The Most Popular Baby Names By Generation

January 8, 2021 · CLASSMATES FUN

Popular baby names have changed throughout the century, some disappearing into obscurity, and some seeing a resurgence years after they were first introduced. The name “Mary” was the most common name for eight (!) decades, starting in the 1880s, until “Lisa” took its place in the 1960s. Names like “John,” “Robert,” and “James” have remained popular, whereas ones like “Elijah,” “Ava,” “Liam,” and “Charlotte” didn’t make their appearances on the list of most common names until the 2010s. Here are the ten most popular baby names by generation, via the Social Security Administration.

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1880s:

Men:

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

Women:

  1. Mary
  2. Anna
  3. Emma
  4. Elizabeth
  5. Margaret
  6. Minnie
  7. Ida
  8. Bertha
  9. Clara
  10. Alice

1890s:

Men:

  1. John (again)
  2. William (again)
  3. James (again)
  4. George (again)
  5. Charles (again)
  6. Joseph (previously #7)
  7. Frank (previously #6)
  8. Robert (previously #9)
  9. Edward (new)
  10. Henry (previously #8)

Women: 5 new names added to the list

  1. Mary (again)
  2. Anna (again)
  3. Margaret (previously #5)
  4. Helen (new)
  5. Elizabeth (previously #4)
  6. Ruth (new)
  7. Florence (new)
  8. Ethel (new)
  9. Emma (previously #3)
  10. Marie (new)

1900s:

Men:

  1. John (again)
  2. William again)
  3. James (again)
  4. George (again)
  5. Charles (again)
  6. Robert (previously #8)
  7. Joseph (previously #6)
  8. Frank (previously #7)
  9. Edward (again)
  10. Thomas (new)

Women:

  1. Mary (again)
  2. Helen (previously #4)
  3. Margaret (again)
  4. Anna (previously #2)
  5. Ruth (previously #6)
  6. Elizabeth (previously #5)
  7. Dorothy (new)
  8. Marie (previously #10)
  9. Florence (previously #7)
  10. Mildred (new)

1910s:

Men:

  1. John (again)
  2. William (again)
  3. James (again)
  4. Robert (previously #6)
  5. Joseph (previously #7)
  6. George (previously #4)
  7. Charles (previously #5)
  8. Edward (previously #9)
  9. Frank (previously #8)
  10. Thomas (again)

Women:

  1. Mary (again)
  2. Helen (again)
  3. Dorothy (previously #7)
  4. Margaret (previously #3)
  5. Ruth (previously #6)
  6. Mildred (previously #10)
  7. Anna (previously #4)
  8. Elizabeth (previously #6)
  9. Frances (new)
  10. Virginia (new)

 

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 1920s:

Men:

  1. Robert (previously #4)
  2. John (previously #1)
  3. James (again)
  4. William (previously #2)
  5. Charles (previously #7)
  6. George (again)
  7. Joseph (previously #5)
  8. Richard (new)
  9. Edward (previously #8)
  10. Donald (new)

Women:

  1. Mary (again)
  2. Dorothy (previously #3)
  3. Helen (previously #2)
  4. Betty (new)
  5. Margaret (previously #4)
  6. Ruth (previously #5)
  7. Virginia (previously #10)
  8. Doris (new)
  9. Mildred (previously #6)
  10. Frances (previously #9)

1930s:

Men:

  1. Robert (again)
  2. James (previously #3)
  3. John (previously #2)
  4. William (again)
  5. Richard (previously #8)
  6. Charles (previously #5)
  7. Donald (previously #10)
  8. George (previously #6)
  9. Thomas (last seen in 1910)
  10. Joseph (previously #7)

Women: 5 new names added to the list

  1. Mary (again)
  2. Betty (previously #4)
  3. Barbara (new)
  4. Shirley (new)
  5. Patricia (new)
  6. Dorothy (previously #2)
  7. Joan (new)
  8. Margaret (previously #5)
  9. Nancy (new)
  10. Helen (previously #3)

1940s:

Men: 3 new names added to the list

  1. James (previously #2)
  2. Robert (previously #1)
  3. John (again)
  4. William (again)
  5. Richard (again)
  6. David (new)
  7. Charles (previously #6)
  8. Thomas (previously #9)
  9. Michael (new)
  10. Ronald (new)

Women: 6 new names added to the list

  1. Mary (again)
  2. Linda (new)
  3. Barbara (again)
  4. Patricia (previously #5)
  5. Carol (new)
  6. Sandra (new)
  7. Nancy (previously #9)
  8. Sharon (new)
  9. Judith (new)
  10. Susan (new)

1950s:

Men:

