Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

In the 1980s capitalism was king, shoulder pads and hair were big, and technology was booming. MTV has us glued, and ET had us a little unhinged. According to Taylor & Francis, there was also a “steady rise in the birthrate in the United States in the latter half of the 1980s.” Hello 80s babies! See if your name made the most popular list for the decade.

The Social Security Administration compiles lists of the most popular names given to female and male babies born in each year, and decade. What’s happening in pop culture can often determine the popularity of names giving to babies. If you were born in the 1980s you may very well be a Christopher, or an Ashley. Take a look and see if you can find your name.

  • #1 Boy Name


    The 1980’s were filled with famous Michaels. From the sports world to music and acting. Michaels born in this decade could have been named for forces like Michael Jordan. Or popular actors of the time like Michael J. Fox or Michael Douglas. In music there was Michael Jackson likley playing on a radio somewhere.  Looking for something more romatic, how about Michael Bolton?

  • #1 Girl Name


    The Jessicas have it. The 1980s are proudly and loudly represented by famous Jessicas. Born in the 80s were singer/actor/entrepreneur Jessica Simpson, and actresses Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel. One of the biggest movies of the 80s was the part live action, part animation movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? The sultry cartoon wife of Roger Rabbit is  Jessica Rabbit. (Jessica was voiced by actress Kathleen Turner)

    Jessica Simpson

    (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)

  • #2. Boy Name


    If your parents named you Christopher in the 1980s, it could be there were fans of the Superman movies starring Christopher Reeves. It worked out well for 80s babies, there’s even a term now known as the Hollywood Chris. The term is usually in reference to 4 particular famous Christophers, 3 of which were born in the 80s, one in 1979. Chris Evan, Chris Pine, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pratt (79).

  • #2. Girl Name


    You can’t help think of the movie Flashdance, when thinking of the 80s. It inspired fashion and music and perhaps even baby girl names. The star of Flashdance was Jennifer Beals. Then there was Dirty Dancing, another fun and hugely popular 80s movie about dancing, that starred another famous Jennifer, Jennifer Grey. One of the most famous Jennifers in the world was born in the 1980s- Jennifer Hudson, singer, actress, and TV Host.

  • #3 Boys Name


    Matthew Broderick was one of the biggest, young film stars of the 1980s, starring in Ferris Bueler’s Day Off, War Games and Glory (all 80s smash hits). Meanwhile, another Matt was dominated our screen. Matt Dillion starred in 80s greaties like The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, Drug Store Cowboy, The Flamigo Kid and The Big Town.

  • #3 Girl Name


    The 3rd most popular girl’s name in the 1980s is Amanda. If you were born in the 80s and are named Amanda, it could very well be because the 1986 hit song by the band Boston was everywhere! It was their biggest hit single. The song was featured in the movie, Career Oportunities. Famous Amandas born in the 80s include Amanda Seyfried, best known for her roles in Mama Mia, Mean Girls, And Red Riding Hood. Also Amanda Bynes, who was born in 1986 and starred in the movies Hairspray, What a Girl Wants and She’s the Man.


  • #4 Boy Name


    One of the most famous Josh’s in the world is Josh Grobin. Grobin has sold millions of records worldwide, and also racked up credentials as an actor. You have seen him in Crazy, Stupid, LoveMuppets Most Wanted, and The Office. Red Sox fans will remember one of the stars of the 2007 World Series, Josh Beckett. Beckett was born in 1980. Did you know actor Josh Brolin’s breakout role was in 1985’s The Goonies. 

  • #4 Girl Name


    The 4th most popular girl’s name of the 1980s also belongs to quite a few famous screen faces born in the 80s. Remember Ashley Tisdale from Disney’s Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and the High School Musical movies?  There’s Ashley Olsen (twin of Mary Kate) and star of the TV show, Full House (born in 1986), and Ashley Benson from Pretty Little Liars. Country star Ashley McBryde was born in 1983 and recently won a Grammy Award for her performance with Carly Pearce on their song “Never Wanted To Be That Girl.”

  • #5 Boy Name


    Davids born in the 80s could have been named after their parents were inspired by David Bowie. His Let’s Dance album was omnipresent in 1983 and 84. David Hasselhoff was all over our TVs in the 80s with Knight Rider and Baywatch. Millions of Americans spent their late nights with another David; David Letterman.

  • #5 Girl Name


    One of entertainment’s most famous Sarah’s was not born in the 80s but her acting career took off with a smaller role in Footloose from 1984. The name Sarah means “princess.” But it also refers to being “lady-like.” Actress Sara Paxton was born in 1988, and went on to star in the movies Aquamarine and Syndney White.

  • #6 Boy Name


    It’s hard not to think of legendary actor, James Dean when you see the name, James. He was the epidome of cool and inspired generations long after he was gone. There’s James Taylor of course. James was making hit music in the 80s (in addtion to the 60s, 70s, 90s and 2000s). James and JD Souther scored with “Her Town Too” in 1981. Actor James Spader, although better known in his later career, did start out as a young man in movies like Pretty in Pink, Mannequin, Sex, Lies and Video Tapes, and Wall Street. 


  • #6 Girl Name


    In the 80s model Stephanie Seymour was all over our magazines, and in the news. She was one of the decade’s most popular super models, and was also known for her relationship with Axl Rose, from Guns and Roses. The name Stephanie also is one of royalty. Princess Stephanie of Monaco, is the daughter of Prince Rainier of Monaco and the late Princess Grace (Kelly).

  • #7 Boy Name


    The 7th most popular boy’s name of the 1980s conjures up images of Harry Potter, perhaps? Daniel Radcliff is an 80s baby. Born in 1989, Radcliff became famous starring the the Harry Potter movies. Your parents may very well of been watching another Daniel in the 80s. Danny Devito starred in blockbuster hits like, Romancing the Stone, Terms of Endearment, Throw Mama From the Train, Twins and the War of the Roses. The New England Patriot’s former wide receiver, Danny Amendola was born in 1985.

    Daniel Radcliff

    (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

  • #7 Girl Name


    In the 1980s people were glued to their TVs to watch actress Melissa Gilbert star in Little House on the Prairie. The actress who played her sister was also a Melissa; Melissa Sue Anderson. Famous Melissas born in the 80s include Melissa Raunch, who played Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, and Melissa Benoist, who was Marley Rose on the Fox musical TV series Glee.

  • #8 Boy Name


    Whether is Robert, Rob or Bob there are plenty of 80s references to go around. We first came to know Robert Downey Jr. in the 80s for teen movies like Weird Science, The Pick Up Artist and Less Than Zero. Robert Pattinson was born in the 80s, 1986 to be exact. Pattison is best known for playing vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight film series. And Rob Lowe was likely playing on a screen near your parents, back in the 80s. He starred in cult classics like St. Elmos Fire, The Outsiders, The Hotel New Hampshire, Class, and Oxford Blues. 

  • #8 Girl Name


    We all know her as Snooky, but Nicole “Snooky” Polizzi was born in 1987. Nicole Richie, born in 1981, first became famous on her reality TV show with Paris Hilton called The Simple Life (2003-2007). Nicole Eggert Eggert is an actress your parents may have been watching while you were a thought, or in utero. She had a recurring role on Who’s the Boss? (1985 to 1986) as Marci, a friend of Samantha’s (Alyssa Milano). And in 1987, she starred on the situation comedy Charles in Charge as Jamie Powell. 

  • 12 More Top Boy Names of the 80s

    To complete the top 20, here are the remaining popular boy names:














  • 12 more Top girl names of the 1980s

    The remaining top 20 girls names of the 80s are:















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