The 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. Mary
- 2. Patricia
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Baby Gizmo Link Lounge | Rated By Mom Said
on January 21st, 2011 at 1:49 am
[…] A list of the top 100 baby names of all time. Is your’s on there? – Name […]
on January 21st, 2011 at 9:22 am
Nephele, I admire your dedication to the facts, and I really enjoyed reading your lists! I was not surprised to see my daughter’s name (Emily #28) on the girls’ list, but I was surprised it was not more toward the top! Also, my son’s name (Kyle #65) made the list, which surprised me!
on January 21st, 2011 at 10:35 am
I love reading lists like this. My name made the top ten…. surprise surprise. Thanks for taking the time nephele.
on January 21st, 2011 at 10:37 am
Yay! I was hoping you’d do this!
on January 21st, 2011 at 11:33 am
Was a little confused at first, but it appears the numbers are cut off on the boys side?
on January 21st, 2011 at 11:55 am
Yes, I’ve been trying to fix it, but without much success.
on January 21st, 2011 at 2:52 pm
Me! That was me!
Thank you, Nephele for dedicating your time to my suggestion; if the list weren’t so completely interesting I would feel horrible. 😉
The two names that surprise me most?
Kenneth and Gloria.
The set I loved reading across?
Grace & Harry.
Funny enough, my grandparents are named Patricia and John.
Only one FN of mine was on the list- Benjamin. Jacqueline is a mn I love that also makes an appearance, but other than that my names are off the board.
on January 21st, 2011 at 5:54 pm
My name was number 20!!!!! Yay! One of my sister’s name is 10 and the other is 50. Also my middle name and two of my sister’s middle names made the list.
on January 21st, 2011 at 8:23 pm
My name is #28. I knew it’d be near the top somewhere.
on January 21st, 2011 at 8:34 pm
I don’t think the list will change much soon. Notice that it’s dominated by names popular in older generations. Though the population of the US has grown over time, the fertility rate has gone down. The real factor driving the list is the declining importance of the top names.
Over a million Ronalds? Wow.
on January 21st, 2011 at 11:25 pm
I understand baby boomers in a new way now. holy crap yall, they sure got busy after WWII. And Nephele, bless your eyes lol
on January 22nd, 2011 at 9:25 am
Thanks, everyone — glad you enjoyed! When the SSA publishes their 2010 list of names in May, I’ll be doing an update.
on January 22nd, 2011 at 11:16 am
And this is why I’d never give my son a name from this list…
on January 22nd, 2011 at 1:31 pm
Most of the names I really like an would consider using are on this list. That doesn’t bother me at all. I’m more worried about avoiding contemporary top names than top names over all.
on January 22nd, 2011 at 1:33 pm
May is SOOOO close. I can taste it. 😉
on January 22nd, 2011 at 5:57 pm
Tammy at 100? I’m shocked! Never met one!
on January 24th, 2011 at 9:06 am
Agree with Izzy. Never met a Tammy! Not suprised at John, but i thought Jack would be higher up the list. Eugene? seriously? YUK!
on January 26th, 2011 at 10:28 pm
Neither my name, my husbands name, nor either of my daughters, Matilda or Eloise are on the list. That makes me very happy.
on September 8th, 2011 at 9:30 am
There I am at #75, and of course my husband at #4, no surprise there. Thanks Nephele, that was an interesting read that must’ve taken you awhile to create!
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Where is the boy’s list?
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