There are endless options to choose from when deciding on the perfect baby name as a soon-to-be parent. Parents often choose names that hold family history, a meaning they deeply resonate with, or lean toward or away from popular names that are trending. Over the past few years, the popularity of gender-neutral names has been rising across the board. But whether you like trendy names or not, you’re bound to love the 20 most popular gender-neutral baby names of 2022 — or these five more unique gender-neutral baby names.
If you’ve been hearing more gender-neutral names over the past few years, there’s a reason. According to a new study from public information company BeenVerified, gender-neutral names are rising in popularity. Using name records from the U.S. Social Security Administration for all births between 1880 and 2022, and defining gender-neutral names “as those in which at least 5% of names were given to an opposite gender,” BeenVerified found that gender-neutral names accounted for nearly 15% of given baby names in 2022.
“While gender-neutral names hit a high last year, it’s a practice that’s been growing for years,” BeenVerified notes. “Unisex names accounted for one in every ten children in 1995, and since 2014 that number has climbed from 11.7% to 14.9% in 2022, the fastest increase in recent history.”
According to Listophile, there is a combination of reasons why there’s been a steady rise in gender-neutral names, including “disapproval of gender stereotyping, perception of unisex names as stronger options for girls, and recognition of possible gender fluidity in children,” amongst others.
Since no universal definition of a “gender-neutral” baby name exists, some sites list different top baby names based on other metrics. For example, BeenVerified includes names for which at least one in 20 births was given the name of an opposite gender and ranks them as such. Nameberry, which uses the same data from the U.S. Social Security Administration, indexes its most popular gender-neutral names based on the total number of children given each name.
However, despite different metrics for the two lists, many similar names make the top ten most popular gender-neutral names, with only a few different from each other.
Top 10 most popular gender-neutral baby names of 2022, according to BeenVerified:
Top 10 most popular gender-neutral baby names of 2022, according to Nameberry:
If you’re looking for a more unique gender-neutral baby name, here are five other names to consider:
- Rebel, which has the same meaning as the word, is not in the top 1,000 names for any birth year beginning with 1920, for either gender, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration.
- Mercer, which is a French occupational name that means “a merchant,” is another name that’s not in the top 1,000 for either gender.
- Yael, which means “ibex” in Hebrew, doesn’t rank in popularity for girls and barely made it into the top 1,000 list for boys, landing at rank 993 in 2022.
- Larkin is an Irish name that means “rough” or “fierce” and is another name that’s not in the top 1,000 for either gender.
- Sawyer, which means “woodcutter,” landed at 240 in popularity for females in 2022 and was slightly higher for males in the same year, ranked at 131.
You can check out the full list of the most popular baby names of 2022 on the U.S. Social Security Administration website.