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Popularity Over Time: How Many Boys Have Been Named Riley
This chart illustrates how many Boys were named Riley in the U.S. since 1880.
A few facts about the boy's name Riley:
Records indicate that 82,212 boys in the United States have been named Riley since 1880.
The greatest number of people were given this name in 2006, when 4,330 people in the U.S. were given the name Riley. Those people are now 13 years old.
So ... how do we know this stuff? Baby Names Hub identifies trends by analyzing vast amounts of data made available by the U.S. government and other public sources. This data, including social security statistics, provides detailed information on baby name popularity and trends in the United States.
Comments about the name Riley
Based on the comments submitted below
83 Positive Comments
"My oldest son is named Riley. Aside from the fact that it is a family name for us, and that until the early to mid-1980's it was extremely rare for a girl to have the first name of Riley, we just love the name. It fits him perfectly.
FWIW, for those of you wondering if Riley was the right name for your son, given the fact that in the last couple of decades it has transitioned from a pretty much male-only name to a unisex name (like Kelly, etc.), I'd point out that internationally, in places where Riley is used as a first name (Ireland, the UK, Australia, etc.) it remains a predominantly male name. Also, I've noticed its use is now waning with girls here in the U.S., at least according to social security baby name records.
So, yeah... name your boy Riley. It's a great name. :)" Sep. 21, 2018:
"My names Riley and I'm a guy, my parents didn't have a name for me so they named me after a saw mill my dad drove by on the way to the hospital, Riley Creek Saw Mill. Since I'm 25 now, I like that it was popular till now. I could care less if it's a boy/girl/animal name." Jun. 21, 2014:
"I had my son in Jan. 2001 and we named him Riley Coker, which was to honor my husband's Irish heritage and his father who had passed away (Coker is my son's middle name). At the time we didn't know anyone with the name Riley but I had always heard it used for boys. I liked how it was unlike the same thing everyone else used but wasn't too odd. People naming their girls this irks me to no end. Riley is a boy's name and should stay that way." Sep. 26, 2012:
"My son was born in 2003 and I loved the name Riley and the fact the name was unique. His name is Riley Andrew. I hate that it is becoming so popular and a girls name. My 1st son born in 1999 is named Davis Alexander -- this name is also becoming quite popular. Just had a baby boy in 2011 and named him Brody Aston - hope this name doesn't become super popular!!" Dec. 1, 2011:
"My 21 yr old son's name is Riley Jo. LOL people teased me for years saying the spelling Jo was the feminine spelling for JOE, but I liked just Jo. Now girls are being named Riley. I don't care though cause I still love the name Riley for a boy!" Sep. 7, 2011:
"It was great to read all the different perspectives about "Riley." My favorite was the one that noted "if it weren't for all the boys named "Riley," it would have never been a name given to girls"...It was first a name given to boys, and has now taken on this unisex position...I personally do like it either way, but 18 years ago, I opted to name my BOY...Riley Joseph...and it goes great with his 20 yr old sisters name...Regan Kate....that poor child has had more grief with her name, because most people want to call her reagan...if it were reagan it would have had an "a" in it, but it is regan....said like "reegan"....I have received countless compliments, and it is hard for me to believe that the majority of them are lying, but all these years later...I have no regrets either...I am just glad that I didn't get caught up in the Ashley and Dylan frenzy!! :)" Jun. 27, 2011:
"Riley is a boy's name first, a boyish girl's name second." Jun. 1, 2011:
"As soon as my husband and I found out it was a boy, we picked out the name Riley. We wanted something that started with R. We wanted him to have my husband's same intitals. We love that name. A friend of mine kept telling me that was a girls name. But I didn't think so. I went with what my heart told me, and I have no regrets. I have a beautiful 2 year boy that is just lerning how to say his name. And i love it when people ask him "What is your name?" and he repiles RILEY. LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT! Riley is a boys name all the way!!!" May. 5, 2011:
"My son is 14 and his name is Riley Vance. My husband and him share a middle name. I LOVE the name Riley for a BOY!! I'm so tired of girls being named traditional boys names and agree that it's a TREND!! I'm more of a classic girl. My other sons are Christian Cody and Chase Cameron and my daughter is Emma Elisabeth." Apr. 13, 2011:
"I am naming my baby boy Riley, but i keep getting told it is a girls name. I love the name and i think it sounds more fit for a boy than a girl!" Jan. 18, 2011:
"can you spell it Rileigh for a boy or is that too girly cause i think it's adorable!" Jan. 14, 2011:
"Hi, my name is Riley. I'm a girl. My mom's post is a little ways down and was posted on Feb 25, 2009. I am Riley Veronica. I think this name can be used for both male and female. I love my name because it shows my heritage. I actually stumbled across this while looking for the meaning of my name on google. This was the only result for my search...And it just happened to be my mom's post that answered it!
