January 1st, 2001 was not just the start of a new decade – it was the beginning of a new millennium! It was a new era where anything was possible.
The internet was quickly evolving to suit this new post-modern era. Video game technology seemed to grow by the day, and HBO had taken over television with revolutionary new shows like The Sopranos and Sex and the City.
Of course, 2001 is maybe best remembered for the tragedy on September 11. This terrorist attack united all of America, and reminds everyone that we are stronger together.
Here are some of the highlights from the most popular names from 2001.
Emily was the most popular girls' name in 2001, while Jacob was the most popular boys' name.
Girls Names Popular in 2001
Once the most popular name of the 90s, Jessica, had fallen out of the Top ten by 2001. A whole new crop of trendy names had arrived. Popular 2001 girl names included Madison, Alexis, Abigail, and Olivia.
Madison was almost unheard of as a girl’s name in the 80’s and 90’s, but it was one of the most trendy 2001 baby names. In fact, over 1% of all girls born in 2001 were named Madison!
Madison would remain in the top three girls' names for many years, until finally starting a decline outside of the top 20 girls' names in 2018. However, it remains one of the most popular girls' name starting with M to this day.
Most Popular Girl Names in 2001
The name Olivia was actually invented by William Shakespeare for his play “Twelfth Night.” Although it’s been used as a proper name since the 1800s, it started seeing a rise in popularity in the early 90s. By 2001, the name was still growing in popularity.
Most Popular Boy Names in 2001
If you take a look at the most popular boys names for the 90s, you’ll notice that not much changed in 2001 as boy names from that time were still going strong. Of course you'll want to compare it to the 2000s as well.
As always, Bible names remained very common for boys. Jacob, Michael, Matthew, Joshua, Andrew, Joseph, and Daniel were all great men of the Bible. In fact, Jacob would remain the #1 baby boy name until 2013!
Jacob was the son of Isaac. He later became known as Israel, and he was the father of the 12 tribes. Joseph was one of his youngest sons, famous for his ability to interpret dreams.
Matthew and Andrew were both apostles of Jesus. Matthew – whose Hebrew name was Levi – was a tax collector. Andrew was a fisherman, and was notable for being Jesus’s first disciple.
If you’re looking for name inspiration outside of the Bible, other popular names in 2001 were Anthony, Alexander, Ethan, Brandon and Zachary.
Are 2001's Most Popular Names Still Popular in 2023?
Over 20 years later, are 2001's top names still popular? If you're looking to the past to try to find a unique name for your child, then you'll want to know the answer to this question. Let's take a look at where 2001's top three names stand today.
2001's most popular girls' name was Emily. That's certainly not the case in 2023, since that name now ranks at 66. Madison also experienced a sharp decline over the past 22 years, falling from number two all the way down to 96. Hannah, 2001's third most popular girls' name, experienced an even sharper decline: down to 125.
For boys' names, 2001's most popular name, Jacob, still remains in the top 50 at 46. Michael was 2001's second most popular boys' name, but it's 2023's 26th most popular. Finally, while Matthew was 2001's third most popular boys' name, it's only 2023's 56th most popular name.
If you want a unique name for your child that was popular in 2001, consider either Hannah or Matthew!