Most Popular Baby Names of the 20th Century

Most Popular Baby Names of the 20th Century

Ever wondered how the most popular baby names have changed over the past 100 or so years?

Well has a great list of the most popular baby names of each decade during the 20th century.

I’ve included links to their list below as well as the top 3 boys and girls names for each decade, but click on the year and you’ll be taken through to a longer list of names.

For me the most fascinating thing is, despite how much society has changed, how little the most common names have varied.

I’d be keen to hear how many of you had names that made the list every decade, or had names that didn’t feature in one.


1990 – Jessica, Brittany, and Samantha; Michael, Daniel, and Justin

1980 – Jennifer, Melissa, and Heather; Michael, Christopher, and Jason

1970 – Jennifer, Lisa, and Tammy; Michael, James, and Brian

1960 – Mary, Susan, and Lisa; David, Robert, and Mark

1950 – Linda, Barbara, and Nancy; James, John, and David

1940 – Mary, Judith, and Betty; James, William, and Charles

1930 – Mary, Dorothy, and Helen; Robert, Richard, and George

1920 – Mary, Ruth, and Virginia; John, Edward, and Frank

1910 – Mary, Anna, and Mildred; John, William, and Joseph

1900 – Mary, Elizabeth, and Ethel; John, George, and Henry

image sourced from: Bioethics Blog


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  • Neil Street

    November 26, 2010

    If you are interested in top names of the 20th century, here is a study that actually looks at the entire century, not just by decade. The list that you show, from, is actually just a reprint of the Social Security administration’s decade-by-decade data. If you want an actual study of the top names of the entire century, see:

  • Robert

    November 28, 2010

    Thanks Neil – it’s good to have an overview of the century as a whole.

    For any other readers seeing this, the above link is well worth checking out.

  • jennifer thomas

    September 22, 2014

    Thanks Aaron for sharing this list of names. These names are really nice as current world.

  • P Nicole

    April 5, 2020