PS. don't hate on the female rileys... because we are awesome :)" Aug. 22, 2010:
"Beaut name :) I've never met anyone called Riley, but I still love it! I'm gonna call my little boy Riley, if I have one. It's OK as a girls name, but I prefer it as a boys. xx" Aug. 21, 2010:
"I love the name Riley. My partner &I our naming our first child Riley if it's a boy! I think it sounds okay as a girl name But If I have a girl I would not name her that & it bothers me that so many people are naming their little girl's Riley because it is so hard to find a good boy name these days & so much easier to come up with a cute girl name But if I have a girl I'm naming her Kelsie!" Apr. 30, 2010:
"I was born in 1987 in the US and was the first female Riley at my school, but there were at least 3 other girls named Rileys all younger than me in high school. Anyways, I recommend the name for girls. I love the name and have never had a problem being a female Riley." Feb. 4, 2010:
"I named my son Riley 26 years ago, and I still love the name. I feel it is a boy's name and don't feel it is female at all." Nov. 4, 2009:
"I actually like unisex names but I really dislike Riley for a girl and love it for a boy. My son's name is Riley Christopher. He is the sweetest little angel and I couldn't imagine any other name for him. He is four years old and seems to love his name since he says to everyone "My name is Riley, what's yours?"" Oct. 5, 2009:
"Fab name, im naming my boy tomorrow when he born Riley levi !! xx" Aug. 23, 2009:
"I'm not expecting or anything yet. But I definitely plan on naming our first son Rylee Dustin. My husbands initials are RDM, and so are his fathers, so we wanted our son to have the same initials. I think its a wonderful name for a boy. (:" Aug. 4, 2009:
"My name is Riley.
I rather Riley Grace though.
Im 12 years old.
Im happy with my name.
I smile alot too.
So my name suits me." Jul. 30, 2009:
"we have just had a son and we called him Riley Edward which i think is a really nice and unusual name plus there is not alot of rileys where we live which is good." Jun. 12, 2009:
"We named our son Riley because of our Irish heritage and becaue we loved the name. Unfortunately where I live it is becoming very popular as a girl's name. I am just hoping he is not in a class with a bunch of girls named Riley :)!" Jun. 10, 2009:
"my son Riley James was born in 2003, we chose the name because it was so unique, i didnt know any Riley's, it is definatly becoming more popular though as i now know of 7 younger ones! also with different spellings" May. 28, 2009:
"We're naming our first baby (a boy) Riley Andrew - both are family names on my husband's side after a great uncle and another relative. I love the combo and I definitely think Riley is a BOY'S name!" May. 22, 2009:
"My name is Riley and i'm 41 years old and i really like my name. When i was a kid i felt very different from my classmates since my name is very uncommon where i live. Later i realized that being uncommon was one of the beauty of my name." May. 12, 2009:
"We named our son Riley David. Everyone absolutely loves it! We know two other boys named Reilly and Riley, but not any girls." May. 8, 2009:
"HI i am calling my new son ryley when he is due in aug 09 cant wait to meet him xx" May. 5, 2009:
"My second son is due at the end of this summer and his name will be Riley Jude." Apr. 27, 2009:
"im due 2 have my 1st child 28th april 2009 and i am going 2 call him Riley, definatly a boys name... Riley Benjamin will be his name...x" Apr. 26, 2009:
"Riley, is my sons name when I saw him for the first time I new it was right. I looked straight in to babys closed eyes and said I will name you riley I saw him smile and my heart melted. 9 years later and I know that Riley was the best decision. My son loves his name and it was so cute my son got a cat and he named it Riley jr. So anybody having trouble picking out a name for your baby when you see your baby for the first time you will now what name will suit him or her the best. Good luck!" Mar. 11, 2009:
"It's such a lovely name. Glad it's not common in the u.k." Mar. 8, 2009:
"Im Not sure what I am having but Ill find out in 3weeks but I loved the name Riley ever sence I as a lil girl and I think its a awesome name for a girl or boy cuz you see all these boys named Riley but never any girls thats why I think its awesome cuz at least my kid will have a name that not every one has!" Feb. 20, 2009:
"I absolutely love the name Riley and so does my husband. Our son that is due may 2009, is going to be named riley. I think it definitely sounds like a boys name not a girls name at all." Feb. 18, 2009:
"my son is due on 28th march 09 n hes gunna be called riley, somehow i dont like the thought of a girl being called it but then agen i dont like the thought of a boy being called mackenzie as that sounds girly an argument me n ma partner had b4 i chose riley!" Feb. 4, 2009:
"My son was born in December 2008 and I named him Riley James. I love the name." Jan. 26, 2009:
"I LOVE the name riley :)
My mum is expecting her 2nd child in May 2009 I cannot wait ! Riley is a unisex name :)
and it goes well with my name :)
Jade and Riley .. xx
And it is a Irish name and i am half irish :) Love the name !!
