Popular Baby Names from the 90’s

a guy dressing in 90s fashion

Choosing a baby name is perhaps one of the most exciting parts about pregnancy. Naming your baby makes the whole thing so much more real, and you’ll find yourself loving your son or daughter more than ever before (if that’s even possible).

However, with such a wide variety of names to choose from, where do you even start? You can think about a “theme” for your child’s name by choosing one based on a favorite book or nursery rhyme. Or, you can look at the trending names from past years to draw inspiration. Need a little boost? Take a look at the most popular baby names of the ’90s for some insight:

Most popular ’90s names for girls

The U.S. Social Security Administration put together a list of all the top baby names in the ’90s ­ a decade that saw 20,545,048 male births and 19,639,350 female births, according to the SSA. For girls names, Jessica, Ashley and Emily took the top three slots for the decade, with Jessica holding the No.1 spot for the second decade in a row. Here’s the rest of the top 10 ’90s names for girls:

  1. Jessica.
  2. Ashley.
  3. Emily.
  4. Sarah.
  5. Samantha.
  6. Amanda.
  7. Brittany.
  8. Elizabeth.
  9. Taylor.
  10. Megan.

Most popular ’90s names for boys

For boys, the three most popular names between 1990 and 1999, according to the SSA, were Michael, Christopher and Matthew at No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3. The same three names and order were the highest­ ranked in the ’80s as well, with Michael holding the top spot in every decade since the ’50s. Here’s a full list of the top 10 boys’ names in the ’90s:

  1. Michael.
  2. Christopher.
  3. Matthew.
  4. Joshua.
  5. Jacob.
  6. Nicholas.
  7. Andrew.
  8. Daniel.
  9. Tyler.
  10. Joseph.
  11. Pop culture trends

    In a decade known for its popular culture, celebrities, TV shows, movies, musical artists and more all had a huge effect on the baby names of the ’90s. “Friends” was one of the most popular TV shows of the time, and both Rachel (character Rachel Green ­ No. 15) and Jennifer (actress Jennifer Aniston ­ No. 16) ranked in the top 20 during the decade. Matthew ­ the name of two actors from the show ­ was No. 3 for boys.

    Musical artists of the decade also saw a lot of representation. The names of Mariah Carey, Christina

    Aguilera and even Destiny’s Child all made it on the list (Mariah at No. 79, Christina at No. 40 and Destiny at No. 72), and so did the names of Justin Timberlake and Michael Bolton (Justin at No. 17 and Michael at No. 1).

    Popular for girls: Names ending in “ny” and “ney”

    For girls, one of the most popular trends of the decade was names ending in the “ny” sound. This included Brittany (No. 7), Stephanie (No. 14), Courtney (No. 22), Tiffany (No. 37) and Sydney (No.59).

    Popular for boys: Names ending in “n”

    Boys’ names ending in “n” were another major trend of the ’90s, including Brandon (No. 11), Ryan (No. 14), Justin (No. 17), Austin (No. 22) and Kevin (No. 25), among many others.

    While many of the popular ’90s names are enduring, there are tons that aren’t quite as popular anymore. If you’re looking for a baby name that’s a little unique, consider using a ’90s name that’s no longer quite as widespread, like Hunter or Kayla.

    To check out recent name trends, check out the most popular girls names for 2015 and boys names for 2015.

    When was the last time you met a pair of kids named John and Mary? The traditional names that ruled America for centuries are vanishing. Parents are obsessing over creative name choices, and celebrities are branding and re-branding themselves like products. Even surnames have burst wide open, as couples rethink the whole concept of family names.
    Meet The Name Lady, your tour guide for this strange new naming world. The Name Lady is an expert and opinionated name consultant, follow her here for the latest baby name trends, news from the celebrity baby names beat and solutions to real-life naming dilemmas.