The Top 100 Names of All Time

January 21, 2011 Linda Rosenkrantz
top 100 names of all time

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:

Thanks again, Nephele!!

  1. 1. Mary
  2. 2. Patricia
  3. Elizabeth
  4. Jennifer
  5. Linda
  6. Barbara
  7. Margaret
  8. Susan
  9. Dorothy
  10. Sarah
  11. Jessica
  12. Helen
  13. Nancy
  14. Betty
  15. Karen
  16. Lisa
  17. Sandra
  18. Anna
  19. Donna
  20. Ruth
  21. Carol
  22. Kimberly
  23. Ashley
  24. Michelle
  25. Laura
  26. Amanda
  27. Melissa
  28. Emily
  29. De


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