Unisex Baby Name Trends

by Joy Oneisis

Unisex baby names have gone through interesting trends throughout the decades. By looking at the social security administration website (http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/) which publishes the most common baby names by year, and we can take a look at some interesting trends.  The most common baby name has a rank of 1.   Here are some of my favorite unisex baby names and their popularity trends:

Ariel: is mostly used for baby girls, however is common for boys as well.  It was ranked in the top 100 baby girl names in the early 90’s with a current rank of 220 in 2004.  Baby boy rank for this name ranged from 360-554 within the last 15 years.

Avery: was previously only common for boys, but popularity for girls rapidly grew in the 80’s.  In fact, it was in the top 100 baby girls name list in 2003 and 2004, with a rank range of 77-795 within the last 15 years.  For boys, baby name ranked between 219-492 in the last 15 years.

Bailey: this is one of the more interesting trends.  In the late 1800’s, this name was only for boys.  But then it made a comeback in the 70’s, but only for girls.  Then in the 80’s took a sharp increase in popularity for both boys and girls.  It has been in the top 100 baby girl names since 1995 and appeared in the top 1000 baby boy name list in 1992, got as high as 150 in 1997, and has since been dropping every year to 432 in 2004.

Blair: was commonly used for both boys and girls, but not so much anymore.  This name was most popular during the 80’s, however disappeared from the top 1000 baby boy names list in 1995, and from the baby girl names list in 2000.

Cameron: this name is mostly used for boys, being in the top 100 for the last 15 years, but has also been common with girls too, with a rank of 252 in 2004.

Carson mostly used for boys, has becoming slightly more used for girls starting from the 80’s breaking into the top 1000 baby girl names in 1992.  It is also increasing in popularity for boys, with a 1990 rank of 455 and 2004 rank of 101.

Casey: most popular for both boys and girls in the 80’s and 90’s.  Although this name is decreasingly used every year, in 2004 still ranked relatively high with a rank of 383 for baby girls and 260 for baby boys.

Corey: nowadays this name is mostly used for boys; was in top 100 from 1990-1996, is slowly decreasing to 212 in 2004.  However it is not as much used for girls anymore and left the top 1000 baby girl name list in 1995.

Dakota very popular boys name since the 80’s, and was in the top 100 baby boy name list from 1993-2001.  It is steadily rising in popularity for girls, with a rank of 597 in 1990 rising up to a rank of 275 in 2004.

Dana: was commonly used unisex baby name during the 1970’s.  However nowadays it is predominately a baby girl name and has disappeared from the top 1000 baby boy names in 1997.

Drew: used to be only for boys, but increasingly popular for girls since the 80’s.  Could the adorable Drew Barrymore’s debut in ET have anything to do with that?  Still much more common in boys though.

Harley: previously mostly for boys, but has taken a sharp increase in girls since the 80’s and during the last 15 years seems to be equally popular with both.  Baby boy name rank ranged between 322-590 while baby girl name ranked between 312-677.

Hayden: was rarely used before, but sharply increased for boys since the 80’s and girls since the late 90’s.  From 1990-2004 the baby boy name ranked between 84-378 and has been in the top 100 since 2002.  From 1998-2004 the baby girl name ranked between 569-835 (2004 rank of 576).

Hunter: more popular for boys, and steadily increasing.  Has been in the top 100 since 1993.  For girls, entered the top 1000 most popular baby girls name list in 1993, rose in popularity to a maximum rank of 304 in 1998, but has since been decreasing.

Jayden: similar to Hayden, this name was rarely used before, but then suddenly become more popular for both boys and girls.  From 1990-2004 the baby boy name ranked between 62-851 and has been in the top 100 since 2003.  From 1998-2004 the baby girl name ranked between 234-888 (2004 rank of 234).

Jamie: is commonly used for both baby boys and baby girls.  This name has been decreasing in popularity since the 70’s, however was in the top 100 baby girl names until 1996 with a 2004 rank of 1999.  For baby boys was ranked between 227-549 in the last 15 years (2004 rank=541).

Jordan: is currently the most popular unisex baby name.  It has become an increasingly used since the 70’s.  In the last 15 years, this name ranked within the top 100 for both boys and girls.

