Deciding what to name your baby is serious business for parents and even if they think they’re coming up with a unique choice, baby name data shows that’s not always the case. Some baby names soar in popularity, but after becoming trendy, they get overused and then become unpopular once again. Just think about all those Jennifers in the 70s and 80s! MyHeritage, a genealogy site, did a deep dive into their historic Census archives to see which names are on the rise and which are on their way out and it seems the most popular baby names from the late 20th century are no longer trendy with parents.
For example, Jessica, which was the top girls’ name for both the 80s and 90s, doesn’t even crack the top 300 now. Amanda, Melissa and Michelle are other formerly iconic girls’ names that very few new baby girls are getting today. For boys, “classic” names like Michael, James and Jacob have remained popular, but Jason hasn’t been so lucky. In the 70s, it was the third most popular name, but it’s fallen down to 104 on today’s list.
So which names ARE becoming more popular these days? MyHeritage’s data suggests 21st century parents are over the 1900s names, but they’re into those from the 1800s. Ella and Nora have become two of the trendiest names over the last few years, some 200 years after they were first popular. Violet, Elsie and Olive are also making a comeback for girls. For the boys, Franklin and Walter have seen a resurgence in recent years, George remains popular and Theodore has managed to become more popular today than it was back in the 1800s.