Jessica, we are officially over you. Sorry.
It happened so fast. Not all that long ago, Jessica was Australia’s most popular name for girls. And why not? A beautiful, classical name, with Jessie and Jess as built-in shortforms. There were so many Jessicas out there for parents to be inspired by. Surely everyone admired either Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote or Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
From 1984 to 2001, Jessica topped the popularity charts every year but two. It was an era that saw the birth of singer Jessica Mauboy, model Jessica Gomes and Jess Origliasso from The Veronicas.
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By the mid-1990s, one in every 30 girls born in Australia was being called Jessica. That’s why practically every class in every school in Australia had a Jessica for a while there. You could almost call the Millennials “Generation Jessica”, if they didn’t already have a perfectly good name.
And then came the downward slide. Post-2001, Jessica fell from grace. (Grace, on the other hand, rose.) In 2018, just 17 years after Jessica topped the charts, the name dropped out of the national top 100, according to the McCrindle Baby Name Report.
In fact, in South Australia, Jessica is already out of the top 300. Jessica was used just four times in SA last year, making it equally as popular as Juniper, Paisley and Henley.
“It’s pretty crazy how popular Jessica was,” Kim Linco, social researcher with McCrindle, tells Mamamia. “Even just in my own experience, I know so many girls my age called Jessica. And this year it didn’t even make it into the top 100, which is just insane.”
Sure, all names lose popularity, but Jessica has plummeted in a particularly spectacular way. Other names popular at the same time, like Emma and Sarah, are doing a slow fade. In fact, Emma is still at number 29 nationally.