Parents who are trying to select a name for their baby might want to visit the Social Security website. Every year, they gather data from Social Security card applications and use it to determine the most popular baby names of that year. This might help you to pick a popular name for your child. Or, it could inspire you to come up with something more unique than the names that are on the list.
How does the Social Security Administration go about discovering the most popular names for 2013? They looked at 100% of their records on Social Security card applications as of the end of February 2014. In short, they tally up all the names and the ones with the highest number are listed as the most popular.
There are some other criteria that they adhere to. The name must be at least 2 characters long. They include all of the names without editing any of them. Sometimes, people will fill in the blank for name with “Baby” or “Unknown”. Those “names” are included in the list. Names that have more than one spelling are split up as though they are each a separate name. If two names are tied for a ranking on the list, the Social Security Administration breaks the tie by assigning rank in alphabetical order.
The top 10 baby names for 2013 for boys were: Noah, Liam, Jacob, Mason, William, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, Jayden, and Daniel. These are listed from number 1 (the most popular) to number 10.
The top 10 baby names for 2013 for girls were: Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Isabella, Ava, Mia, Emily, Abigail, Madison, and Elizabeth. Again, these are listed from number 1 (the most popular) to number 10.
Wondering what the most popular baby names were for a particular decade? The Social Security Administration has that data, too. Select a decade from the 1880’s to the 2000’s.
For example, you could select to see the most popular baby names of the 1980’s. The data for this list was gathered from the Social Security card applications for male and female babies who were born during 1980 – 1989. The lists are very different from the list of most popular baby names of 2013.
The most popular names for boys in the 1980’s were: Michael, Christopher, Matthew, Joshua, David, James, Daniel, Robert, John and Joseph.
The most popular names for girls in the 1980’s were: Jessica, Jennifer, Amanda, Ashley, Sarah, Stephanie, Melissa, Nicole, Elizabeth, and Heather.
Parents who are looking for “nostalgia” inspired names may want to browse through the full list for the 1980’s (or other decades). These lists include a total of 200 ranked names for boys and 200 ranked names for girls.
Image by Marie Smith on Flickr.