Baby Names That Rocked the 1950s

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December 8, 2017
Patryk Kosmider // Shutterstock

Baby Names That Rocked the 1950s

Perhaps no decade in US history conjures up more imagery of All-American idealism than the 1950s. A politically conservative era, the ‘50s introduced the world to some of the most enduring cultural touchstones of the USA: milkshakes, Elvis Presley, I Love Lucy, and sock-hops. One might imagine classic American kids named Jimmy and Susie splitting a hot-fudge sundae at a local soda shop - and you’d actually be historically accurate. James and Susan were in fact two of the most popular names of the decade.

In the age of the baby boom, popular names were traditional and conservative, mirroring the culture of the times. The top 10 most popular girls names throughout the 1950’s accounted for an incredible 25% of all baby girls born in that decade. In 2017, as parents opt for more unique names, the top ten girls names account for only about 7% of the population. Though massively popular at the time, many common names have now fallen drastically in rank. Susan, once a mainstay in the top 10 list, barely made the top 1,000 popular names in 2016.

As a homage to the times of white picket fences and drive-in movies, Stacker used the Social Security's historical archives to calculate the average rank of baby names from the 1950s and compared those names to their popularity in 2016. Click through to find out which classic monikers stayed relevant, and which fell out of fashion.

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Evgeny Atamanenko // Shutterstock

#50 Boy: Dale

Rank in the 1950s: #50
Average annual births in the 1950s: 7,552
Rank in 2016: #1,125
Births in 2016: 171

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#50 Girl: Bonnie

Rank in the 1950s: #50
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,300
Rank in 2016: #895
Births in 2016: 309

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takayuki // Shutterstock

#49 Boy: Christopher

Rank in the 1950s: #49
Average annual births in the 1950s: 7,821
Rank in 2016: #36
Births in 2016: 9,020

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#49 Girl: Martha

Rank in the 1950s: #49
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,318
Rank in 2016: #727
Births in 2016: 389

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Pshenina_m // Shutterstock

#48 Boy: Carl

Rank in the 1950s: #48
Average annual births in the 1950s: 7,872
Rank in 2016: #604
Births in 2016: 442

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ucchie79 // Shutterstock

#48 Girl: Cindy

Rank in the 1950s: #48
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,397
Rank in 2016: #1,025
Births in 2016: 256

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#47 Boy: Ricky

Rank in the 1950s: #47
Average annual births in the 1950s: 7,912
Rank in 2016: #603
Births in 2016: 444

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#47 Girl: Peggy

Rank in the 1950s: #47
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,428
Rank in 2016: #6,569
Births in 2016: 19

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#46 Boy: Gerald

Rank in the 1950s: #46
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,259
Rank in 2016: #812
Births in 2016: 283

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#46 Girl: Paula

Rank in the 1950s: #46
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,486
Rank in 2016: #824
Births in 2016: 346

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#45 Boy: Alan

Rank in the 1950s: #45
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,394
Rank in 2016: #154
Births in 2016: 2,626

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Oksana Kuzmina // Shutterstock

#45 Girl: Joan

Rank in the 1950s: #45
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,517
Rank in 2016: #1,830
Births in 2016: 112

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#44 Boy: Danny

Rank in the 1950s: #44
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,660
Rank in 2016: #479
Births in 2016: 636

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#44 Girl: Gail

Rank in the 1950s: #44
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,561
Rank in 2016: #6,218
Births in 2016: 20

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#43 Boy: Wayne

Rank in the 1950s: #43
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,808
Rank in 2016: #743
Births in 2016: 327

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Impact Photography // Shutterstock

#43 Girl: Gloria

Rank in the 1950s: #43
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,669
Rank in 2016: #550
Births in 2016: 563

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riggleton // Shutterstock

#42 Boy: Lawrence

Rank in the 1950s: #42
Average annual births in the 1950s: 9,108
Rank in 2016: #493
Births in 2016: 612