  1. James (again)
  2. Michael (previously #9)
  3. Robert (previously #2)
  4. John (previously #3)
  5. David (previously #6)
  6. William (previously #4)
  7. Richard (previously #5)
  8. Thomas (again)
  9. Mark (new)
  10. Charles (previously #7)

Women: 4 new names added to the list

  1. Mary (again)
  2. Linda (again)
  3. Patricia (previously #4)
  4. Susan (previously #10)
  5. Deborah (new)
  6. Barbara (previously #3)
  7. Debra (new)
  8. Karen (new)
  9. Nancy (previously #7)
  10. Donna (new)

1960s:

Men:

  1. Michael (previously #2)
  2. David (previously #5)
  3. John (previously #4)
  4. James (previously #1)
  5. Robert (previously #3)
  6. Mark (previously #9)
  7. William (previously #6)
  8. Richard (previously #7)
  9. Thomas (previously #8)
  10. Jeffrey (new)

Women: 4 new names added to the list

  1. Lisa (new)
  2. Mary (previously #1) (#1 for 8 decades!)
  3. Susan (previously #4)
  4. Karen (previously #8)
  5. Kimberly (new)
  6. Patricia (previously #3)
  7. Linda (previously #2)
  8. Donna (previously #10)
  9. Michelle (new)
  10. Cynthia (new)

 

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1970s:

Men: 4 new names added to the list

  1. Michael (again)
  2. Christopher (new)
  3. Jason (new)
  4. David (previously #2)
  5. James (previously #4)
  6. John (previously #3)
  7. Robert (previously #5)
  8. Brian (new)
  9. William (previously #7)
  10. Matthew (new)

Women: 7 new named added to the list

  1. Jennifer (new)
  2. Amy (new)
  3. Melissa (new)
  4. Michelle (previously #9)
  5. Kimberly (again)
  6. Lisa (previously #1)
  7. Angela (new)
  8. Heather (new)
  9. Stephanie (new)
  10. Nicole (new)

1980s:

Men:

  1. Michael (again)
  2. Christopher (again)
  3. Matthew (previously #10)
  4. Joshua (new)
  5. David (previously #4)
  6. James (previously #5)
  7. Daniel (new)
  8. Robert (previously #7)
  9. John (previously #6)
  10. Joseph (last seen in 1920s)

Women: 4 new names added to the list

  1. Jessica (new)
  2. Jennifer (previously #1)
  3. Amanda (new)
  4. Ashley (new)
  5. Sarah (new)
  6. Stephanie (previously #9)
  7. Melissa (previously #3)
  8. Nicole (previously #10)
  9. Elizabeth (not seen since 1910)
  10. Heather (previously #8)

1990s:

Men: 4 new names added to the list

  1. Michael (again)
  2. Christopher (again)
  3. Matthew (not seen since 1980s)
  4. Joshua (again)
  5. Jacob (new)
  6. Nicholas (new)
  7. Andrew (new)
  8. Daniel (previously #7)
  9. Tyler (new)
  10. Joseph (previously #10)

Women: 4 new names added to the list

  1. Jessica (again)
  2. Ashley (previously #4)
  3. Emily (new)
  4. Sarah (not seen since 1980s)
  5. Samantha (new)
  6. Amanda (previously #3)
  7. Brittany (new)
  8. Elizabeth (previously #9)
  9. Taylor (new)
  10. Megan (new)

 2000s:

Men:

  1. Jacob (previously #5)
  2. Michael (previously #1)
  3. Joshua (previously #4)
  4. Matthew (previously #3)
  5. Daniel (previously #8)
  6. Christopher (previously #2)
  7. Andrew (again)
  8. Ethan (new)
  9. Joseph (previously #10)
  10. William (not seen since 1970s)

Women: 5 new names added to the list

  1. Emily (previously #3)
  2. Madison (new)
  3. Emma (not seen since 1890s)
  4. Olivia (new)
  5. Hannah (new)
  6. Abigail (new)
  7. Isabella (new)
  8. Samantha (previously #5)
  9. Elizabeth (previously #8)
  10. Ashley (previously #2)

2010s:

Men: 5 new names added to the list

  1. Noah (new)
  2. Liam (new)
  3. Jacob (previously #1)
  4. William (previously #10)
  5. Mason (new)
  6. Ethan (previously #8)
  7. Michael (previously #2)
  8. Alexander (new)
  9. James (not seen since 1980s)
  10. Elijah (new)

Women: 4 new names added to the list

  1. Emma (previously #3)
  2. Olivia (previously #4)
  3. Sophia (new)
  4. Isabella (previously #7)
  5. Ava (new)
  6. Mia (new)
  7. Abigail (previously #6)
  8. Emily (previously #1)
  9. Charlotte (new)
  10. Madison (previously #2)

 

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