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The #1 Baby Names: How popular are they?

posted by: NameFreak! View all posts by this author
#1 baby name

By Kelli Brady, NameFreak!

Most of us know that the top names on the Social Security list aren’t given to as many babies as they once were.  Here, data whiz Kelli shows how the Number 1 names have become less and less popular through the years, tracing the percentages of babies given the top name from 1880 to now.

YEAR #1 BOY PERCENTAGE #1 GIRL PERCENTAGE
1880 John 8.1546% Mary 7.2384%
1881 John 8.0981% Mary 6.9989%
1882 John 7.8316% Mary 7.0425%
1883 John 7.9071% Mary 6.6730%
1884 John 7.6478% Mary 6.6989%
1885 John 7.5517% Mary 6.4304%
1886 John 7.5821% Mary 6.4331%
1887 John 7.4190% Mary 6.3620%
1888 John 7.1187% Mary 6.2042%
1889 John 7.1808% Mary 6.1559%
1890 John 7.1027% Mary 5.9892%
1891 John 7.0293% Mary 5.9536%
1892 John 6.8760% Mary 5.8572%
1893 John 6.6498% Mary 5.6758%
1894 John 6.5957% Mary 5.5731%
1895 John 6.5703% Mary 5.4413%
1896 John 6.3055% Mary 5.4806%
1897 John 6.1914% Mary 5.4020%
1898 John 6.1766% Mary 5.2548%
1899 John 6.0678% Mary 5.3222%
1900 John 6.0618% Mary 5.2574%
1901 John 5.9680% Mary 5.1669%
1902 John 5.9571% Mary 5.1673%
1903 John 5.8835% Mary 5.1312%
1904 John 5.8537% Mary 5.1163%
1905 John 5.6261% Mary 5.1850%
1906 John 5.7360% Mary 5.2227%
1907 John 5.6643% Mary 5.2102%
1908 John 5.6151% Mary 5.2651%
1909 John 5.4229% Mary 5.2320%
1910 John 5.4915% Mary 5.4462%
1911 John 5.5704% Mary 5.5203%
1912 John 5.4462% Mary 5.5058%
1913 John 5.4688% Mary 5.5953%
1914 John 5.5531% Mary 5.6927%
1915 John 5.4008% Mary 5.6830%
1916 John 5.4205% Mary 5.6585%
1917 John 5.4052% Mary 5.7207%
1918 John 5.3929% Mary 5.6034%
1919 John 5.2721% Mary 5.6047%
1920 John 5.1699% Mary 5.7055%
1921 John 5.1173% Mary 5.7817%
1922 John 5.0888% Mary 5.7851%
1923 John 5.0754% Mary 5.7196%
1924 Robert 5.2006% Mary 5.6738%
1925 Robert 5.2897% Mary 5.5901%
1926 Robert 5.3353% Mary 5.5149%
1927 Robert 5.3082% Mary 5.7122%
1928 Robert 5.3175% Mary 5.5940%
1929 Robert 5.4012% Mary 5.4867%
1930 Robert 5.5016% Mary 5.4990%
1931 Robert 5.6590% Mary 5.4646%
1932 Robert 5.5158% Mary 5.4122%
1933 Robert 5.3145% Mary 5.3058%
1934 Robert 5.2593% Mary 5.2590%
1935 Robert 5.2856% Mary 5.0681%
1936 Robert 5.4963% Mary 5.0458%
1937 Robert 5.6539% Mary 5.0506%
1938 Robert 5.4806% Mary 4.9246%
1939 Robert 5.2635% Mary 4.8419%
1940 James 5.2667% Mary 4.7582%
1941 James 5.3185% Mary 4.6577%
1942 James 5.4808% Mary 4.5487%
1943 James 5.5183% Mary 4.6105%
1944 James 5.5402% Mary 4.5719%
1945 James 5.4288% Mary 4.4042%
1946 James 5.2990% Mary 4.1829%
1947 James 5.1009% Linda 5.4838%
1948 James 4.9702% Linda 5.5205%
1949 James 4.8213% Linda 5.1845%
1950 James 4.7384% Linda 4.5729%
1951 James 4.5656% Linda 4.0038%
1952 James 4.4113% Linda 3.5264%
1953 Robert 4.3065% Mary 3.3359%
1954 Michael 4.2795% Mary 3.4156%
1955 Michael 4.2272% Mary 3.1514%
1956 Michael 4.2254% Mary 2.9986%
1957 Michael 4.2380% Mary 2.9128%
1958 Michael 4.2036% Mary 2.7043%
1959 Michael 3.9369% Mary 2.6210%
1960 David 3.9670% Mary 2.4748%
1961 Michael 4.0319% Mary 2.2958%
1962 Michael 4.0451% Lisa 2.2737%
1963 Michael 4.0571% Lisa 2.8190%
1964 Michael 4.0774% Lisa 2.7733%
1965 Michael 4.2761% Lisa 3.2981%
1966 Michael 4.4009% Lisa 3.2421%
1967 Michael 4.6323% Lisa 3.0544%
1968 Michael 4.6179% Lisa 2.8975%
1969 Michael 4.6559% Lisa 2.5550%
1970 Michael 4.4766% Jennifer 2.5199%
1971 Michael 4.2678% Jennifer 3.2409%
1972 Michael 4.2647% Jennifer 3.9446%
1973 Michael 4.2039% Jennifer 4.0192%
1974 Michael 4.1443% Jennifer 4.0297%
1975 Michael 4.2181% Jennifer 3.7283%
1976 Michael 4.1012% Jennifer 3.7841%
1977 Michael 3.9549% Jennifer 3.5851%
1978 Michael 3.9299% Jennifer 3.4263%
1979 Michael 3.7808% Jennifer 3.2920%
1980 Michael 3.7032% Jennifer 3.2804%
1981 Michael 3.6928% Jennifer 3.1906%
1982 Michael 3.6151% Jennifer 3.1492%
1983 Michael 3.6506% Jennifer 3.0377%
1984 Michael 3.6108% Jennifer 2.8051%
1985 Michael 3.3742% Jessica 2.6200%
1986 Michael 3.3424% Jessica 2.8551%
1987 Michael 3.2651% Jessica 2.9886%
1988 Michael 3.2043% Jessica 2.6811%
1989 Michael 3.1210% Jessica 2.4045%
1990 Michael 3.0351% Jessica 2.2627%
1991 Michael 2.8687% Ashley 2.1393%
1992 Michael 2.5916% Ashley 1.9188%
1993 Michael 2.4003% Jessica 1.7750%
1994 Michael 2.1825% Jessica 1.6481%
1995 Michael 2.0596% Jessica 1.4546%
1996 Michael 1.9155% Emily 1.3124%
1997 Michael 1.8804% Emily 1.3484%
1998 Michael 1.8066% Emily 1.3512%
1999 Jacob 1.7346% Emily 1.3639%
2000 Jacob 1.6516% Emily 1.3015%
2001 Jacob 1.5736% Emily 1.2657%
2002 Jacob 1.4797% Emily 1.2394%
2003 Jacob 1.4104% Emily 1.2813%
2004 Jacob 1.3201% Emily 1.2415%
2005 Jacob 1.2148% Emily 1.1803%
2006 Jacob 1.1334% Emily 1.0244%
2007 Jacob 1.0962% Emily 0.9150%
2008 Jacob 1.0363% Emma 0.9040%
2009 Jacob 0.9981% Isabella 1.1021%
2010 Jacob 1.0770% Isabella 1.1698%
2011 Jacob 1.0024% Sophia 1.1293%
2012 Jacob 0.9404% Sophia 1.1531%
2013 Noah 0.9043% Sophia 1.1039%

