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Most popular baby names of every year since 1915

  • The most popular baby name of every year since 1915
    1/ Pxhere

    The most popular baby name of every year since 1915

    If you’ve ever resented your parents because your classmates called you “John P.” as opposed to “John” or “Anna W.” instead of “Anna,” consider that they may have just been looking out for your best interest. Part of the psychology that goes into naming a child is a phenomenon known as the “playground effect,” the way in which parents consider how their child’s name would influence his or her popularity amongst peers. Because of the vicious social warzones schools can be, many parents shy away from unique names and those who do choose abnormal spellings typically regret it down the line, as was revealed by a survey of 3,000 parents.

    As such, it makes sense that over time the majority of American parents have gone for the same select few names year in and year out. Since 1915 there have only been eight male names and 10 female names that have taken the top spot annually for their respective national ranks. Of those 18, 16 have sustained their reign at the top for multiple years, indicating that when a new name amasses a great deal of popularity society clings to it for quite some time.

    Using data from the Social Security Administration, Stacker found the three most popular male and female names in the United States from every year since 1915. The top names for every year are ranked according to the total number of babies born with that name in that year.

    Read on to see if your name was amongst the most popular for the past 100 years.

    RELATED: Fastest growing baby names of the last 50 years

  • 1915-1919
    2/ Shutterstock

    1915-1919

    #1 boys' name: John
    #2 boys' name: William
    #3 boys' name: James

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Helen
    #3 girls' name: Dorothy

  • 1920
    3/ Shutterstock

    1920

    #1 boys' name: John
    #2 boys' name: William
    #3 boys' name: Robert

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Dorothy
    #3 girls' name: Helen

  • 1921-1923
    4/ Shutterstock

    1921-1923

    #1 boys' name: John
    #2 boys' name: Robert
    #3 boys' name: William

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Dorothy
    #3 girls' name: Helen

  • 1924
    5/ Shutterstock

    1924

    #1 boys' name: Robert
    #2 boys' name: John
    #3 boys' name: William

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Dorothy
    #3 girls' name: Helen

  • 1925
    6/ Shutterstock

    1925

    #1 boys' name: Robert
    #2 boys' name: John
    #3 boys' name: William

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Dorothy
    #3 girls' name: Betty

  • 1926-1927
    7/ Shutterstock

    1926-1927

    #1 boys' name: Robert
    #2 boys' name: John
    #3 boys' name: James

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Dorothy
    #3 girls' name: Betty

  • 1928
    8/ Shutterstock

    1928

    #1 boys' name: Robert
    #2 boys' name: John
    #3 boys' name: James

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Betty
    #3 girls' name: Dorothy

  • 1929-1931
    9/ Shutterstock

    1929-1931

    #1 boys' name: Robert
    #2 boys' name: James
    #3 boys' name: John

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Betty
    #3 girls' name: Dorothy

  • 1932-1934
    10/ Shutterstock

    1932-1934

    #1 boys' name: Robert
    #2 boys' name: James
    #3 boys' name: John

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Betty
    #3 girls' name: Barbara

  • 1935-1936
    11/ Shutterstock

    1935-1936

    #1 boys' name: Robert
    #2 boys' name: James
    #3 boys' name: John

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Shirley
    #3 girls' name: Barbara

  • 1937-1939
    12/ Shutterstock

    1937-1939

    #1 boys' name: Robert
    #2 boys' name: James
    #3 boys' name: John

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Barbara
    #3 girls' name: Patricia

  • 1940-1943
    13/ Shutterstock

    1940-1943

    #1 boys' name: James
    #2 boys' name: Robert
    #3 boys' name: John

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Barbara
    #3 girls' name: Patricia

  • 1944
    14/ Shutterstock

    1944

    #1 boys' name: James
    #2 boys' name: Robert
    #3 boys' name: John

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Barbara
    #3 girls' name: Linda

  • 1945
    15/ Shutterstock

    1945

    #1 boys' name: James
    #2 boys' name: Robert
    #3 boys' name: John

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Linda
    #3 girls' name: Barbara

  • 1946
    16/ Shutterstock

    1946

    #1 boys' name: James
    #2 boys' name: Robert
    #3 boys' name: John

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Linda
    #3 girls' name: Patricia

