The “most unisex” baby names in the U.S.

pink and blue bricks

Last month, FlowingData crunched some numbers to come up with the 35 most unisex baby names in the U.S. since 1930. Here’s the list:

  1. Jessie
  2. Marion
  3. Jackie
  4. Alva
  5. Ollie
  6. Jody
  7. Cleo
  8. Kerry
  9. Frankie
  10. Guadalupe
  11. Carey
  12. Tommie
  13. Angel
  14. Hollis
  15. Sammie
  16. Jamie
  17. Kris
  18. Robbie
  19. Tracy
  20. Merrill
  21. Noel
  22. Rene
  23. Johnnie
  24. Ariel
  25. Jan
  26. Devon
  27. Cruz
  28. Michel
  29. Gale
  30. Robin
  31. Dorian
  32. Casey
  33. Dana
  34. Kim**
  35. Shannon

I’m not sure exactly what criteria were used to create the rankings, but it looks like the top unisex names on this list were the top-1,000 names that “stuck around that 50-50 split” the longest from 1930 to 2012.

The FlowingData post also mentions that, though the data is pretty noisy, there might be “a mild upward trend” over the years in the number of babies with a unisex name.

**In 1957, Johnny Carson’s 5-year-old son Kim had his name changed to Richard because he’d been having “a little trouble over his name being mistaken for a girl’s.”

[Update, 11/7/2013: Changed Michael to Michel]

Source: The most unisex names in US history

Image by Erol Ahmed from Unsplash

4 thoughts on “The “most unisex” baby names in the U.S.

  1. How did Michael end up on that list? That name has always been very male-dominated (and the #1 boy’s name for nearly a half-century). I think the easiest and fairest way to create a “most unisex” list for a given period of time would be to calculate the ratio of gender usage for each name that could qualify as unisex, and the ones closest to 1:1 would make the top of the list.

  2. I agree about Michael. It shows up in the girl’s lists repeatedly because of coding errors, not because it is frequently used for girls. But unfortunately problems of this kind are common with the SSA data; it’s always good to remember that it does have flaws.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.