Truly Gender-Neutral Names Achieve Gender Parity
Truly gender-neutral baby names are balanced in the proportion of girls to boys who receive the name in a given year. At Nameberry, we define this as no less than 35 percent, but no more than 65 percent of a single sex. Compare that to unisex names, which are given to the minority sex at least 10 percent of the time.
Parents may decide to use a gender-neutral name to offer their child certain freedoms, as they do not carry the presumption of sex. These names give space to explore gender and allow a child to easily mold their name to fit their identity.
Other parents are choosing these names for their modern style rather than gender parity. Gender-neutral names tend to be nontraditional and have relatively recent histories, particularly when used for girls.
One thing to consider is that names move in and out of gender-neutral status. Until recently, Charlie was largely reserved for boys, but now it’s given to girls and boys in equal numbers. Likewise, Jamie was overwhelmingly feminine for much of the 20th century, with a decade of gender-neutrality in the 1970s. After a sharp drop in instances among baby girls, Jamie once again qualifies as gender-neutral (for now).
Let’s dive into the names considered truly gender-neutral today:
Top Gender-Neutral Names
Charlie heads the list of the most common gender-neutral names, with an official ranking of Number 132 for girls and Number 211 for boys. Add that to the number of Charles and Charlottes who use Charlie as a nickname, and you’ll understand why it seems like you’re hearing it everywhere.
The most common gender-neutral baby names rank in the Top 1000 for both sexes. Names are listed with the ratio of girls to boys given the name in 2019.
Rising Gender-Neutral Names
The rare names that are rising for both sexes are predominantly word names. Nature names such as Arbor, Lake, and Ocean are currently trending, along with straightforward virtue names like Peace, True, and Truth.
Truth (37: 63)
The following uncommon names are rising for one sex but are stable or dropping for the other. Should they continue on their trajectories, the balance could shift, and we could see them lose their gender-neutral (even, eventually, unisex) status. For the time being, these names achieve gender parity:
The Best of the Rest
They may not be white-hot, but these gender-neutral baby names get the Nameberry seal of approval. All names were given to at least 50 babies in 2019, the last year on record.