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Most Popular Names


One thing you will notice if you study the popularity of names over the decades is that certain names always remain popular. For the last hundred years there has definitely seen

1870

Male

1. William
2. John
3. Charles
4. Harry
5. James
6. George
7. Frank
8. Robert
9. Joseph
10. Thomas

Female

1. Mary
2. Anna
3. Elizabeth
4. Emma
5. Alice
6. Edith, Florence
7. May
8. Helen
9. Katherine
10. Grace

1900

Male

1. John
2. William
3. Charles
4. Robert
5. Joseph
6. James
7. George
8. Samuel, Thomas
9. Arthur
10. Harry

Female

1. Mary
2. Ruth Helen
3. Helen
4. Margaret
5. Elizabeth
6. Dorothy
7. Catherine
8. Mildred
9. Frances
10. Alice

1940s

Male

1. John
2. William
3. Charles
4. James
5. George
6. Robert
7. Thomas
8. Henry
9. Joseph
10. Edward

Female

1. Mary
2. Maria
3. Linda
4. Barbara
5. Patricia
6. Betty
7. Sandra
8. Carolyn
9. Gloria
10. Martha

1950s

Male

Filled with postwar optimism, the majority of the Americans gave their children names that were safe and dependable. Although majority of names were ordinary, they were optimistic names that lent themselves to nicknames; names that could change as that individual grew. Therefore, a person would always have a name appropriate for their current position in society.

1. Andrew
2. Eric
3. Anthony
4. Brian
5. Gregory
6. Bruce
7. Jeffrey
8. Craig
9. Kenneth
10. Dean

Female

1. Amy
2. Janice
3. Charlene
4. Julie
5. Cheryl
6. Lisa
7. Christine
8. Michelle
9. Darlene
10. Robin

1960s

Nice and respectable, but not too stuffy. Probably sums up the general attitude that parents used to name their children in the 1960s.

Male

1. David
2. Michael
3. John
4. James
5. Robert
6. William
7. Mark
8. Richard
9. Jeffrey
10. Charles

Female

1. Susan
2. Mary
3. Lisa
4. Karen
5. Deborah
6. Linda
7. Kimberly
8. Donna
9. Cynthia
10. Patricia

1970s

The 1970s was the period when those people rebelling in the 1960s were having children. Therefore, it was probably the epitome of weird, touchy, feely names. However, examining the most popular names of the period today is somewhat disappointing since those unusual names do not appear - they are too individualistic. Although you come across some people born in this period with idealistic and free-spirited names, the majority of 70s children have very traditional ordinary names perhaps in an attempt to diassociate them from the antiauthority views of the previous generation.

1. Michael
2. David
3. Christopher
4. Joseph
5. Anthony
6. Robert
7. Jason
8. James
9. Daniel
10. John

Female

1. Jennifer
2. Jessica
3. Nicole
4. Melissa
5. Christine
6. Danielle
7. Elizabeth
8. Lisa
9. Maria
10. Michelle

1980s

Looking back from the downsizing and balancing 90s it appears that the 1980s were out of control. True, there was probably just as much extravagance in the 1990s in regards to both fiscal policies and naming practices, but it does seem better disguised.

The popular names of this decade are filled with continual favorites, but the period also saw the emergence of some names that you might think were taken straight off of Dynasty or Dallas - they even sounded affluent. Interestingly, the popular names of the 1980s are somewhat similar to those of the 1950s, another boom period.

Male

1. Michael
2. Christopher
3. Jonathan
4. Daniel
5. David
6. Anthony
7. Joseph
8. Matthew
9. John
10. Andrew

Female

1. Jessica
2. Jennifer
3. Stephanie
4. Melissa
5. Christina
6. Nicole
7. Amanda
8. Ashley
9. Tiffany
10. Samantha

1990s

The names of the 1990s seem to be rather restrained or tactful, depending on your tastes, than some of the names that have been given to child within the previous two decades. For boys Biblical names are making a comeback, and for girls a compromise between a distinctive name and one that is traditional seems to have been agreed upon. Ashley, for example, although an extremely infrequent name before the 1990s is now one of the most popular names. Its previous infrequency allows Ashleys to be proud owners of a unique name that sounds old and established. This is a balance between different and acceptable.

Male

1. Michael
2. Kevin
3. Brandon
4. Nathan
5. Timothy
6. David
7. Jared
8. Brian
9. William
10. Adam

Female

1. Ashley
2. Jennifer
3. Amanda
4. Jennifer
5. Mary
6. Alicia
7. Michelle
8. Nicole
9. Megan
10. Sarah

This page was last modified on 16 May 2003.

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