Meet the Queen and King of a Generation
Every generation has its own look and sound. Distinctive clothing, hair, music, movies…and baby names. What names define millennials?
The Millennial Generation
The Americans we call millennials were born from 1981 to 1996. That covers a lot of cultural ground, from Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 to the Macarena. Yet there’s enough shared experience and outlook to make the generational identity meaningful.
Which baby names best capture that identity? I’ve identified the names that were most disproportionally popular from 1981-96, with a bonus for large numbers born.
The Queen and King of the Millennials are:
Brittany and Justin.
The pairing feels right, doesn’t it? Can’t you picture the two together in your mind? (Perhaps in the form of young stars-to-be Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake as “Mouseketeers.” Spears and Timberlake were both born in 1981.) Browse the rest of the oh-so-millennial list for a fuller generational portrait.
|Most-Millennial Girls’ Names||Most-Millennial Boys’ Names|
Chelsea and Kelsey; Brittney and Whitney; Casey and Lacey; Justin and Dustin. That’s the sound of an era. The patterns are even stronger than they appear, because I included only one spelling for each sound. Variations like Kasey and Lacy are just as millennial.
If the boys’ list seems short, that’s another sign we’re looking at a generation of adults. In the 20th Century, boys’ names were steadier and less trend-driven than girls’. That has started to change. When the time comes to tally the defining names of the next generation, expect to see more evenly balanced lists.
For now, though, it’s female names that best represent their times. So Ashley, Megan, Amber, Courtney, take a bow. You are the millennial generation.