How Millennial Is Your Name?

Jessica and Michael top names for a generation

millennial names

Names can define generations, with John and Mary 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.

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 341174
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 463631
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?

girls

  1. Jessica
  2. Ashley
  3. Amanda
  4. Sarah
  5. Jennifer
  6. Emily
  7. Samantha
  8. Elizabeth
  9. Stephanie
  10. Lauren
  11. Nicole
  12. Brittany
  13. Megan
  14. Rachel
  15. Hannah
  16. Kayla
  17. Melissa
  18. Amber
  19. Danielle
  20. Taylor
  21. Rebecca
  22. Heather
  23. Alexis
  24. Michelle
  25. Katherine
  26. Tiffany
  27. Kimberly
  28. Victoria
  29. Alyssa
  30. Christina
  31. Courtney
  32. Madison
  33. Laura
  34. Jasmine
  35. Sara
  36. Amy
  37. Mary
  38. Anna
  39. Erin
  40. Crystal
  41. Brianna
  42. Andrea
  43. Abigail
  44. Alexandra
  45. Olivia
  46. Allison
  47. Morgan
  48. Emma
  49. Kelly
  50. Maria
  51. Natalie
  52. Angela
  53. Erica
  54. Vanessa
  55. Chelsea
  56. Kristen
  57. Julia
  58. Kelsey
  59. Lindsey
  60. Katie
  61. Jamie
  62. Haley
  63. Kaitlyn
  64. Kathryn
  65. Shannon
  66. Brooke
  67. Alicia
  68. Grace
  69. Jacqueline
  70. Jenna
  71. Sydney
  72. Lisa
  73. Cassandra
  74. Jordan
  75. Shelby
  76. Lindsay
  77. Caitlin
  78. Destiny
  79. Katelyn
  80. Catherine
  81. Christine
  82. Marissa
  83. Monica
  84. Savannah
  85. Paige
  86. Gabrielle
  87. April
  88. Kristin
  89. Leah
  90. Diana
  91. Whitney
  92. Julie
  93. Brittney
  94. Sophia
  95. Caroline
  96. Erika
  97. Sierra
  98. Isabella
  99. Hailey
  100. Molly

boys

  1. Michael
  2. Christopher
  3. Matthew
  4. Joshua
  5. Daniel
  6. David
  7. Andrew
  8. James
  9. Joseph
  10. John
  11. Nicholas
  12. Ryan
  13. Jacob
  14. Brandon
  15. Justin
  16. Robert
  17. William
  18. Anthony
  19. Jonathan
  20. Tyler
  21. Zachary
  22. Kevin
  23. Kyle
  24. Thomas
  25. Alexander
  26. Jason
  27. Brian
  28. Eric
  29. Benjamin
  30. Adam
  31. Steven
  32. Austin
  33. Aaron
  34. Timothy
  35. Samuel
  36. Nathan
  37. Jordan
  38. Jose
  39. Richard
  40. Cody
  41. Charles
  42. Christian
  43. Sean
  44. Jeremy
  45. Dylan
  46. Patrick
  47. Mark
  48. Jeffrey
  49. Stephen
  50. Ethan
  51. Travis
  52. Jesse
  53. Bryan
  54. Cameron
  55. Paul
  56. Juan
  57. Kenneth
  58. Dustin
  59. Scott
  60. Caleb
  61. Alex
  62. Gregory
  63. Jared
  64. Logan
  65. Gabriel
  66. Luis
  67. Noah
  68. Evan
  69. Derek
  70. Carlos
  71. Hunter
  72. Nathaniel
  73. Ian
  74. Bradley
  75. Edward
  76. Luke
  77. Trevor
  78. Marcus
  79. Shawn
  80. Corey
  81. Connor
  82. Antonio
  83. Devin
  84. Jesus
  85. Peter
  86. Isaac
  87. Seth
  88. Blake
  89. Jack
  90. Adrian
  91. Shane
  92. Angel
  93. Elijah
  94. Victor
  95. Taylor
  96. Isaiah
  97. Garrett
  98. Lucas
  99. George
  100. Miguel

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19 Responses to “How Millennial Is Your Name?”

