U.S. Baby Boy Names by Decade

For each year, guess the most popular names for baby boys born in the United States.
Click here for the female version
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: May 8, 2021
First submittedJuly 25, 2012
Times taken294,496
Average score49.3%
Rating4.50
10:00
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2020
2010
2000
1990
1980
1970
1960
1950
1940
1930
Liam
Jacob
Jacob
Michael
Michael
Michael
David
James
James
Robert
Noah
Ethan
Michael
Christopher
Christopher
James
Michael
Robert
Robert
James
Oliver
Michael
Matthew
Matthew
Jason
David
James
John
John
John
Elijah
Jayden
Joshua
Joshua
David
John
John
Michael
William
William
William
William
Christopher
Daniel
James
Robert
Robert
David
Richard
Richard
James
Alexander
Nicholas
David
Matthew
Christopher
Mark
William
Charles
Charles
Benjamin
Noah
Andrew
Andrew
Joshua
William
William
Richard
David
Donald
Lucas
Daniel
Joseph
James
John
Brian
Richard
Thomas
Thomas
George
Henry
Aiden
Daniel
Justin
Robert
Mark
Thomas
Charles
Donald
Joseph
Alexander
Anthony
Tyler
Joseph
Joseph
Richard
Steven
Gary
Ronald
Edward
Mason
Joshua
William
Ryan
Daniel
Jeffrey
Timothy
Larry
George
Thomas
Michael
Mason
Brandon
John
Brian
Scott
Joseph
Ronald
Joseph
Paul
Ethan
Christopher
Ryan
Robert
Justin
Jason
Charles
Joseph
Larry
Frank
Daniel
Andrew
John
Nicholas
William
Kevin
Jeffrey
Donald
Jerry
Jack
Jacob
David
Zachary
Anthony
Ryan
Steven
Kevin
Kenneth
Kenneth
David
Logan
Matthew
David
William
Eric
Joseph
Kenneth
Steven
Edward
Raymond
Jackson
Logan
Anthony
Jonathan
Nicholas
Thomas
Daniel
Dennis
Paul
Kenneth
Levi
Elijah
James
Kyle
Jeremy
Eric
Paul
Paul
Michael
Harold
Sebastian
James
Justin
Brandon
Andrew
Daniel
Donald
Stephen
Gary
Walter
Mateo
Joseph
Alexander
Jacob
Timothy
Timothy
Brian
George
Frank
Billy
+33
Level 88
Aug 3, 2012
Harry and Ron worked out, but sadly no Hermione.
+13
Level 44
Aug 3, 2012
Ah, we use the same strategy, Harry Potter provides a wealth of names...
+6
Level 46
Sep 30, 2014
The same for me, I even tried Neville and Seamus .... sadly it didn't work :b
+1
Level 66
May 11, 2015
Same here :) Another good source is Gilmore Girls - Logan, Richard...
+11
Level 80
Sep 7, 2015
I didn't think of using books, which is probably why I did terribly. My usual strategy is to think of people I went to school with. Sadly, as I went to a girls' school, this didn't help here.
+1
Level 67
Mar 8, 2020
Seinfeld works nicely too.
+1
Level 49
Oct 4, 2020
Yeah, after trying names like this, i resorted to Harry Potter, Twilight, ...

It helped :p

The bible should help as well, but I didn't read it (just part of it, and in french. The names are a bit different :p )