  • 1947
    17/ Shutterstock

    1947

    #1 boys' name: James
    #2 boys' name: Robert
    #3 boys' name: John

    #1 girls' name: Linda
    #2 girls' name: Mary
    #3 girls' name: Patricia

  • 1948
    18/ Shutterstock

    1948

    #1 boys' name: James
    #2 boys' name: Robert
    #3 boys' name: John

    #1 girls' name: Linda
    #2 girls' name: Mary
    #3 girls' name: Barbara

  • 1949-1952
    19/ Shutterstock

    1949-1952

    #1 boys' name: James
    #2 boys' name: Robert
    #3 boys' name: John

    #1 girls' name: Linda
    #2 girls' name: Mary
    #3 girls' name: Patricia

  • 1953
    20/ Shutterstock

    1953

    #1 boys' name: Robert
    #2 boys' name: James
    #3 boys' name: Michael

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Linda
    #3 girls' name: Deborah

  • 1954
    21/ Shutterstock

    1954

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: James
    #3 boys' name: Robert

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Linda
    #3 girls' name: Deborah

  • 1955
    22/ Shutterstock

    1955

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: David
    #3 boys' name: James

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Deborah
    #3 girls' name: Linda

  • 1956
    23/ Shutterstock

    1956

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: James
    #3 boys' name: Robert

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Debra
    #3 girls' name: Linda

  • 1957
    24/ Shutterstock

    1957

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: James
    #3 boys' name: David

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Susan
    #3 girls' name: Linda

  • 1958-1959
    25/ Shutterstock

    1958-1959

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: David
    #3 boys' name: James

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Susan
    #3 girls' name: Linda

  • 1960
    26/ Shutterstock

    1960

    #1 boys' name: David
    #2 boys' name: Michael
    #3 boys' name: James

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Susan
    #3 girls' name: Linda

  • 1961
    27/ Shutterstock

    1961

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: David
    #3 boys' name: John

    #1 girls' name: Mary
    #2 girls' name: Lisa
    #3 girls' name: Susan

  • 1962
    28/ Shutterstock

    1962

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: David
    #3 boys' name: John

    #1 girls' name: Lisa
    #2 girls' name: Mary
    #3 girls' name: Susan

  • 1963-1964
    29/ Shutterstock

    1963-1964

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: John
    #3 boys' name: David

    #1 girls' name: Lisa
    #2 girls' name: Mary
    #3 girls' name: Susan

  • 1965
    30/ Evgeny Atamanenko // Shutterstock

    1965

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: John
    #3 boys' name: David

    #1 girls' name: Lisa
    #2 girls' name: Mary
    #3 girls' name: Karen

  • 1966
    31/ takayuki // Shutterstock

    1966

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: David
    #3 boys' name: James

    #1 girls' name: Lisa
    #2 girls' name: Kimberly
    #3 girls' name: Mary

  • 1967
    32/ Pshenina_m // Shutterstock

    1967

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: David
    #3 boys' name: James

    #1 girls' name: Lisa
    #2 girls' name: Kimberly
    #3 girls' name: Michelle

  • 1968
    33/ Syda Productions // Shutterstock

    1968

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: David
    #3 boys' name: John

    #1 girls' name: Lisa
    #2 girls' name: Michelle
    #3 girls' name: Kimberly

  • 1969
    34/ Oksana Kuzmina // Shutterstock

    1969

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: David
    #3 boys' name: James

    #1 girls' name: Lisa
    #2 girls' name: Michelle
    #3 girls' name: Jennifer

  • 1970
    35/ Zdenka Darula // Shutterstock

    1970

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: James
    #3 boys' name: David

    #1 girls' name: Jennifer
    #2 girls' name: Lisa
    #3 girls' name: Kimberly

  • 1971
    36/ FamVeld // Shutterstock

    1971

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: James
    #3 boys' name: David

    #1 girls' name: Jennifer
    #2 girls' name: Michelle
    #3 girls' name: Lisa

  • 1972
    37/ Pakhnyushchy // Shutterstock

    1972

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Christopher
    #3 boys' name: James

    #1 girls' name: Jennifer
    #2 girls' name: Michelle
    #3 girls' name: Lisa

  • 1973
    38/ riggleton // Shutterstock

    1973

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Christopher
    #3 boys' name: Jason

    #1 girls' name: Jennifer
    #2 girls' name: Amy
    #3 girls' name: Michelle

  • 1974
    39/ Krisda Ponchaipulltawee // Shutterstock

    1974

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Jason
    #3 boys' name: Christopher

