Should the Most Popular Baby Names from the 1980s Make a Comeback?

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If you were born or grew up in the U.S. in the 1980s, you likely grew up knowing a bunch of Christophers, Matthews, Ashleys, and Sarahs. It probably won’t surprise you that data shows these were some of the most popular baby names during that decade. The Social Security Administration keeps track of the most popular names from specific periods, so here we’ll share exactly what they were—for baby boys and girls—in descending order.

Related: Popular Baby Names from the 1960s | Popular Baby Names from the 1970s

Joseph and Heather

These names had a bigger moment in the 1970s, but they were still popular enough to round out the rankings of the top 10 names from the 1980s, with 299,451 Josephs and 191,854 Heathers, respectively.

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John and Elizabeth

Just about everyone knows several Johns and has more than one Liz in their lives. These names were pretty popular for newborns in the 1980s, being used 321,185 and 198,976 times, respectively.

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Robert and Nicole

If you know a few Bobs or Nicoles in your friend, family, or coworker groups, it’s no coincidence. These were popular 1980s names as well, even if more amongst the elder millennials. There were 321,686 Roberts and 210,501 Nicoles born during this period.

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Daniel and Melissa

Daniel and Melissa were also unsurprisingly popular American baby names in the 1980s, with 145,574 and 217,932 babies being given these respective names.

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James and Stephanie

Between friends, classmates, coworkers, and even celebrities and public figures, it should surprise no one that James and Stephanie were also popular baby names in the 1980s, with 356,518 and 218,171 newborns being given those names, respectively.

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David and Sarah

David and Sarah are also ubiquitous names among millennials and members of Generation X. There were 383,739 and 272,635 babies given these names during the 1980s.

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Joshua and Ashley

You may not have known quite as many Joshes, but you definitely knew of several Ashleys if you came up in the 1980s. There were 396,581 and 352,189 babies given these names during that time.

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Matthew and Amanda

Similarly, there’s a good chance you knew of several Matts and Amandas in your grade-school classes alone, if you don’t work with several now. There were 459,019 and 369,738 1980s kids who were given these respective names.

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Christopher and Jennifer

It should surprise no one that these two names ranked so high on this list. Christopher and Jennifer were the second-most popular baby names of the 1980s, given out 554,909 and 440,896 times, respectively.

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Michael and Jessica

Finally, the top baby names of the 1980s could probably be easily predicted with Michael and Jessica, with 663,827 and 469,518 babies taking on these names during that time.

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