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JH Says:

February 20th, 2018 at 12:06 am

My name (Jill) isn’t on it and neither is my husband’s. My five siblings’ names are all on it though.

I think the names that still work are the ones that you cannot pinpoint what year/decade that person was born in. That was pretty much our strategy for naming our children.

On the social security name index page, you can see how many babies were named a specific name, in a specific state, in a specific year. That was pretty fun too.

Eu Says:

February 20th, 2018 at 3:55 am

It would be interesting to see a combined spellings version of this. For instance, just throwing it a glance, I imagine Megan could rise from the inclusion of Meghan/Meaghan et al, and Caitlin would undoubtedly get a boost.

benjamelissa Says:

February 20th, 2018 at 8:14 am

Me, my husband, and 3 of my children’s names are on the Millennial list.

niteowl13 Says:

February 20th, 2018 at 9:49 am

My brother and sister have popular names, but my name has never been popular. It is somewhat normal in Wales, but it is my understanding that it is considered old-fashioned there.

Kew Says:

February 20th, 2018 at 9:55 am

Haha, I’ve known so many girls named Jessica, Sarah, and Megan.

Most Michaels I know are actually a generation further back, though: more like the dads of today’s students and young adults. Ditto for Christopher, David, Andrew, Anthony, Joseph, Jonathan and Robert! Maybe you Americans name your sons more conservatively than we do?
Most boys my age (late teens) have names like Ben, Jack, Sam, Alex, or Josh.

stephaniebrooke Says:

February 20th, 2018 at 10:01 am

Both mine and my partner’s names are on here. Mine is much higher ranked than his though. My younger sister and best friend’s names do not appear at all. Two of my partner’s three siblings appear in the Top 20. And I can easily go through the Top 20 girls list and name at least two girls I went to high school with.

Suzannah Says:

February 20th, 2018 at 10:10 am

It’s amazing how soon many of these names stopped being used for new babies. A mere twenty years ago, Megans, Caitlins, Nicoles, Lindseys, Laurens, and Kristens were everywhere. And I’m always a little surprised when I’m reminded of the popularity of Amanda. I know only one millennial named Amanda and she was named after her great-great aunt.

Selkit Says:

February 20th, 2018 at 10:18 am

My dad wanted to name me April and my sister Amber, both of which are on the list. My mom nixed both choices! The first name they ended up giving me is not on the list, though my middle name (Kristen) is. My sister’s first name is still on the list, though it’s quite a bit farther down than Amber.

beynotce Says:

February 20th, 2018 at 10:38 am

I’ve got a “top ten” millennial name, which I knew – it was a smash during the 80’s, when I was born. I don’t think my mom had any idea – I was named after my dad and shared the name with a couple of her college friends. If you’d asked her at the time, I think she’d have said that the name was a pretty, underused classic. And of course, she didn’t have the easy access to baby name data we have today. My brother’s name actually IS an under-appreciated classic – but it still comes in in the top 100 of these names.

lesliemarion Says:

February 20th, 2018 at 11:50 am

For some reason, many of the male names weather better than the female ones. I’ve been teaching the names on this list for 30 years and I am really ready for some additions: a Boudicca perhaps, a Kestrel, a Viveca, a Millicent, a Florence, an Araminta, a Mamie, a Svetlana, a Noor, a Fenella, a Shasta, a Loire, a Mazarine, a Leilani. Counting on today’s parent-to-be to spice it up a bit!

