Most popular baby names of every year since 1915

Written by:
August 27, 2018
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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

1 / 72
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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

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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

3 / 72
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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

4 / 72
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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

5 / 72
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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

6 / 72
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

20 / 72
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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

21 / 72
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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

22 / 72
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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

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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

24 / 72
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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

25 / 72
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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

26 / 72
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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

27 / 72
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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

28 / 72
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

34 / 72
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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

35 / 72
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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

36 / 72
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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

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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

38 / 72
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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

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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

40 / 72
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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

41 / 72
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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

42 / 72
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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

43 / 72
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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

44 / 72
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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

45 / 72
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

46 / 72
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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

47 / 72
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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

48 / 72
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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

49 / 72
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

50 / 72
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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

51 / 72
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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

52 / 72
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

53 / 72
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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

54 / 72
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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

55 / 72
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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

56 / 72
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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

57 / 72
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

58 / 72
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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

59 / 72
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

60 / 72
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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

61 / 72
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

62 / 72
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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

63 / 72
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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

64 / 72
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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

65 / 72
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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

66 / 72
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

67 / 72
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

68 / 72
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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

69 / 72
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

70 / 72
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

71 / 72
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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

72 / 72
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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