Category: U.S. name popularity
We often look at the name stats of the most popular girls’ names for a year, or even a decade, but sometimes it’s enlightening to take a longer view. Our ever resourceful and creative contributor Nephele has taken on the task of tabulating what the highest numbers of names were given to babies for each letter of the alphabet over the 130 year-period from 1880 to 2009. (Whew!– 1,430,841 Lindas! 592,450 Pamelas!)
There are some interesting surprises– even taking into consideration how the percentages for top names has changed over the years—such as the fact that there have been twice as many Annas as Anns (ethnic impact), that Bertha tops Beatrice, that Ida squeaks past Isabella (though probably not for much longer), that half of the top K names relate to Katherine, and that Ashley is the second highest ‘A’ name over the whole period. And of course, with lesser used letters, you’ll find some highly unusual choices on the list: 352 Uyens were enough to push their name into the Top 10.
So here, for your perusal, the Top 10 most popular girls’ names for every letter of the alphabet, followed by the total number given over that entire period. Boys will follow tomorrow.
1. Anna 844,721
2. Ashley 810,539
3. Amanda 775,095
4. Amy 673,333
5. Angela 650,496
6. Alice 536,538
7. Ann 466,050
8. Andrea 407,937
9. Amber 361,061
10. Annie 341,551
The biggest baby name news of 2009 was Emma’s rise to the number one spot for girls’ names, becoming only the ninth girls’ name in U.S. history to claim first place.
On the boys’ side, the name that would be number one if the Social Security Administration counted all spelling variations together was AIDEN (and AIDAN and AYDEN, et al), which taken together account for more boys than received longtime number one name JACOB.
The names making the fastest leaps up the popularity ladder showed a strong celebrity influence, especially for girls. The Top Ten Fastest Movers for girls were: