Boys’ Names Popular in Every Year since 1880

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Last week, I wrote a post about girls’ names that have been popular every year since 1880, which is as far back as the Social Security Administration maintains birth data for the United States.  The counterpart list of boys’ names is substantially longer than the list of girls’ names; parents have traditionally tended to be more conservative with their sons’ names than their daughters’ names.

  1. Aaron – #49; rising slightly (+3)
  2. Abraham – #158; rising (+12)
  3. Adam – #75; falling slightly (-2)
  4. Adrian – #60; falling slightly (-2)
  5. Albert – #474; falling quickly (-33)
  6. Alex – #147; falling (-14)
  7. Alexander – #11; falling slightly (-3)
  8. Alfred – #844; rising quickly (+75), though still potentially endangered.
  9. Allan – #736; falling quickly (-79)
  10. Allen – #370; falling (-20)
  11. Alonzo – #565; falling quickly (-38)
  12. Alvin – #588; rising (+16)
  13. Andrew – #34; falling (-4)
  14. Andy – #326; falling slightly (-3)
  15. Anthony – #30; falling (-5)
  16. Antonio – #159; falling (-7)
  17. Arthur – #273; rising (+19)
  18. August – #193; rising slightly (+2)
  19. Austin – #73; falling (-4)
  20. Avery – #191; falling (-3)
  21. Ben – #704; rising quickly (+33)
  22. Benjamin – #6; rising (+4).  Within the top 10, a +4 gain is significant.
  23. Bruce – #437; falling quickly (-31)
  24. Bryant – #587; rising quickly (+38)
  25. Byron – #669; falling quickly (-72)
  26. Calvin – #148; rising (+23)
  27. Carl – #604; falling slightly (-3)
  28. Carlos – #130; falling (-13)
  29. Charles – #51; falling slightly (-1)
  30. Charlie – #227; rising slightly (+3)
  31. Chris – #559; falling quickly (-52)
  32. Christian – #46; falling slightly (-3)
  33. Christopher – #36; falling (-4)
  34. Clark – #377; falling (-5)
  35. Clay – #731; falling (-11)
  36. Clayton – #266; falling (-18)
  37. Conrad – #591; rising quickly (+32)
  38. Curtis – #563; falling quickly (-35)
  39. Cyrus – #427; rising quickly (+43)
  40. Dallas – #295; falling quickly (-40)
  41. Daniel – #13; falling slightly (-1)
  42. David – #19; falling slightly (-1)
  43. Davis – #490; falling (-16)
  44. Dean – #205; falling slightly (-1)
  45. Dennis – #511; falling (-16)
  46. Donald – #488; falling quickly (-45).  Yes, the name Donald really did fall as many places as that president’s numerical order in the year he was elected (at least according to SSA; it was -48 on Behind the Name).
  47. Douglas – #601; rising (+19)
  48. Eddie – #654; rising (+15)
  49. Edgar – #342; falling (-25)
  50. Edward – #163; falling (-4)
  51. Edwin – #318; falling (-7)
  52. Eli – #52; rising slightly (+1)
  53. Elias – #93; rising (+7)
  54. Elijah – #9; rising slightly (+2)
  55. Elliott – #192; rising (+20)
  56. Ellis – #346; rising quickly (+74)
  57. Emanuel – #364; falling (-17)
  58. Emmett – #136; rising slightly (+3)
  59. Eric – #142; falling (-4)
  60. Ernest – #976; falling (-22), critically endangered.
  61. Eugene – #788; rising quickly (+37)
  62. Evan – #69; falling slightly (-2)
  63. Everett – #114; rising (+21)
  64. Felix – #247; rising (+16)
  65. Francis – #480; rising slightly (+2)
  66. Francisco – #251; falling (-4)
  67. Frank – #353; rising slightly (+2)
  68. Franklin – #423; rising (+21)
  69. Frederick – #514; rising slightly (+2)
  70. Gabriel – #25; falling slightly (-3)
  71. Garrett – #308; falling quickly (-39)
  72. George – #125; rising (+11)
  73. Gerald – #812; falling quickly (-49)
  74. Gilbert – #960; rising (+22).  Despite the decent gains between 2015 and 2016, I still feel like I should classify Gilbert as endangered.  He’s simply too close to the bottom of the top 1000.
  75. Grant – #171; rising (+6)
  76. Harley – #676; falling (-14)
  77. Harold – #803; rising (+6)
  78. Harrison – #107; rising (+12)
  79. Harry – #679; rising quickly (+101)
  80. Henry – #22; rising (+7)
  81. Isaac – #31; stable (0)
  82. Israel – #232; rising (+8)
  83. Ivan – #131; rising (+6)
  84. Jack – #38; rising slightly (+2)
  85. Jackson – #17; stable (0)
  86. Jacob – #7; falling slightly (-3)
  87. Jake – #242; falling quickly (-35)
  88. James – #5; rising slightly (+2)
  89. Jasper – #209; rising (+6)
  90. Jay – #359; falling slightly (-1)
  91. Jefferson – #621; rising quickly (+50), but it’s a volatile name, so a large jump up doesn’t mean much.
  92. Jeremiah – #58; falling (-4)
  93. Jerome – #839; falling (-4)
  94. Jerry – #506; falling (-15)
  95. Jesse – #174; rising (+4)
  96. Jessie – #888; rising quickly (+30), but might still be endangered.
  97. Joe – #618; falling (-22)
  98. Joel – #166; falling (-8)
  99. John – #28; falling slightly (-2)
  100. Johnny – #335; falling (-25)
  101. Jonathan – #56; falling (-8)
  102. Jose – #77; rising slightly (+3)
  103. Joseph – #20; rising slightly (+1)
  104. Joshua – #35; falling slightly (-2)
  105. Juan – #122; falling (-8)
  106. Julian – #39; rising (+6)
  107. Julius – #340; falling (-27)
  108. Kenneth – #208; falling (-8)
  109. Larry – #606; falling quickly (-49)
  110. Lawrence – #493; rising (+6)
  111. Lee – #668; rising (+11)
  112. Leo – #74; rising (+17)
  113. Leon – #276; rising quickly (+38)
  114. Leonard – #600; rising quickly (+52)
  115. Levi – #42; stable (0)
  116. Lewis – #510; rising quickly (+62)
  117. Lorenzo – #210; rising (+6)
  118. Louis – #289; rising (+9)
  119. Luis – #112; falling (-5)
  120. Luke – #29; falling slightly (-1)
  121. Malcolm – #410; rising (+8)
  122. Manuel – #280; rising slightly (+3)
  123. Marcus – #183; falling (-15)
  124. Mark – #195; rising slightly (+1)
  125. Marshall – #345; falling (-26)
  126. Martin – #257; rising (+17)
  127. Marvin – #544; rising (+4)
  128. Mason – #4; falling slightly (-1)
  129. Mathew – #525; falling quickly (-47)
  130. Matthew – #15; stable (0)
  131. Maurice – #647; falling (-29)
  132. Max – #118; stable (0)
  133. Melvin – #738; falling quickly (-42)
  134. Michael – #8; rising quickly (+1)
  135. Micheal – #897; falling quickly (-54)
  136. Miles – #105; rising slightly (+3)
  137. Mitchell – #592; falling (-7)
  138. Morgan – #643; rising (+29)
  139. Moses – #462; rising (+6)
  140. Nathan – #43; falling (-5)
  141. Nathaniel – #103; falling (-6)
  142. Neil – #629; rising (+10)
  143. Nelson – #625; rising (+5)
  144. Nicholas – #63; falling slightly (-1)
  145. Noah – #1; stable (0)
  146. Oliver – #12; rising (+7)
  147. Oscar – #176; rising (+5)
  148. Owen – #23; rising (+12)
  149. Patrick – #170; falling (-6)
  150. Paul – #206; falling (-7)
  151. Pedro – #374; falling (-7)
  152. Peter – #207; falling slightly (-2)
  153. Philip – #434; falling slightly (-1)
  154. Preston – #172; falling slightly (-3)
  155. Ramon – #608; rising (+28)
  156. Ray – #748; falling quickly (-33)
  157. Raymond – #284; falling (-25)
  158. Reginald – #821; rising (+61)
  159. Richard – #155; falling (-5)
  160. Riley – #225; falling quickly (-31)
  161. Robert – #62; rising slightly (+1)
  162. Rodney – #719; falling slightly (-1)
  163. Roger – #644; falling quickly (-64)
  164. Roland – #561; rising (+27)
  165. Roy – #539; falling (-4)
  166. Ruben – #396; falling (-24)
  167. Russell – #407; falling (-4)
  168. Sam – #581; falling quickly (-32)
  169. Samuel – #21; rising slightly (+2)
  170. Scott – #465; falling (-6)
  171. Seth – #307; falling quickly (-32)
  172. Simon – #243; falling (-9)
  173. Solomon – #369; rising slightly (+1)
  174. Spencer – #268; falling (-16)
  175. Stanley – #682; rising (+8).
  176. Stephen – #265; falling (-19)
  177. Sterling – #458; rising quickly (+35)
  178. Steve – #988; falling quickly (-50), critically endangered.
  179. Steven – #167; falling (-13)
  180. Taylor – #476; falling (-14)
  181. Theodore – #83; rising (+16)
  182. Thomas – #48; rising slightly (+3)
  183. Timothy – #153; falling (-6)
  184. Tony – #522; falling (-18)
  185. Troy – #316; falling (-15)
  186. Victor – #164; falling slightly (-3)
  187. Vincent – #104; rising (+5)
  188. Wade – #406; rising quickly (+115)
  189. Walter – #302; rising (+7)
  190. Warren – #385; rising (+15)
  191. Wayne – #743; rising (+6)
  192. Wesley – #117; rising (+9)
  193. Will – #827; rising (+10)
  194. William – #3; rising slightly (+2)
  195. Willie – #799; falling (-24)
  196. Wilson – #611; rising (+6)