xx" Jan. 22, 2009:
"Before me & my hisband knew we were going to have a son, we loved the name Riley for a boy! I personally think the name is meant only for a boy, and for a girl it's really tomboy-ish! "Riley James X" !!!" Jan. 7, 2009:
"Love this name. Sounds like a boy's name to me! My son will be Riley Christopher." Jan. 2, 2009:
"My 9 year old son is named Riley. I obviously loved the name for a boy. I was very surprised when I saw the trend turning to girls. He likes his name and says he has no desire to change it. Go all you Rileys! A boy's name for sure!" Nov. 23, 2008:
"i think Riley is a boys name too. ive just had a little boy and named him Riley and it suits him. i dont know any girls named riley and Riley for a boy is not very common in the uk for boys and is unheard of for a girl." Nov. 11, 2008:
"My son is named Riley. I love the name. Not for girls though. It should have been kept for boys. I've run into parents that have named their daughters Riley and I think it's wrong for a girl. Makes me think of a boy whenever I hear it." Nov. 3, 2008:
"i live in england-rotherham- and this year called my baby boy Riley, i thought i thought of the name and fell in love with it straight away. since the birth of my son Riley i have now heard about 5 more Rileys! the name is lovely, sweet and special." Oct. 9, 2008:
"I just had a little girl and named her Riley. It is a family name (many genrations old) that has been used for both males and females but has always been spelled R-I-L-E-Y. Because it has been used by both males and females in my family, using it for my sweet girl didn't seem odd to me. Instead it always presented itself as a unisex name. Of course, my parents named their first-born son Shannon, which is usually considered a girl's name, so I guess I may be a little more open-minded than some of you who have posted such vehement comments about mismatched names and genders." Sep. 26, 2008:
"I love this name, i already have a 5 year old son Reece and am expecting my 2nd son in February 2009 who is going to be named Riley as this suits his brothers name...........Reece and Riley x" Sep. 23, 2008:
"well people offten thing of me as a BOY
and im a girl. yes it is splets diffently,
but why is everyone saying things like
you have a boys name, you should have a girls
it upsets me that people are so upset people
are so mean about my name. i love my name and
will never change it." Sep. 15, 2008:
"Having twin sons and the firstborn is riley sheridan. Little worried about the popularity of girls using the name, but can always use a nickname till he's an adult." Jul. 27, 2008:
"Riley is a boy's name! Why would anypne want to name their daughter after a boy?" Jul. 24, 2008:
"Riley is a boy's name! Why would anypne want to name their daughter after a boy?" Jul. 24, 2008:
"Im a guy named Riley and personly i think its an awsum name." Jul. 23, 2008:
"My son's name is Riley and he has a girl named Ryleigh in his class. I think his name is a repeat of "Taylor" in that it will be popular for both genders for a while." Jun. 14, 2008:
"Naming my new baby boy Riley and are looking for some good names to go with it." May. 18, 2008:
"I have had this name for 72 years and I am proud of it. I have met only one other boy named Riley and that was in 1940 in school. It is a Boys name and is very old. I you must name a girl you should change the spelling." May. 7, 2008:
"My sons name is Riley Philip. To me Riley sounds like a boys name. I never for a split second prior to the birth of my son thought it was a girls name. I dont really understand the girl name trend , i think things get twisted out of their origin. But to each their own." Apr. 2, 2008:
"Love it when I called my little boy Riley in 2002 (uk) one of the women in the clinic changed her baby name from Lewis to Riley when she heard his name. It is really popular round here." Mar. 7, 2008:
"My son was born 2/14/07 and his name is Riley!! he's the best baby ever!!" Mar. 4, 2008:
"I love the name for a girl or boy. I named my little girl this." Feb. 1, 2008:
"My son's name is Riley and I think its an awesome name! =) I should, I picked it... lol" Jan. 3, 2008:
"Some people make fun of me.But its OK with me.Because I have supportive friends and family!" Dec. 28, 2007:
"My name is Riley. I haven't meet any other guys yet named Riley, just some girls and a lot of dogs. However, I do appreciate it a lot more as a teenager (18)- it's a little different and that's cool with me." Dec. 15, 2007:
"My little boy is called Rylie.