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Tetiana Iatsenko // Shutterstock

#42 Girl: Julie

Rank in the 1950s: #42
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,669
Rank in 2016: #482
Births in 2016: 644

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Krisda Ponchaipulltawee // Shutterstock

#41 Boy: Keith

Rank in the 1950s: #41
Average annual births in the 1950s: 9,120
Rank in 2016: #484
Births in 2016: 630

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Marko Poplasen // Shutterstock

#41 Girl: Ann

Rank in the 1950s: #41
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,703
Rank in 2016: #992
Births in 2016: 264

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Africa Studio // Shutterstock

#40 Boy: Patrick

Rank in the 1950s: #40
Average annual births in the 1950s: 9,683
Rank in 2016: #170
Births in 2016: 2,344

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#40 Girl: Connie

Rank in the 1950s: #40
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,880
Rank in 2016: #2,475
Births in 2016: 73

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Oksana Kuzmina // Shutterstock

#39 Boy: Peter

Rank in the 1950s: #39
Average annual births in the 1950s: 10,271
Rank in 2016: #207
Births in 2016: 1,904

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#39 Girl: Theresa

Rank in the 1950s: #39
Average annual births in the 1950s: 8,959
Rank in 2016: #1,195
Births in 2016: 207

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Lipatova Maryna // Shutterstock

#38 Boy: Raymond

Rank in the 1950s: #38
Average annual births in the 1950s: 10,890
Rank in 2016: #284
Births in 2016: 1,264

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#38 Girl: Laura

Rank in the 1950s: #38
Average annual births in the 1950s: 9,552
Rank in 2016: #346
Births in 2016: 958

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burlakova_anna // Shutterstock

#37 Boy: Roger

Rank in the 1950s: #37
Average annual births in the 1950s: 11,010
Rank in 2016: #644
Births in 2016: 407

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#37 Girl: Lisa

Rank in the 1950s: #37
Average annual births in the 1950s: 9,582
Rank in 2016: #833
Births in 2016: 342

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FamVeld // Shutterstock

#36 Boy: Scott

Rank in the 1950s: #36
Average annual births in the 1950s: 11,179
Rank in 2016: #465
Births in 2016: 655

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#36 Girl: Beverly

Rank in the 1950s: #36
Average annual births in the 1950s: 9,778
Rank in 2016: #1,398
Births in 2016: 165

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pratan ounpitipong // Shutterstock

#35 Boy: Frank

Rank in the 1950s: #35
Average annual births in the 1950s: 11,228
Rank in 2016: #353
Births in 2016: 951

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#35 Girl: Betty

Rank in the 1950s: #35
Average annual births in the 1950s: 10,319
Rank in 2016: #1,337
Births in 2016: 176

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Africa Studio // Shutterstock

#34 Boy: Brian

Rank in the 1950s: #34
Average annual births in the 1950s: 11,231
Rank in 2016: #204
Births in 2016: 1,965

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Ivanna-Ivashka // Shutterstock

#34 Girl: Judith

Rank in the 1950s: #34
Average annual births in the 1950s: 10,875
Rank in 2016: #889
Births in 2016: 313

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Africa Studio // Shutterstock

#33 Boy: Randy

Rank in the 1950s: #33
Average annual births in the 1950s: 12,050
Rank in 2016: #635
Births in 2016: 417

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#33 Girl: Shirley

Rank in the 1950s: #33
Average annual births in the 1950s: 10,879
Rank in 2016: #1,388
Births in 2016: 168

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Lopolo // Shutterstock

#32 Boy: Bruce

Rank in the 1950s: #32
Average annual births in the 1950s: 13,639
Rank in 2016: #437
Births in 2016: 697

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gualtiero boffi // Shutterstock

#32 Girl: Catherine

Rank in the 1950s: #32
Average annual births in the 1950s: 10,882
Rank in 2016: #195
Births in 2016: 1,660

