Monday, January 14, 2013

Do You Have a Common First Name?

Hello My Name Is NametagAll through primary and high school there were three Sarah’s in my class. The trio were known as “Sarah the Swimmer”, “Sarah the Skater” and me, “Sarah the Skier”.

Interestingly, we were all elite athletes in our respective sports.

I also went to school with 4 Jennifer’s, 3 Amanda’s and 2 Brenda/Laurie/Karen/Susie’s. There weren’t any out of the ordinary names. I would have remembered.

Nowadays, there are still a ton of common names in the class, however, there are definitely a ton of names that stand out on their own.

I thought it would be interesting to see what were the most common names in the USA in 1971 and compare them to those 40 years later in 2011. Note that rankings are in “babies per million”.

Female Male
Jennifer, Michelle, Lisa, Kimberly, Amy, Angela, Melissa, Tammy, Mary, Julie. Michael, James, David, John, Robert, Christopher, William, Jason, Brian and Scott.
Female Male
Sophia, Isabella, Emma, Olivia, Ava, Emily, Abigail, Madison, Mia, Chloe. Jacob, Mason, William, Jayden, Noah, Michael, Ethan, Alexander, Aiden and Daniel.

In 1971, Sarah was #58 on the popularity list, in 2011, #39.

In 2011, Alexander was #8, Maximilian was #433 and Artemis ranked #3,866.

It’s interesting to see that 40 years later, 2 of the 10 male names are still in the top ten versus zero of the female names.

Do You Or Your Kids have a Common First Name?

13 thoughts on “Do You Have a Common First Name?

  1. Rene Beaubien

    I guess we all now know what year you were born..if there was any doubt! None of us made the list, which I am glad of. It’s good to be just a little unique if you can – it saves money on elite athlete costs.

  2. the_jaunty_loon

    I went through high school in the early ’80’s with another Kim, “Kim A”, so I was “Kim B”. We named our girls Carolyn and Tessa in the ’90’s thinking Carolyn would be the more common name. (I’d gone to school with 3 Carolyns.) Our Carolyn graduated high school without encountering another Carolyn, not even a Carol. Our Tessa, however, was “Tessa B.” among 3 Tessas! You just never know…

  3. Sue2Sueper

    I was # 10 in the year I was born.
    My husbands was 166
    My daughter came in at 919 in the year she was born.
    My son came in at 124 in the year he was born.
    How interesting!

  4. Krista Grandstaff

    I hear my name more now…when we go out there is always a little girl being called by her parents, but I was the only one that I knew 🙂 My sons are Dylan (popular!)Griffin, and Ethan ( uber-popular) and my lone daughter is Barret Elizabeth… we only hear of football players with her name…lol..

  5. Shayna Murray

    My name will never make this list although it’s certainly more common than when I was a kid. Until I was well into my 20s I had only ever known one other person with my name.

  6. Deanna T.

    Heck no. Though I was amused to see that both of my cousin’s kids (Sophia and Emma) made the list, as I actually thought they were unique names. Apparently so did everyone else. Go figure. (And Disney naming their new preschooler Princess Sophia the First, coincidence? I think not!)

  7. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    I don’t think that Elizabeth is an unusual name but it’s definitely not that common these days either. My twin sister was named Anne and my brother John (all 3 being ‘royal’ names). Mum didn’t want us to have unusual names, guess we were supposed to blend in with the crowd – I remember there being another 2 Elizabeths in my class at grammar school and at least one more Anne.


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