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Popular Baby Names: The Top 100 of All Time

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Popular baby names change every year, but here we bring you the top names in the U.S. of all time — or at least since the government started keeping count.

A week or so ago, we presented to you Nephele‘s lists of the most popular baby names for each letter of the alphabet over the 130-year period from 1880 to 2009.  Though you all found these stats fascinating, and, as always, made some perceptive observations, there was a shout-out for the overall, cumulative list of most popular names no matter what their first initial.

So Nephele went back to the drawing board (aka the U.S. Social Security Administration’s complete names lists) and generously offers now a list of the Top 100 names given to babies over the whole period, for your perusal and commentary.

Again, you might be surprised to find Patricia in the second spot—a name that is not even in the Top 500 today.  Of course, Social Security counts every spelling separately, so that if we were to add together Katherine and Catherine, she would jump up to seventh place, and then if Kathryn were factored in, the total would be 1,692,290— beating out Patricia for the second spot.

As the list of popular baby names stands, there are only a dozen girl millionaires, compared to 27 boys, showing once more the gender disparity in popularity. (Please note that due to a computer glitch, the last number is left off the boys’ column, so that the names from James to Timothy are all over a million.) It’s also interesting to note that today’s top girl, Isabella, has not yet reached Top 100 status, and nor has Number Two boy Ethan, so we can be sure the list will gradually morph in coming years.

Here now the list of the top names over time:

1. MARY 4100822 JAMES 5035271
2. PATRICIA 1568194 JOHN 5028213
3. ELIZABETH 1551446 ROBERT 4759913
4. JENNIFER 1452361 MICHAEL 4226006
5. LINDA 1448243 WILLIAM 3969127
6. BARBARA 1430841 DAVID 3511227
7. MARGARET 1230897 RICHARD 2539254
8. SUSAN 1118529 JOSEPH 2505113
9. DOROTHY 1103983 CHARLES 2328053
10. SARAH 1033595 THOMAS 2247306
11. JESSICA 1028351 CHRISTOPHER 1933416
12. HELEN 1011952 DANIEL 1793991
13. NANCY 998423 MATTHEW 1483868
14. BETTY 997901 GEORGE 1441357
15. KAREN 978990 DONALD 1404652
16. LISA 961852 PAUL 1370225
17. SANDRA 870102 ANTHONY 1335664
18. ANNA 844721 MARK 1331796
19. DONNA 829179 EDWARD 1267267
20. RUTH 815076 STEVEN 1257066
21. CAROL 814860 KENNETH 1255192
22. KIMBERLY 810987 ANDREW 1192233
23. ASHLEY 810539 BRIAN 1142501
24. MICHELLE 794026 KEVIN 1120766
25. LAURA 785814 JOSHUA 1109624
26. AMANDA 775095 RONALD 1071156
27. MELISSA 740752 TIMOTHY 1044310
28. EMILY 740527 JASON 985116
29. DEBORAH 737433 JEFFREY 962581
30. REBECCA 731800 FRANK 901908
31. STEPHANIE 725135 GARY 895566
32. SHARON 718835 ERIC 847385
33. KATHLEEN 708239 RYAN 846500
34. CYNTHIA 703453 STEPHEN 844170
35. SHIRLEY 683628 NICHOLAS 837599
36. AMY 673333 LARRY 800113
37. ANGELA 650496 JACOB 778140
38. CATHERINE 644294 SCOTT 764992
39. VIRGINIA 643864 JONATHAN 764646
40. KATHERINE 605781 RAYMOND 760077
41. BRENDA 603062 JUSTIN 732486
42. PAMELA 592450 BRANDON 705063
43. FRANCES 585173 GREGORY 697591
44. CHRISTINE 581231 SAMUEL 660433
45. NICOLE 565999 PATRICK 650692
46. JANET 554177 BENJAMIN 626514
47. CAROLYN 551816 JACK 617395
48. DEBRA 549812 WALTER 612488
49. MARTHA 545061 DENNIS 612014
50. RACHEL 544625 HENRY 607592
51. ALICE 536538 JERRY 606660
52. MARIE 531851 PETER 559504
53. HEATHER 521812 DOUGLAS 553349
54. SAMANTHA 520751 HAROLD 547116
55. MARIA 518934 ALEXANDER 542038
56. DIANE 516998 TYLER 530871
57. JOYCE 504518 ARTHUR 518307
58. JULIE 501804 AARON 515997
59. EVELYN 496781 JOSE 513457
60. EMMA 494711 ADAM 507633
61. JOAN 479142 CARL 498906
62. ROSE 468660 ZACHARY 486948
63. CHRISTINA 467239 ALBERT 481705
64. ANN 466050 NATHAN 467113
65. KELLY 464649 KYLE 456504
66. DORIS 460976 LAWRENCE 451797
67. JEAN 457135 JOE 446685
68. MILDRED 449919 WILLIE 445749
69. JUDITH 449679 GERALD 444415
70. KATHRYN 442215 ROGER 435238
71. LAUREN 440612 KEITH 428351
72. CHERYL 438617 TERRY 418848
73. GRACE 429853 HARRY 417970
74. VICTORIA 428909 JEREMY 414256
75. MEGAN 425971 RALPH 410661
76. JULIA 425686 ROY 400083
77. JACQUELINE 409931 SEAN 397133
78. TERESA 409717 JESSE 395513
79. ANDREA 407937 LOUIS 385811
80. GLORIA 406620 BILLY 379598
81. SARA 405508 BRUCE 376645
82. JANICE 404033 EUGENE 376042
83. THERESA 401444 AUSTIN 357449
84. LILLIAN 384868 BRYAN 356776
85. JUDY 380785 WAYNE 349359
86. BEVERLY 375746 RUSSELL 346895
87. HANNAH 374321 HOWARD 343052
88. DENISE 368965 CHRISTIAN 342738
89. MARILYN 364816 FRED 341881
90. JANE 362369 PHILIP 332899
91. AMBER 361061 ALAN 326687
92. DANIELLE 356205 RANDY 322227
93. BRITTANY 352737 JORDAN 314201
94. IRENE 348029 JUAN 312672
95. DIANA 347092 BOBBY 310269
96. ANNIE 341551 VINCENT 307569
97. LORI 339795 JOHNNY 301874
98. FLORENCE 333857 CLARENCE 300847
99. KATHY 332278 PHILLIP 300753
100. TAMMY 331239 ERNEST 298854

Thanks again, Nephele!!

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