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Alena Vostrikova // Shutterstock

#31 Boy: Jerry

Rank in the 1950s: #31
Average annual births in the 1950s: 13,653
Rank in 2016: #506
Births in 2016: 589

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#31 Girl: Christine

Rank in the 1950s: #31
Average annual births in the 1950s: 11,333
Rank in 2016: #729
Births in 2016: 388

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STANZI // Shutterstock

#30 Boy: Anthony

Rank in the 1950s: #30
Average annual births in the 1950s: 13,663
Rank in 2016: #30
Births in 2016: 9,815

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#30 Girl: Teresa

Rank in the 1950s: #30
Average annual births in the 1950s: 11,427
Rank in 2016: #667
Births in 2016: 435

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Anna Grigorjeva // Shutterstock

#29 Boy: Terry

Rank in the 1950s: #29
Average annual births in the 1950s: 14,065
Rank in 2016: #665
Births in 2016: 386

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Oksana Kuzmina // Shutterstock

#29 Girl: Joyce

Rank in the 1950s: #29
Average annual births in the 1950s: 11,495
Rank in 2016: #735
Births in 2016: 385

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Minnikova Mariia // Shutterstock

#28 Boy: Douglas

Rank in the 1950s: #28
Average annual births in the 1950s: 14,815
Rank in 2016: #601
Births in 2016: 445

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#28 Girl: Rebecca

Rank in the 1950s: #28
Average annual births in the 1950s: 11,569
Rank in 2016: #207
Births in 2016: 1,563

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#27 Boy: Kevin

Rank in the 1950s: #27
Average annual births in the 1950s: 15,896
Rank in 2016: #89
Births in 2016: 4,526

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#27 Girl: Judy

Rank in the 1950s: #27
Average annual births in the 1950s: 11,804
Rank in 2016: #1,539
Births in 2016: 145

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Oksana Kuzmina // Shutterstock

#26 Boy: Gregory

Rank in the 1950s: #26
Average annual births in the 1950s: 17,838
Rank in 2016: #361
Births in 2016: 913

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#26 Girl: Denise

Rank in the 1950s: #26
Average annual births in the 1950s: 12,377
Rank in 2016: #1,203
Births in 2016: 205

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FamVeld // Shutterstock

#25 Boy: George

Rank in the 1950s: #25
Average annual births in the 1950s: 18,096
Rank in 2016: #125
Births in 2016: 3,288

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#25 Girl: Carolyn

Rank in the 1950s: #25
Average annual births in the 1950s: 12,406
Rank in 2016: #810
Births in 2016: 349

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Olena Zaskochenko // Shutterstock

#24 Boy: Jeffrey

Rank in the 1950s: #24
Average annual births in the 1950s: 18,456
Rank in 2016: #301
Births in 2016: 1,163

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Samuel Borges Photography // Shutterstock

#24 Girl: Janice

Rank in the 1950s: #24
Average annual births in the 1950s: 13,360
Rank in 2016: #1,406
Births in 2016: 164

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#23 Boy: Edward

Rank in the 1950s: #23
Average annual births in the 1950s: 18,829
Rank in 2016: #163
Births in 2016: 2,491

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#23 Girl: Margaret

Rank in the 1950s: #23
Average annual births in the 1950s: 14,957
Rank in 2016: #139
Births in 2016: 2,202

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FamVeld // Shutterstock

#22 Boy: Timothy

Rank in the 1950s: #22
Average annual births in the 1950s: 19,823
Rank in 2016: #153
Births in 2016: 2,639

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Natalia Kirichenko // Shutterstock

#22 Girl: Kathy

Rank in the 1950s: #22
Average annual births in the 1950s: 15,792
Rank in 2016: #1,442
Births in 2016: 159

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#21 Boy: Dennis

Rank in the 1950s: #21
Average annual births in the 1950s: 20,416
Rank in 2016: #511
Births in 2016: 581

