Social Security Administration Popular Names Database

If you were born in the United States of America, then when you were born your name was recorded by the Social Security Administration. Since 1880, the Social Security Administration has been keeping track of how popular names are and every year they publish those results. There are many places where you can find that information, but if you want to go straight to the source, it can be found here.

There is a lot of information that you can get on that site including up to the 1,000 most popular names for each year from 1880 up until last year and how a single name’s ranking has changed over the years.

Both of these things drill more into the specifics of the data. On the list of names, it will tell you the exact rank of each name in the top 1,000, what percentage of babies born that year had that name and exactly how many babies that was.

In addition to using this to help me find names that fit for my characters, I have found it interesting to find out how popular a name of someone I know is the year that person was born. In my case my name is not very popular and there are usually fewer than 300 babies born each year with it. 300 isn’t exactly a small number, but when it compares to how many babies are born each year, it’s pretty small. The most popular name for girls the year I was born was around 200 times more popular, it really doesn’t sound like much any more. In fact their were more little girls with the most popular name of Jennifer the year I was born than there were people in my hometown at the turn of the century, which is kind of crazy to consider. What do you find interesting of name popularity data?

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