KatlynLea Says:

February 20th, 2018 at 1:50 pm

I’m an odd spelling of Katlyn (and Katy), so my exact spelling isn’t on there, but I am not at all surprised to see spellings of Kaitlyn and Katherine and even straight up Katie pop up SIX TIMES on the girls’ list as I know there was a massive boom around 1994, when I was born. My boyfriend (Zachary b94), my brother (Samuel b98), and all three of my male cousins (Scott b90, Joshua b92, and Aaron b02) fall in the top 60 for boys. My one girl cousin has a nickname-as-given-name (Jennie b99), but if she had the conventional full name, she would be top 5.

SparkleNinja18 Says:

February 20th, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Technically not a millennial (b. 1999, most sites say the cutoff was 1997) but the original spelling of my name is on there. One of my sisters’ names is on there (Leah, b. 2003) too but Eliana’s name only took off recently (b. 2007). I’d be shocked if Abigail and Leah aren’t high on the Gen Z list in a few years, and I could see Eliana just squeaking in at the bottom. Neither of my cousins’ names make it but they were born in 2009 and 2012, and their names were uncommon then. Cora’s could be like Ellie’s and sneak into the bottom of the gen Z list.

ARead Says:

February 20th, 2018 at 8:30 pm

Interesting to see how many of these names went by Name LastInitial (ex. “Brittany T.”) in my classes at school, but then some of these were t in my schools at all at the time (like Taylor and Alexis), must have been later millennials.

I second that I’d love to see a playground analysis for this data! I’m sure there were way more Sarah’s and Brittany’s than it appears at first glance.

flamingo Says:

February 20th, 2018 at 10:27 pm

Both my first and middle names are on this list, and I am considered a millenial.

However – I was named for my grandmothers, not for the popularity factor!

What goes around comes around, huh?

auroracallista Says:

February 20th, 2018 at 10:40 pm

Mine isn’t. I can’t wait to see what my generation names their kids though, I know it will be really interesting!

JamiJae Says:

February 22nd, 2018 at 1:07 am

I firstly should say that whilst I am a Millennial my name isn’t on this time. My nickname is, however my name will probably show up for this young generation once their top 100 is cultivated.

For me, there are two categories in the question of whether or not some of these names are still usable. A. Names that have been used even though they are outdated or already overused, and B. names that still have some life in them no matter how much or how little they have been used. My picks for the latter category are as follows:

Elizabeth- For me this name is timeless and used well for middle names but not as strongly used for first names. It is a name that yields many nicknames that fit many different naming styles.

Isabella- Highly overused today however it has a rather nice sound, which is probably what draws people to the name in the first place.

Alexandra- This is also a timeless name that allows for multiple “modern” nicknames (i.e. Lex, Andy, Xandra, Xandy) or traditional favorites (i.e. Alexa, Lexi, Aly, Lexis).

Savannah- Place names are still a hit for many people and this one isn’t as obvious as others like Brooklyn or London. It is a calmer alternative.

Sophia- I regard this one in the same way as I do Isabella. It is highly overused today, however unlike Isabella I am not entirely sure why. Sophia is a nice name, however it doesn’t check as many boxes as Isabella (at least in my eyes).

There are a few on the list that are names of babies or young children I know, however I haven’t included these because the names are a little too old fashioned for my taste. These are those names:

Sydney
Shelby
Molly
Mary

As for the boys, I found that list to be more on the timeless end of things than the girls’. All and all boys’ names are fairly stable throughout history whilst girls have had a few names that are dominant timeless names and plethora that are time sensitive.

Daniel
James
Samuel
William
Aaron
Gabriel
Seth
Caleb
Logan
Blake

But alas, these are simply my opinions.

Xx JamiJae

name_sage Says:

February 22nd, 2018 at 7:22 pm

No mention of Generation X? There’s definitely a generation between Baby Boomers and Millennials!

kelseyjoxo Says:

February 24th, 2018 at 2:19 pm

Yep, my husband & I’s, along with 99% of our friends group as well.

wickedjr89 Says:

February 25th, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Very. My name is Stephanie, born in 89. I know so many Stephanie’s around my age. In school the teacher would say Stephanie and you’d have me and 3 other girls asking “Which one?!”

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