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Michael Pettigrew // Shutterstock

#21 Girl: Elizabeth

Rank in the 1950s: #21
Average annual births in the 1950s: 16,565
Rank in 2016: #13
Births in 2016: 9,493

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2xSamara.com // Shutterstock

#20 Boy: Stephen

Rank in the 1950s: #20
Average annual births in the 1950s: 20,718
Rank in 2016: #265
Births in 2016: 1,367

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#20 Girl: Janet

Rank in the 1950s: #20
Average annual births in the 1950s: 16,750
Rank in 2016: #1,421
Births in 2016: 162

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#19 Boy: Daniel

Rank in the 1950s: #19
Average annual births in the 1950s: 24,361
Rank in 2016: #13
Births in 2016: 12,839

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#19 Girl: Cheryl

Rank in the 1950s: #19
Average annual births in the 1950s: 17,136
Rank in 2016: #2,511
Births in 2016: 71

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Troscha // Shutterstock

#18 Boy: Larry

Rank in the 1950s: #18
Average annual births in the 1950s: 24,558
Rank in 2016: #606
Births in 2016: 442

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Tetiana Iatsenko // Shutterstock

#18 Girl: Brenda

Rank in the 1950s: #18
Average annual births in the 1950s: 20,923
Rank in 2016: #840
Births in 2016: 338

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FamVeld // Shutterstock

#17 Boy: Paul

Rank in the 1950s: #17
Average annual births in the 1950s: 25,310
Rank in 2016: #206
Births in 2016: 1,921

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Patryk Kosmider // Shutterstock

#17 Girl: Diane

Rank in the 1950s: #17
Average annual births in the 1950s: 21,061
Rank in 2016: #1,965
Births in 2016: 101

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#16 Boy: Kenneth

Rank in the 1950s: #16
Average annual births in the 1950s: 26,269
Rank in 2016: #208
Births in 2016: 1,901

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#16 Girl: Carol

Rank in the 1950s: #16
Average annual births in the 1950s: 22,263
Rank in 2016: #1,656
Births in 2016: 129

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ucchie79 // Shutterstock

#15 Boy: Ronald

Rank in the 1950s: #15
Average annual births in the 1950s: 27,103
Rank in 2016: #426
Births in 2016: 724

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#15 Girl: Kathleen

Rank in the 1950s: #15
Average annual births in the 1950s: 22,431
Rank in 2016: #841
Births in 2016: 338

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#14 Boy: Donald

Rank in the 1950s: #14
Average annual births in the 1950s: 27,343
Rank in 2016: #488
Births in 2016: 621

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#14 Girl: Sharon

Rank in the 1950s: #14
Average annual births in the 1950s: 23,279
Rank in 2016: #928
Births in 2016: 295

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2xSamara.com // Shutterstock

#13 Boy: Joseph

Rank in the 1950s: #13
Average annual births in the 1950s: 29,989
Rank in 2016: #20
Births in 2016: 10,823

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#13 Girl: Pamela

Rank in the 1950s: #13
Average annual births in the 1950s: 23,737
Rank in 2016: #1,304
Births in 2016: 182

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Elvira Koneva // Shutterstock

#12 Boy: Gary

Rank in the 1950s: #12
Average annual births in the 1950s: 32,979
Rank in 2016: #605
Births in 2016: 442

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Studio Romantic // Shutterstock

#12 Girl: Sandra

Rank in the 1950s: #12
Average annual births in the 1950s: 25,155
Rank in 2016: #877
Births in 2016: 318

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#11 Boy: Steven

Rank in the 1950s: #11
Average annual births in the 1950s: 33,353
Rank in 2016: #167
Births in 2016: 2,381

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#11 Girl: Cynthia

Rank in the 1950s: #11
Average annual births in the 1950s: 26,339
Rank in 2016: #561
Births in 2016: 550

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Anna Grigorjeva // Shutterstock