Biggest gains: Wade (+115), Harry (+101), Alfred (+75), Ellis (+74), Lewis (+62), Reginald (+61), Leonard (+52), Jefferson (+50), Cyrus (+43), Bryant (+38), Leon (+38), Eugene (+37) Sterling (+35), Ben (+33), Conrad (+32), Jessie (+30)

Biggest losses: Allan (-79), Byron (-72), Roger (-62), Micheal (-54), Chris (-52), Steve (-50), Gerald (-49), Larry (-49), Mathew (-47), Donald (-45), Melvin (-42), Dallas (-40), Garrett (-39), Alonzo (-38), Curtis (-35), Jake (-35), Albert (-33), Ray (-33), Sam (-32), Seth (-32), Bruce (-31), Riley (-31)

Notes:

  • Something interesting I noticed – Reuben ranked #1001 in the Social Security Administration list for 2010, though still manages to rank in the Behind the Name list.  In terms of raw usage, Reuben was popular enough to stay in the top 1000, but was kicked out because of alphabetical order (Bailey, Destin, Eliezer, Enoch, Joziah, and Keshawn technically ranked higher that year even though they were given to just as many baby boys).  Notably, Bailey is missing from the BtN list for that year, which tells me there was probably an edit on the national level.  SSA makes slight changes to their data sets every year, which is annoying for any name enthusiasts who’ve noticed this.  They could at least tell us why.  The point – if it weren’t for alphabetical preference in ranking and the edit, then Reuben would have been one of the names popular in every year since 1880.  Seems unfair, doesn’t it?
  • Wade was very trendy in 2016 because of the movie Deadpool, which came out in February of that year.  I’m curious whether the upward trend continues in 2017, and especially in 2018 (Deadpool 2 is due to release two months from now).

Thoughts?  Are you surprised by any of these names?  Personally, I’m wondering why Harry jumped so high! 

Sources:

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