were at the head of the list for all names given for babies born during the Millennial generation.

Michael was by far the leader for both sexes, with over 1.1 million boys named Michael in those 20+ years. The reason: Michael is a name that feels at once traditional and modern, and provided the perfect bridge between the Old School male names like Robert and Richard borne by the fathers of Millennials and the new names from Milo to Maverick used for boys today.

On the girls’ side, Jessica‘s popularity is somewhat watered down by having shared the stage for so long with Jennifer, which was off its peak by the time the Millennial Generation started being named. The top Millennial girls’ names are a mix of the classic — Sarah, Emily, Elizabeth — and trendy, such as Ashley and Amanda.

Another way to look at the prime Millennial names is that they're a blend of 1980s names and 1990s names.

Here are the Top 20 most Millennial Names for each gender, with the total number of people who received the name during that generation.

Top 20 Millennial Names for Girls

1. Jessica 757,533

2. Ashley 716,529

3. Amanda 522,245

4. Sarah 517,780

5. Jennifer 514,385

6. Emily 475,353

7. Samantha 410,105

8. Elizabeth 403,989

9. Stephanie 360,574

10. Lauren 342,725

11. Nicole 341,634

12. Brittany 341,515

13. Megan 341,174

14. Rachel 315,566

15. Hannah 284,662

16. Kayla 267,757

17. Melissa 267,513

18. Amber 267,392

19. Danielle 247,517

20. Taylor 241,847

Top 20 Millennial Names for Boys

1. Michael 1,131,021

2. Christopher 925,809

3. Matthew 856,718

4. Joshua 779,372

5. Daniel 663,363

6. David 649,402

7. Andrew 629,809

8. James 609,005

9. Joseph 607,257

10. John 581,023

11. Nicholas 564,865

12. Ryan 563,706

13. Jacob 559,709

14. Brandon 541,039

15. Justin 530,206

16. Robert 518,841

17. William 516,650

18. Anthony 490,498

19. Jonathan 463,631

20. Tyler 437,610

Many of the girls’ names on the Top 20 considered classically Millennial, from Lauren to Nicole to Kayla, are decidedly mom names now, out of fashion for babies.

On the boys’ side, more of the names in the Top 20 are classics that retain their popularity, such as Matthew, James, and William. but others like Ryan and Brandon have become the dad names of today.

Further down the Top 100 for both genders are names that have risen to the top for today’s babies, including Sophia and Isabella, Ethan and Noah. But there are many more that have continued sailing out to sea. Millennial names we don’t expect to see back for at least three generations include Tiffany and Brianna for girls, Cody and Travis for boys.

Near the bottom of the Millennial Top 1000 are many names Millennials are reviving for their own babies. Ryder, Greyson, and Augustus, less popular for Millennial baby boys, are fashionable today, while girls’ names Lila, Felicity, and Bella have risen from the depths of the Millennial list to the height of fashion today.

Here are the Top 100 names given to millennials. Is your name on it? And which of these still work as baby names?

Millennial Girl Names

Millennial Boy Names

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten groundbreaking books on names, Redmond is an internationally-recognized baby name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, CNN, and the BBC. She has written about baby names for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and People.

Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its sequel, Older. She has three new books in the works.