How Millennial Is Your Name?
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
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?
About the author
View all of 's articles
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
on 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.
on 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.
on February 20th, 2018 at 8:14 am
Me, my husband, and 3 of my children’s names are on the Millennial list.
on 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.
on 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.
on 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.
on 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.
on 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.
on 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.
on 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!
on 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.
on 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.
on 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.
on 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?
on 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!
on 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:
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.
But alas, these are simply my opinions.
on February 22nd, 2018 at 7:22 pm
No mention of Generation X? There’s definitely a generation between Baby Boomers and Millennials!
on February 24th, 2018 at 2:19 pm
Yep, my husband & I’s, along with 99% of our friends group as well.
on 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?!”
on May 29th, 2019 at 8:45 am
I am far from being a millennial, yet my original name is on the list! The one I now use isn’t.
leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.