I spelt it different but it suits him
down to the ground." Dec. 11, 2007:
I have twins and the first born is Riley" Jul. 17, 2007:
"Riley is a boys name. if you spell it like Ryley then it looks more like a girls name" Jul. 3, 2007:
"I love this name. To me it is way more girl than boy!!!" Jun. 10, 2007:
"Riley is a great name for boy and girl!!! Even if it's a unisex name its still a child that you should love and care for." May. 21, 2007:
"We named our son Riley. We have 2 friends that have named their daughters Riley. We strongly believe it's a masculine name given it's orgins. In fact it wasn't until recently (1990's) that it's even been used as a unisex name. We didn't really want our son to have a unisex name, but that's part of having such a cool name! Go for it!" May. 11, 2007:
"I love this name and really want to name my son this. I'm 7 months pregnant. The only thing I'm worried about is that it is a unisex name. I'm not sure if it's becoming more popular for girls?" Apr. 17, 2007:
"My daughter's name is Rilee Elaine,she will be seventeen. When I named her, I thought her name was different. Several years later the name Riley was used every where. My co-worker has a dog named Riley." Mar. 9, 2007:
"Riley is definitely a girl name. There are some very famous Riley girl's that are going to make it more popular. It's been on the rise for girl's for a while and on the decline for boys. Riley Keough, Lisa Marie Presley's daughter, is a model and at 17 has already made a big name for herself. Riley Weston is an excellent female author writing both books and movie's along with acting. Riley is the Kelly and Ashley of the 2000's. I would not think a boy would want Riley as a name at all." Feb. 18, 2007:
"This is the name of our son. Many times when he was little he was confused for a girl. It happens, we aren't too bothered by it. The thing I'm bothered by is people who think we named him Riley because it's 'trendy' when actually my husband had it picked out since he was like 12!" Sep. 20, 2006:
"A girl I know has the name Riley. She loves it but everybody names their dog Riley or their son.I think it sounds like a very pretty girl name." Sep. 15, 2006:
"I named my SON this. He is named after my Grandfather. It frustrates me to hear that so many people only know it as a girls name! I spell it Rily to satify my need for individualism." Sep. 11, 2006:
"I named my now 1 year old son Riley. I loved the meaning and it fits him well." Aug. 30, 2006:
"My daughter's name is Riley and it sounds all girl to me. I just met a boy with the name and it sounds and looks wrong to me. Riley is the "Kelly" of this time period and boys are going to feel odd with a girl's name." Aug. 22, 2006:
"My daughter's name is Riley. The name sounds all girl. I don't know why someone would name their son this. It's a popular girl's name, check the s.s.a. numbers on the web." Jul. 21, 2006:
"I didn't like the name Riley until recently when I met a girl at my work named that. She, unlike most others, is in love with her name, and no one ever miss-spells is or pronounces it wrong." Jul. 10, 2006:
"Riley is my son's name, easy to say, & easy to spell! The only thing that I don't like about the name is that people are using it for a girls first name! This is not a girl name people!!! This has been a boy name from the very beginning, it originates from an irish/celtic surname, only been used on boys until recently! I hate trends!!!" Apr. 19, 2006:
"i have decided to name my child Riley. And everyone loves the name" Mar. 27, 2006:
"My five year old daughter is named Rylee. People do comment on the unique spelling of her name and love it as well. So far, we have not met another girl with the same name." Mar. 12, 2006:
"My son's name is Riley. We love it but are dismayed at how popular it has become for both boys and girls. He belongs to a playgroup of about 30 children and 10% percent of them are named Riley/Rylie." Feb. 10, 2006:
"My daughter is 9 months and her name is Riley Paige..Most people I know think it is a boys name but it fits my baby girl just right." Jan. 28, 2006:
"My 18 month daughter's name is Rylie. Everyone seems to love it. Only she has very little hair, so some people we meet mistake her for a boy :P (even when she's dressed in all pink!)" Jan. 8, 2006:
"my daughter's name is Rylee and she is two and a half. People love the name and rarely mess up the pronunciation."