While starting out as less so, the boy names used are becoming more and more diverse. Only nine out of every 1,000 boys were named Noah in 2013, which is why we were surprised to hear it is #1.

The popularity of Isabella and Sophia have made it not as various on the girls side, after Emma took over with a “low” percentage in 2008, but there is still a general movement away from top names.

Another way to make the point…

1 Noah 0.9043% Sophia 1.1039%
2 Liam 0.8999% Emma 1.0888%
3 Jacob 0.8986% Olivia 0.9562%
4 Mason 0.8793% Isabella 0.9161%
5 William 0.8246% Ava 0.7924%
6 Ethan 0.8062% Mia 0.6844%
7 Michael 0.7681% Emily 0.6832%
8 Alexander 0.7384% Abigail 0.6449%
9 Jayden 0.7326% Madison 0.5515%
10 Daniel 0.7068% Elizabeth 0.4895%
8.1588% 7.9109%

The total percentages of use of the Top 10 boys and girls in 2013 are almost the exact same percentages of use of 1880′s #1s John and Mary alone.

Yay for numbers! And yay for variety!

Originally posted at NameFreak! on May 21, 2014 and revised for Nameberry.

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About the author

NameFreak!

Kelli Brady is a stay at home mom of two who needed an outlet for her name obsession. She found it at NameFreak!, a blog dedicated to a wide variety of name-related whims and fancies. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Her eBook, Name-alytics, is a look at the history of the Top 100 names in the United States. Check it out at https://gumroad.com/l/name-alytics!
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