#10 Boy: Charles

Rank in the 1950s: #10
Average annual births in the 1950s: 36,100
Rank in 2016: #51
Births in 2016: 7,050

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Elvira Koneva // Shutterstock

#10 Girl: Donna

Rank in the 1950s: #10
Average annual births in the 1950s: 27,032
Rank in 2016: #1,758
Births in 2016: 117

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Evgeniya Yantseva // Shutterstock

#9 Boy: Mark

Rank in the 1950s: #9
Average annual births in the 1950s: 38,243
Rank in 2016: #195
Births in 2016: 2,057

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Oleggg // Shutterstock

#9 Girl: Nancy

Rank in the 1950s: #9
Average annual births in the 1950s: 28,677
Rank in 2016: #900
Births in 2016: 306

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Natalia Deriabina // Shutterstock

#8 Boy: Thomas

Rank in the 1950s: #8
Average annual births in the 1950s: 45,419
Rank in 2016: #48
Births in 2016: 7,309

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Nina Buday // Shutterstock

#8 Girl: Karen

Rank in the 1950s: #8
Average annual births in the 1950s: 33,249
Rank in 2016: #504
Births in 2016: 614

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Gelpi // Shutterstock

#7 Boy: Richard

Rank in the 1950s: #7
Average annual births in the 1950s: 53,519
Rank in 2016: #160
Births in 2016: 2,499

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#7 Girl: Debra

Rank in the 1950s: #7
Average annual births in the 1950s: 34,130
Rank in 2016: #3,170
Births in 2016: 51

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Bogdan Vija // Shutterstock

#6 Boy: William

Rank in the 1950s: #6
Average annual births in the 1950s: 59,102
Rank in 2016: #3
Births in 2016: 15,668

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#6 Girl: Barbara

Rank in the 1950s: #6
Average annual births in the 1950s: 34,569
Rank in 2016: #856
Births in 2016: 326

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DONOT6_STUDIO // Shutterstock

#5 Boy: David

Rank in the 1950s: #5
Average annual births in the 1950s: 76,961
Rank in 2016: #19
Births in 2016: 11,028

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Evgeny Atamanenko // Shutterstock

#5 Girl: Deborah

Rank in the 1950s: #5
Average annual births in the 1950s: 43,051
Rank in 2016: #815
Births in 2016: 348

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pyrozhenka // Shutterstock

#4 Boy: John

Rank in the 1950s: #4
Average annual births in the 1950s: 79,760
Rank in 2016: #28
Births in 2016: 9,952

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Natalia Kirichenko // Shutterstock

#4 Girl: Susan

Rank in the 1950s: #4
Average annual births in the 1950s: 43,770
Rank in 2016: #922
Births in 2016: 296

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Tatiana Chekryzhova // Shutterstock

#3 Boy: Robert

Rank in the 1950s: #3
Average annual births in the 1950s: 83,011
Rank in 2016: #62
Births in 2016: 5,953

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Elena Efimova // Shutterstock

#3 Girl: Patricia

Rank in the 1950s: #3
Average annual births in the 1950s: 45,961
Rank in 2016: #745
Births in 2016: 380

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Mallmo // Shutterstock

#2 Boy: Michael

Rank in the 1950s: #2
Average annual births in the 1950s: 83,712
Rank in 2016: #8
Births in 2016: 13,998

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Flashon Studio // Shutterstock

#2 Girl: Linda

Rank in the 1950s: #2
Average annual births in the 1950s: 56,429
Rank in 2016: #669
Births in 2016: 434

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Falcona // Shutterstock

#1 Boy: James

Rank in the 1950s: #1
Average annual births in the 1950s: 84,345
Rank in 2016: #5
Births in 2016: 14,776

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greenaperture // Shutterstock

#1 Girl: Mary

Rank in the 1950s: #1
Average annual births in the 1950s: 62,556
Rank in 2016: #127
Births in 2016: 2,487

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