Julian: only popular for boys, and has been in the top 100 baby boy name list since 2000.  Although not in the top 1000 baby girl names for the last 15 years, I really like this name as a girl name too.

Justice: was a very uncommon name before the 80’s, but took a sharp increase in popularity for both boys and girls and broke into the top 1000 baby names in 1992 for boys and 1994 for girls.

Kelly: was a popular unisex baby name during the 70’s.  It dropped off the 1000 most popular baby boy names list in 2002, however has remained a popular baby girl name, being in the top 100 throughout the 90’s with a 2004 rank of 138.

Kelsey: is predominately a baby girl name and ranked within the top 100 throughout the 90’s up until 2001.  It was also used for boys in the early 90’s, with a rank ranging between 729-966.

Kendall: previously only for boys, but both genders became increasingly popular during the 70’s.  Within the last 15 years, baby girls named Kendall have been steadily increasing (rank 404 in 1990; rank 137 in 2004), while baby boys have been steadily decreasing (rank 289 in 1990; rank 508 in 2004).

Kennedy: this name started to grow popular for both boys and girls (but more for girls) since the 80’s, and broke into the top 1000 baby names list for both boys and girls in 1994.

Kimball: This name is usually given to boys, however I like it for girls too.  Is not extremely popular though, and has not been in the top 1000 baby boy or baby girl names for the last 15 years.

Lee: used to be popular for both, but more for boys than girls.  It is rarely used nowadays and appeared in the top 1000 baby girl names only in 1990, however the baby boy name ranked between 213-558 within the last 15 years.

Leslie: was very popular unisex baby name during the 60’s.  However it is decreasing popularity with boys, and dropped off the top 1000 baby boy names in 1997.  But it still remains a very common baby girl name, and has been in the top 100 since 1999.

Lindsay: for a long time Lindsay was only a baby boys name, but suddenly shifted in the 60’s and is now a name given mostly to baby girls.  It was in the top 100 baby girl names for a few years in the early 90’s, however has not appeared within the top 1000 baby boy names in the last 15 years.

Logan: has been in the top 100 baby boy names since 1991, but has been steadily increasing for baby girls too with a rank of 351 in 2004.

MacKenzie: a popular unisex name since the 70’s, however nowadays it is more commonly used for girls.  Baby boy name ranking was 523 in 1990, and then increased to 366 in 1994, but then decreased again and dropped off the top 1000 list in 2001.  Baby girl name ranking however was 247 in 1990 and has been in the top 100 since 1995.

Madison: growing increasingly popular in both since the 70’s, but is more common with girls.  This name has been in the top 100 for girls since 1993, but only in the top 1000 for boys until 1999, then came back again in 2004.

Morgan: although previously only used for boys, this name is has become increasingly more popular for girls since the 70’s.  Within the last 15 years, it has been ranked between 22-58 for girls and 236-373 for boys.

Parker: was previously only for boys, became more popular for girls since the 90’s.  In 1999 it appeared on the top 1000 baby girl name list at #872, with a current rank of 658 in 2004.  A similar upward trend is seen in boys, with a 1990 rank of 342 and a 2004 rank of 132.

Payton: was previously a very uncommon name, but then became very popular for both boys and girls since the 80’s.  In the last 15 years, baby girl name ranked between 159-703 and baby boy name ranked between 237-894.

Reagan: was previously an uncommon name, but started to become popular for both since the 80’s, breaking into the top 1000 baby girl name list in 1993 and top 1000 baby boy name list in 1996.

Rene: was commonly used unisex baby name in the 1960’s.  However it has not been ranked in the top 1000 baby boy names in the last 15 years and baby girl name rank ranged from 184-476.

Reese: previously only for boys, became more popular for girls since the 90’s.  It entered into the top 1000 baby girl names list in 2000 with a rank of 885, and has been rapidly increasing in popularity to a 2004 rank of 262.  For boys, it was ranked 895 in 1990, and like girls has been rising in popularity, though much more slowly to a rank of 390 in 2004.

Taylor: is a very common unisex baby name.  It has been in the top 100 baby girl names for the last 15 years. It was also in the top 100 baby boy names from 1990-1997, however it is becoming less common with boys every year, with a 2004 rank of 216.