25 Unisex Baby Names on the Rise

Do your baby name picks make the list?
ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
Aug 2016
gender neutral yellow balloons
Photo: iStock

What’s in a name? For today’s millennial parent, certainly not gender identity. As you’ve likely noticed, over the last decade there’s been a steep rise in unisex names—think Charlie, Hayden and Skyler. And the experts at baby naming site Nameberry are backing this trend with numbers.

“Baby name prognosticating is as tricky as any other kind of forecasting, relying as much on instinct as on science,” Nameberry founder Pamela Redmond Satran writes on her site in response to a New York Times report. “Our gut told us that baby names that defied gender categories were on the rise for both girls and boys. But would the numbers bear that out?”

The answer is yes; between 2005 and 2015, gender neutral names—which Nameberry denotes as at least a 35/65 split between the sexes—increased by 60 percent. And while girls were more likely to be the recipients of these names 10 years ago, today, boys are actually slightly more likely (54 percent) to have a unisex name.

We may have celebrities to thank for this trend. “Channing Tatum, for instance, has turned the image of his name from less than 10 percent male a decade ago to nearly 40 percent male now,” Satran says. “ Hayden Panettiere has done the same thing in the opposite direction, taking that name from only 11 percent to 38 percent female in the past ten years.”

The creative baby-naming process celebrities often employ (think Kristen Bell’s Delta, Kourtney Kardashian’s Reign and Kelly Clarkson’s River) influences this trend too, turning out monikers that don’t traditionally align with either gender.

Nameberry researchers analyzed the Social Security Administration’s baby name data to deteremine the most popular unisex names for 2015. Does your baby name make the list?

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