The Top 100 First Names of the Last 100 Years: Are You or Your Kids on the List?

Can you guess which first names top the list?What’s in a name? Well, a lot, actually, and parents are often looking at the meanings of names just as much as they are the popularity of names when it comes to giving their wee ones lifetime monikers. So just what are the most popular names of the last century? Odds are, you have someone in your family with one (or more) of these names as they’re the top 100 first names in the last 100 years. Take a look and see!

Annually, the Social Security Administration takes the time to compile just such a list from its historical data — Top Names Over the Last 100 Years (1919-2018). They compile and analyze birth data from the last century and rank the top 100-given boys’ and girls’ names. They also look at how many babies were given the ranked names, and for this analyzation of the top 100 first names they examined 174,822,221 male births and 170,337,487 female births.

It’s interesting to note that the popular names don’t always stay consistently popular each year. Last year, the number one boy name over the last 100 years was James. But through the last 100 years, James has been as low as number 19 on the ranking list. Similarly, the number one popular girl name for this latest list, Mary, has ranked as low as 127 (not even in the top 100!) in previous years.

Which just goes to show that what is old often turns out to be new again, and that names are as unique as the people naming them. Names are often given as honoring and remembrances of family names, nods to favorite celebrities, scientists or athletes, and heck, these days? Names are even directions and food items.

Those don’t seem to make the list, though, when it comes to historical trending. No, it’s usually the Johns, the Matthews and the Charleses that go hand-in-hand with the Lindas, the Elizabeths and the Lisas that seem to have stood the test of time (well, at least the last 100 years)

Related: 20 Winter Baby Names Inspired by Nature

In fact, the Social Security Administration finds it interesting too, and compiled a video of the top 10 boys’ and girls’ names of 2018. Note that the number one girl name of 2018, Emma, is only ranked 44 on the list over the last 100 years, while the number one boy name, Liam, doesn’t even rank!

If you’re still curious you can find more information on the SSA’s baby names page. We warn you; there’s all sorts of data they’ve compiled, and you can sort through the number of babies born to each name each year or details about individual birth years. You can even find out how your name has fared in popularity for the last several decades (apparently my name was most popular in 1963, a good while before I was ever born, and it certainly isn’t popular now, ranking in at a whopping 952nd place of popularity in 2001).

So what do you think? What factors should go into naming your little one? Should you care about popularity so your daughter doesn’t have 12 different Sophias to share the glory with if you’ve always loved that name? Do you want to completely stay away from the popular names because you’re all about the individuality for your newest human to the planet? Where do you or your kiddos fall on the list?

Without further ado, here it is. Check your rankings out and share with us where you fall on the list, or share if you even do fall on the list at all!

GIRLS

    1. Mary
    2. Patricia
    3. Jennifer
    4. Linda
    5. Elizabeth
    6. Barbara
    7. Susan
    8. Jessica
    9. Sarah
    10. Karen
    11. Nancy
    12. Margaret
    13. Lisa
    14. Betty
    15. Dorothy
    16. Sandra
    17. Ashley
    18. Kimberly
    19. Donna
    20. Emily
    21. Michelle
    22. Carol
    23. Amanda
    24. Melissa
    25. Deborah
    26. Stephanie
    27. Rebecca
    28. Lauren
    29. Sharon
    30. Cynthia
    31. Kathleen
    32. Helen
    33. Amy
    34. Shirley
    35. Angela
    36. Anna
    37. Brenda
    38. Pamela
    39. Nicole
    40. Ruth
    41. Katherine
    42. Samantha
    43. Christine
    44. Emma
    45. Catherine
    46. Debra
    47. Virginia
    48. Rachel
    49. Carolyn
    50. Janet
    51. Maria
    52. Heather
    53. Diane
    54. Julie
    55. Joyce
    56. Victoria
    57. Kelly
    58. Christina
    59. Joan
    60. Evelyn
    61. Lauren
    62. Judith
    63. Olivia
    64. Frances
    65. Martha
    66. Cheryl
    67. Megan
    68. Andrea
    69. Hannah
    70. Jacqueline
    71. Ann
    72. Jean
    73. Alice
    74. Kathryn
    75. Gloria
    76. Teresa
    77. Doris
    78. Sara
    79. Janice
    80. Julia
    81. Marie
    82. Madison
    83. Grace
    84. Judy
    85. Theresa
    86. Beverly
    87. Denise
    88. Marilyn
    89. Amber
    90. Daniel
    91. Abigail
    92. Brittany
    93. Rose
    94. Diana
    95. Natalie
    96. Sophia
    97. Alexis
    98. Lori
    99. Kayla
    100. Jane

 

BOYS

    1. James
    2. John
    3. Robert
    4. Michael
    5. William
    6. David
    7. Richard
    8. Joseph
    9. Thomas
    10. Charles
    11. Christopher
    12. Daniel
    13. Matthew
    14. Anthony
    15. Donald
    16. Mark
    17. Paul
    18. Steven
    19. Andrew
    20. Kenneth
    21. Joshua
    22. George
    23. Kevin
    24. Brian
    25. Edward
    26. Ronald
    27. Timothy
    28. Jason
    29. Jeffrey
    30. Ryan
    31. Jacob
    32. Gary
    33. Nicholas
    34. Eric
    35. Stephen
    36. Jonathan
    37. Larry
    38. Justin
    39. Scott
    40. Brandon
    41. Frank
    42. Benjamin
    43. Gregory
    44. Samuel
    45. Raymond
    46. Patrick
    47. Alexander
    48. Jack
    49. Dennis
    50. Jerry
    51. Tyler
    52. Aaron
    53. Jose
    54. Henry
    55. Douglas
    56. Adam
    57. Peter
    58. Nathan
    59. Zachary
    60. Walter
    61. Kyle
    62. Harold
    63. Carl
    64. Jeremy
    65. Keith
    66. Roger
    67. Gerald
    68. Ethan
    69. Arthur
    70. Terry
    71. Christian
    72. Sean
    73. Lawrence
    74. Austin
    75. Joe
    76. Noah
    77. Jesse
    78. Albert
    79. Brian
    80. Billy
    81. Bruce
    82. Willie
    83. Jordan
    84. Dylan
    85. Alan
    86. Ralph
    87. Gabriel
    88. Roy
    89. Juan
    90. Wayne
    91. Eugene
    92. Logan
    93. Randy
    94. Louis
    95. Russell
    96. Vincent
    97. Phillip
    98. Bobby
    99. Johnny
    100. Bradley

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