These Are the Most Popular Names For Millennials


Did you know decade in which you were born can have a significant impact on your name? A list of baby names kept by the U.S. Social Security Administration, which dates all the way back to the 1880s, reveals how naming trends fluctuate over the decades.

According to records, if you were born in the 1950s, there’s a pretty good chance your name is either James or Mary. How about in the 1960s? Michael or Lisa might be on your birth certificate. Born in the 1970s? Michael, Christopher and Jennifer were the most popular names then.

jennifer aniston photo
Getty Images | Christopher Polk

To figure out names over the course of a generation, however, you’ll need to combine a few decades together. The website did just that in search of the most popular name for millennials, whose births were between 1982 and 2004. Nameberry then created a list of the top names for boys and girls and explained how many people have those names within the generation.

Take a look at the lists below:

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

andrew garfield photo
Getty Images | Matt Winkelmeyer

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

justin bieber photo
Getty Images | Mike Windle

16. Robert — 518,841

17. William — 516,650

18. Anthony — 490,498

19. Jonathan — 463,631

20. Tyler — 437,610

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

jennifer lawrence photo
Getty Images | Vittorio Zunino Celotto

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

Megan Fox photo
Getty Images | Kevin Winter

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

Taylor Swift photo
Getty Images | Graham Denholm

Although Jacob became the most popular boy name in 1999, that change did little to move Michael from the overall most popular spot, with more than one million millennials sharing the name. Nameberry explained that Michael’s popularity is because it feels traditional and modern. It is kind of between more traditional names like Robert and modern names like Maverick.

As for the girls, Jessica’s popularity is a bit lower than the most popular boy’s name because it went up against Jennifer, which was slowly fading as a popular name right around the time millennials were being born.

Nameberry also compared the names on the list to “mom” and “dad” names of today, with Lauren, Nicole and Kayla showing up as “mom” names and Matthew, James, William, Ryan and Brandon being “dad” names. In other words, these names were common for millennials, but millennials are not passing those names along to their own children.


As for millennial names the website doesn’t expect to see many people naming babies for at least three more generations? Those are Tiffany, Brianna, Cody and Travis.

Interested to see the popularity of a name for a millennial you know? You can check out the top 100 names (including the ones on the lists above),  here.

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About the Author
Kaitlin Gates
Kaitlin is a freelance multimedia journalist with a degree in journalism and psychology. Along with Simplemost, she also writes for Don't Waste Your Money, where she loves finding great deals to help people save money. Visit Scripps News to see more of Kaitlin's work.

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