    #1 girls' name: Jennifer
    #2 girls' name: Amy
    #3 girls' name: Michelle

  • 1975
    40/ Africa Studio // Shutterstock

    1975

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Jason
    #3 boys' name: Christopher

    #1 girls' name: Jennifer
    #2 girls' name: Amy
    #3 girls' name: Heather

  • 1976
    41/ Oksana Kuzmina // Shutterstock

    1976

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Jason
    #3 boys' name: Christopher

    #1 girls' name: Jennifer
    #2 girls' name: Amy
    #3 girls' name: Melissa

  • 1977
    42/ Lipatova Maryna // Shutterstock

    1977

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Jason
    #3 boys' name: Christopher

    #1 girls' name: Jennifer
    #2 girls' name: Melissa
    #3 girls' name: Amy

  • 1978
    43/ burlakova_anna // Shutterstock

    1978

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Jason
    #3 boys' name: Christopher

    #1 girls' name: Jennifer
    #2 girls' name: Melissa
    #3 girls' name: Jessica

  • 1979
    44/ FamVeld // Shutterstock

    1979

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Christopher
    #3 boys' name: Jason

    #1 girls' name: Jennifer
    #2 girls' name: Melissa
    #3 girls' name: Amanda

  • 1980
    45/ pratan ounpitipong // Shutterstock

    1980

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Christopher
    #3 boys' name: Jason

    #1 girls' name: Jennifer
    #2 girls' name: Amanda
    #3 girls' name: Jessica

  • 1981-1983
    46/ Africa Studio // Shutterstock

    1981-1983

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Christopher
    #3 boys' name: Matthew

    #1 girls' name: Jennifer
    #2 girls' name: Jessica
    #3 girls' name: Amanda

  • 1984
    47/ Alena Vostrikova // Shutterstock

    1984

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Christopher
    #3 boys' name: Matthew

    #1 girls' name: Jennifer
    #2 girls' name: Jessica
    #3 girls' name: Ashley

  • 1985
    48/ STANZI // Shutterstock

    1985

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Christopher
    #3 boys' name: Matthew

    #1 girls' name: Jessica
    #2 girls' name: Ashley
    #3 girls' name: Jennifer

  • 1986-1988
    49/ Anna Grigorjeva // Shutterstock

    1986-1988

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Christopher
    #3 boys' name: Matthew

    #1 girls' name: Jessica
    #2 girls' name: Ashley
    #3 girls' name: Amanda

  • 1989-1990
    50/ Oksana Kuzmina // Shutterstock

    1989-1990

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Christopher
    #3 boys' name: Matthew

    #1 girls' name: Jessica
    #2 girls' name: Ashley
    #3 girls' name: Brittany

  • 1991
    51/ Olena Zaskochenko // Shutterstock

    1991

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Christopher
    #3 boys' name: Matthew

    #1 girls' name: Ashley
    #2 girls' name: Jessica
    #3 girls' name: Brittany

  • 1992
    52/ showice // Shutterstock

    1992

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Christopher
    #3 boys' name: Matthew

    #1 girls' name: Ashley
    #2 girls' name: Jessica
    #3 girls' name: Amanda

  • 1993
    53/ FamVeld // Shutterstock

    1993

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Christopher
    #3 boys' name: Matthew

    #1 girls' name: Jessica
    #2 girls' name: Ashley
    #3 girls' name: Sarah

  • 1994
    54/ AlexAnnaButs // Shutterstock

    1994

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Christopher
    #3 boys' name: Matthew

    #1 girls' name: Jessica
    #2 girls' name: Ashley
    #3 girls' name: Emily

  • 1995
    55/ 2xSamara.com // Shutterstock

    1995

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Matthew
    #3 boys' name: Christopher

    #1 girls' name: Jessica
    #2 girls' name: Ashley
    #3 girls' name: Emily

  • 1996
    56/ komokvm // Shutterstock

    1996

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Matthew
    #3 boys' name: Jacob

    #1 girls' name: Emily
    #2 girls' name: Jessica
    #3 girls' name: Ashley

  • 1997
    57/ Troscha // Shutterstock

    1997

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Jacob
    #3 boys' name: Matthew

