2002 was quite the year in the United States. Pop culture was beginning to display the trends that would define the 2000s. The nation, and the world, were still reeling from the aftershocks of 9/11. Over 20 years later, you might be wondering what 2002's most popular names were. The most popular names from 2002 include staples like Jacob, Matthew, Emily, and Amber. There were a few unique names added to the list as well.

Most Popular Baby Names in 2002

Jacob remained on the list of popular 2002 boy names. The name, which has roots in both Christian and Jewish traditions, means “supplanter”. The name is often associated with the Christian Bible character who uses trickery to gain his older brother Esau's birthright.

There is certainly more to Jacob than the schemes of his younger years. The Bible character ultimately becomes the father of twelve sons, after which the twelve tribes of Israel are later named.

Jacob is often recognized as a patriarch of the Christian fiath. Such may be why his name topped the 2002 baby names list.

Another among 2002 boy names was Ethan. Like Jacob, Ethan also has a Hebrew origin with its meaning being “strong or firm.” In North America, the name is often associated with Ethan Allen, who was a revolutionary war hero. Ethan is not as high as Jacob on the list of most popular names from 2002. The name does, however, make its mark on the 2002 names list.

Emily was popular among 2002 baby names for girls. The word itself is derived from Latin and means “rival.” Some suspect that parents choose Emily as a name for their daughters because of its embodiment of femininity, class, and strength.

Another favorite among 2002 girl names was Zoe. This name is one of the more unique picks because of its spelling and pronunciation. Zoe has its roots in Greek and means “life.” It is not uncommon for parents who embrace more free-spirited lifestyles to give their daughter this name. Zoe was not among the ten most favored 2002 girl names. The identifier was, however, among the top 100 choices of the year.

Most Popular Baby Names in 2002

With so much riding on a name, it is important that parents choose one that best fits their child’s personality. Perhaps taking a look back at the most popular names from 2002 can help in your search for the right name for your child.

It's been over 20 years since 2002, so it's completely fair to wonder whether 2002's top names are still popular. Let's take a look at where 2002's top three boy and girl names rank today.

Jacob was 2002's top name for baby boys. In 2023, this name just scratches the top 50 at number 46. 2002's second most popular name, Michael, now ranks at a still-popular 26. Finally, Joshua has sunk all the way down to 101. While parents in the early 2000s were fans of this name, parents in the 2020s seem to have shifted their interests elsewhere.

2002's most popular name for girls was Emily. In 2023, this name ranks at 66. At least it still makes it into the top 100! Madison, 2002's second most popular name, now ranks all the way down at 96. Finally, Hannah, 2002's third most popular girl name, ranks all the way down at 125 in 2023. Girl name trends have certainly changed in the past 21 years!

About the Author