Before You Name That Baby

Ever wonder why there is so many people around you with the same name? I do. Thanks to, I discovered that my first name “Jeffrey” was a name given to many baby males during the time frame of 1945-1993 with peaks in 1961 and 1968. I was born in 1983. That is quite a lot of Jeffrey’s.

NameTrends sources its data from the social security records which are publicly available and contains the national popularity of each of the top 1000 male and female names for each year since 1880. It also contains state-specific popularity of the top 100 male and female names for each year since 1960. The state-level popularity data is only available for the top 100 names in each state so keep that in mind when your browsing around the state map. NameTrends also provides visual data that allows you to see similar names or variations of names over time.

According to NameTrends, the following names were also popular during the same time frame:

  • Randy
  • Brenda
  • Wendy
  • Brent

Those names which were popular and began with the same letter as mine include:

  • Jacob
  • Joshua
  • Joseph
  • James
  • Jayden

Looking at the state by state popularity map for my name, I discovered that in 1983 (the year I was born) the closest I came to being number 1 in the top 100 names was Connecticut and Massachusetts, both ranked at number 17.

Considering I have already been named, it is not going to do me much good but I find it interesting how my first name was popular in the 1940s to the 1980s and now it has started to die off. I wonder if that is because of the baby boomer generation finally beginning to level off or if my name simply isn’t popular to use anymore.

Dive into the site and report back with your findings related to your name. The data is confined to U.S. residents only.

5 thoughts on “Before You Name That Baby

  1. I think it was Freakonomics where it was suggested that names travel in waves from the middle class to the lower class, i.e. that names start off in the burbs and over time become less popular there but more popular in lower income areas.

  2. Damn Hairy Human says:

    Freakonomics was an excellent read, and yes, there was the whole part on naming trends. I’m just wondering why Jeffro is posting about names (besides his curiousity). Is your g/f pregnant?

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