    #1 girls' name: Emily
    #2 girls' name: Jessica
    #3 girls' name: Ashley

  • 1998
    58/ FamVeld // Shutterstock

    1998

    #1 boys' name: Michael
    #2 boys' name: Jacob
    #3 boys' name: Matthew

    #1 girls' name: Emily
    #2 girls' name: Hannah
    #3 girls' name: Samantha

  • 1999
    59/ Dmitry Lobanov // Shutterstock

    1999

    #1 boys' name: Jacob
    #2 boys' name: Michael
    #3 boys' name: Matthew

    #1 girls' name: Emily
    #2 girls' name: Hannah
    #3 girls' name: Alexis

  • 2000
    60/ ucchie79 // Shutterstock

    2000

    #1 boys' name: Jacob
    #2 boys' name: Michael
    #3 boys' name: Matthew

    #1 girls' name: Emily
    #2 girls' name: Hannah
    #3 girls' name: Madison

  • 2001
    61/ czechbest // Shutterstock

    2001

    #1 boys' name: Jacob
    #2 boys' name: Michael
    #3 boys' name: Matthew

    #1 girls' name: Emily
    #2 girls' name: Madison
    #3 girls' name: Hannah

  • 2002
    62/ 2xSamara.com // Shutterstock

    2002

    #1 boys' name: Jacob
    #2 boys' name: Michael
    #3 boys' name: Joshua

    #1 girls' name: Emily
    #2 girls' name: Madison
    #3 girls' name: Hannah

  • 2003-2006
    63/ Elvira Koneva // Shutterstock

    2003-2006

    #1 boys' name: Jacob
    #2 boys' name: Michael
    #3 boys' name: Joshua

    #1 girls' name: Emily
    #2 girls' name: Emma
    #3 girls' name: Madison

  • 2007
    64/ Natalia Deriabina // Shutterstock

    2007

    #1 boys' name: Jacob
    #2 boys' name: Michael
    #3 boys' name: Ethan

    #1 girls' name: Emily
    #2 girls' name: Isabella
    #3 girls' name: Emma

  • 2008
    65/ Gelpi // Shutterstock

    2008

    #1 boys' name: Jacob
    #2 boys' name: Michael
    #3 boys' name: Ethan

    #1 girls' name: Emma
    #2 girls' name: Isabella
    #3 girls' name: Emily

  • 2009
    66/ Bogdan Vija // Shutterstock

    2009

    #1 boys' name: Jacob
    #2 boys' name: Ethan
    #3 boys' name: Michael

    #1 girls' name: Isabella
    #2 girls' name: Emma
    #3 girls' name: Olivia

  • 2010
    67/ DONOT6_STUDIO // Shutterstock

    2010

    #1 boys' name: Jacob
    #2 boys' name: Ethan
    #3 boys' name: Michael

    #1 girls' name: Isabella
    #2 girls' name: Sophia
    #3 girls' name: Emma

  • 2011
    68/ pyrozhenka // Shutterstock

    2011

    #1 boys' name: Jacob
    #2 boys' name: Mason
    #3 boys' name: William

    #1 girls' name: Sophia
    #2 girls' name: Isabella
    #3 girls' name: Emma

  • 2012
    69/ Tatiana Chekryzhova // Shutterstock

    2012

    #1 boys' name: Jacob
    #2 boys' name: Mason
    #3 boys' name: Ethan

    #1 girls' name: Sophia
    #2 girls' name: Emma
    #3 girls' name: Isabella

  • 2013
    70/ Mallmo // Shutterstock

    2013

    #1 boys' name: Noah
    #2 boys' name: Jacob
    #3 boys' name: Liam

    #1 girls' name: Sophia
    #2 girls' name: Emma
    #3 girls' name: Olivia

  • 2014-2015
    71/ Falcona // Shutterstock

    2014-2015

    #1 boys' name: Noah
    #2 boys' name: Liam
    #3 boys' name: Mason

    #1 girls' name: Emma
    #2 girls' name: Olivia
    #3 girls' name: Sophia

  • 2016
    72/ Michael Pettigrew // Shutterstock

    2016

    #1 boys' name: Noah
    #2 boys' name: Liam
    #3 boys' name: William

    #1 girls' name: Emma
    #2 girls' name: Olivia
    #3 girls' name: Ava

  • 2017
    73/ ucchie79 // Shutterstock

    2017

    #1 boys' name: Liam
    #2 boys' name: Noah
    #3 boys' name: William

    #1 girls' name: Emma
    #2 girls' name: Olivia
    #3 girls' name: Ava

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