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Baby names arrow Baby Names Book arrow Back-to-school baby: How preschool, middle school and college names will differ

Back-to-school baby: How preschool, middle school and college names will differ

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There are 13 years between kindergarteners and college freshmen, and in "baby names time," that gap is enormous. We thought it might be fun to compare the most popular baby names among students entering elementary school versus the soon-to-graduate group, and we'll take a look at the halfway point — the middle schoolers (born around 2002) — too.

Baby names among current college students

The boys in the now-graduated class of 2014 have names that remain relatively popular among the younger set. The top five boy names when the college freshmen were born (around 1995) were Michael, Matthew, Christopher, Jacob and Joshua. When this year's kindergarten boys were born (in 2008), these same names ranked No. 2, No. 10, No. 9, No. 1 and No. 4 respectively.

Girl names, on the other hand, have changed noticeably. In 1995, the names Jessica, Ashley, Emily, Samantha, Sarah and Taylor topped the charts. When the kindergarten girls were born, these once-popular girl names dropped to No. 59, No. 18, No. 3, No. 11 and No. 22, respectively.

College freshmen names also include Justin, Anthony, Kyle and Cody among boys, and Jennifer, Nicole, Lauren and Rachel among girls.

Baby names among current kindergartners

As kindergarten teachers do roll call this year, they are likely to encounter boys named Jacob, Michael, Ethan, Joshua and Daniel and girls named Emma, Isabella, Emily, Olivia and Ava.

Male college freshmen are sure to include many males with similar names (although Ethan ranked a paltry #75 in 1995), but college girls will bear names that are quite different from those of their younger counterparts. In 1995, Emily, Isabella, Olivia and Ava, for example, ranked No. 67, No. 174, No. 39 and No. 735 in 1995.

Also among today's kindergarten class are Jayden, Aiden, Noah and Logan for boys and Sophia, Chloe, Mia and Ella for girls.

Baby names among current middle school students

Current middle school children would have been born around 2001-2003. This group features boys with names that are popular among both college freshmen and kindergartners. In 2002, the top five boy names were Jacob, Michael, Joshua, Matthew and Ethan, followed by Andrew, Joseph and Christopher.

The most popular girl names in 2002 split the difference between 1995 and 2008 and added a few gems of its own. Emily, Madison, Hannah, Emma, Alexis, Ashley and Abigail made up the top five and were followed by Sarah, Samantha, Olivia, Elizabeth and Alyssa.

Other names today's middle schoolers bear include Tyler, Brandon, Austin, Zachary and Ryan for boys and Brittany, Amanda, Courtney, Rachel and Megan for girls.

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Photo credit: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Getty Images

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