Recently, the Social Security Administration has released the top ten names for boys and girls in 2010. However, I wanted to look more into the overall popularity of a name over, say, 30 years. I found some results very interesting. I hope you enjoy finding 7 of the top picked baby names throughout the years!
"Jacob" has been ranked the number 1 baby name since 1999 and has ranked in the top 10 boy names since 1993. However, back in 1981, it only ranked 43. I guess I'm a bit partial to this name, since my husband bears this name as a 1985 baby, when Jacob ranked 35 in popularity. I found it quite funny that from 1961 to 1973, Jacob didn't even make the top 100 baby names, but has now been in first place running for 11 years!
"Isabella" has held number one rank for two years now, though its use in the U.S. can only be traced back to 1990, when it ranked 896 for baby names. "Isabella" didn't rank in the top 100 names until 1998 and never saw the top 10 names list until 2004 when it ranked at number 7 in popularity. I personally believe this could be because our Latino population has increased quite a bit over the last 10 to 15 years or so, but I don't know, what do you think?
"Ethan" is holding the 2nd rank for the second year in a row. Sadly, for such a beautiful boy name, it has never held first place, though it has ranked in the top 10 boy names since 2002. Before then, it ranked in the top 100 names from 1989 to 2001. In 1961, it only ranked 721. In 1977, it gained a bit more popularity at 290 rank, and then lost quite a bit in 1987 going back up to a rank of 333. From then till now, it has increased in popularity, to the 2nd place it holds now.
This is "Sophia's" first time hitting 2nd rank for most popular girl's name, and it's only been in the top 10 ranks for 5 years. From 1997 - 2005, "Sophia" ranked in the top 100 names, and lost popularity in the 1970's from the 1960's. I guess that is because in the 70's, people were more apt to choose your "average" names like Jennifer, Lisa, Elizabeth, Heather, Mary and Amy to name a few.
"Emma" held her 1st rank in 2008 and has since lost it to a rank of 3 in 2010. It's held top 10 status since 2002 and top 100 since 1993. "Emma" had more popularity in the 50's and 60's than it did in the 70's as well. Personally, I love this name, even if it sounds plain and simple. Simple is a good thing!
"Michael" has ranked number 1 the most often in the past 100 years holding the 1st place a record number of 44 times. Since 1911, "Michael" has ranked in the top 100 names, and 1943 to present day, has held a top 10 status. From 1961 to 1998, that's 37 years if I count correctly, it held first place every year. And currently, "Michael" holds 3rd rank in 2010. That's a popular name, people!
"Mary" has been the most popular overall girl's name, holding it's number 1 rank 45 times out of 100 years! Rather opposite of Michael, Mary has lost popularity over the last few years, and its record holding title is older. From 1911 to 1946, 35 years, Mary held a consecutive 1st rank spot. It then went to 2nd rank for 6 years, and then resumed 1st rank in 1953 to be held for 9 more years. In 1962 "Mary" lost 1st rank to "Lisa" and in 1971, "Mary" lost its top 10 rank altogether. Currently, it only ranks 109 in popularity, though it did continue to rank in the top 100 names until 2009.
I don't know about you, but I find little tidbits of crazy information like this so fun to read. I hope you did too! Maybe you've gotten a baby name idea from this? If you enjoyed this article, please leave me a comment!
Top Photo Credit: alison*holcomb