+4
Level 83
Feb 4, 2013
Popular fiction is often a good source of guesses both because a) writers are frequently unoriginal and go with popular standard names and b) in the rare instances where they are original, the people who like their work are not, and start to name their babies after characters in their favorite book or TV show or movie. See the recent surge in popularity in the names Jacob and Isabella. ::eyeroll::
+1
Level 87
May 14, 2014
You just proved his point. Twilight is derivative (as if we didn't already know).
+1
Level 83
Mar 29, 2015
And then the book's popularity reinforced and enhanced the popularity of the name Jacob.
+2
Level 54
Apr 20, 2017
Because...you know, everyone named their kids after people in Twilight.
+6
Level 44
Jun 16, 2017
I hate the name Jacob. It's disgusting.
+8
Level 74
Jul 8, 2017
I think 'Jacob' is from a certain old book...old...Old? Old Testament...that's it! Some resurgence of Old Testament names in the past few years - Elijah, Noah, Jacob....When I was a kid, there were 3 or 4 Mike's and David's in every class. The pendulum tends to swing back and forth on these more common/standard first names.
+2
Level 83
Jul 8, 2017
^ yes another oversaturated popular work of fiction that people copied names from in multitudes. This reinforces my point. But Twilight is more recently popular.
+1
Level 83
Oct 29, 2017
^ actually one of my name's is, too.
+6
Level 44
Mar 29, 2015
Uhh, don't you hate it when you take all that time typing out He who Shall not be Named and it doesn't work? I tried Voldemort and You Know Who, but still no luck...
+6
Level 73
Mar 31, 2018
Tom works though :D
+10
Level 65
Mar 18, 2017
I tried U.S. presidents, kings of England, and people I know.
+1
Level 85
May 9, 2021
But Millard and Calvin didn't work. Even Philip bombed.
+1
Level 76
Oct 4, 2020
Hermione is not a boy's name.
+5
Level 75
Jan 4, 2013
I also used the British royal family and all their kings. Got a few there.
+1
Level 26
Aug 31, 2013
You did that too? It's so useful! (:
+9
Level 54
Jun 11, 2013
Clarence?!CLARENCE?!
+3
Level 77
Mar 29, 2015
Clarence possibly became popular in the 1890s and early 1900s because of Queen Victoria's grandson, Prince Albert Victor, who was the Duke of Clarence. He was an heir to the throne, in line after his father who later became King Edward VII. Albert was engaged to be married, and his untimely death in 1892 was a shock. (Imagine if Prince William had succumbed before his marriage to Kate.)
+2
Level 79
Mar 29, 2015
Hahahaha the only reason I got it is because it's my middle name so i decided to just try and see if it was there
+3
Level 67
Sep 2, 2018
This comment by Seals is my favourite on Jetpunk!
+1
Level 62
Oct 3, 2018
You can do better than that.
+1
Level 64
May 3, 2020
I had a great uncle named Clarence but he went by Larry. I tried Larry but not Clarence.
+1
Level 77
Oct 2, 2020
I had a great uncle named Clarence, too, but he didn't go by much of anything since he died young.
+3
Level 15
Mar 13, 2021
This guy's a gangster? His real name's Clarence.

And Clarence lives at home with both parents

And Clarence‘ parents have a real good marriage

+1
Level 7
Aug 7, 2013
What About James
+7
Level 77
Mar 29, 2015
James is on the list.
+5
Level 23
Feb 8, 2014
First names of the president helped me out
+1
Level 17
Feb 17, 2014
38/66, not too bad! awesome quiz, loved it
+1
Level 57
Mar 11, 2014
It says something about consistency - this one was out of 66, the girls quiz was out of 111.
+2
Level 16
Apr 1, 2014
Accept charlie for charles please!
+1
Level 62
Oct 3, 2018
Yes, Charlie is a common nickname for Charles.
+4
Level 67
May 1, 2014
There's actually quite a surprising difference between these names and popular ones in Britain. Really surprised not to see Samuel, Ben, Nathan, Luke, names like that
+2
Level 17
Mar 27, 2015
CLARENCE???!!!???
+1
Level 63
Mar 29, 2015
I'm in high school, so I was thinking about everyone in each of my classes in addition to characters from my favorite TV shows and movies and first names of the presidents. I am very surprised that Peter is not on this quiz.
+1
Level 59
Mar 29, 2015
I knew that in the first half of the 20th century there would be mostly English names. I expected the recent decades to have more immigrants' names, such as Muhammad (Arabic) and Carlos (Spanish, Latin American). But it turned out, they don't put native names, instead everyone started taking names straight from the bible (Jacob, Joshua, Ethan, Noah, Elijah).
+8
Level 83
Mar 29, 2015
Really? No Peter?
+1
Level 44
Jun 16, 2017
+1
+1
Level 62
Jul 8, 2017
I was surprised too.
+1
Level 49
Mar 8, 2018
I thought I misspelled my own name.. nope.. sigh
+7
Level 76
Mar 29, 2015
2020: Pee-tah, Kermit, Frappuccino, Instagram.
+3
Level 61
Mar 30, 2015
perhaps Logan is already a variation of Log-In
+2
Level 58
Nov 18, 2015
Oh God please no.
+1
Level 14
Aug 1, 2017
2050: Pepe,YOLO, Memelord,Lenny
+1
Level 62
Oct 3, 2018
YEET
+2
Level 67
Dec 24, 2019
What is weird about lenny? It doesnt seem to fit in your line up. Especially not with people allready naming their kid paycheck and hitler..
+1
Level 64
Feb 26, 2022
You don't know who Lenny is??? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡° )
+1
Level 14
Mar 30, 2015
should have gotten more of these
+1
Level 21
Mar 31, 2015
Why is Bob accepted for Robert?
+1
Level 21
Mar 31, 2015
And Jack accepted for John?
+2
Level 83
Apr 10, 2015
Because these are common nicknames for those names
+3
Level 74
Aug 28, 2017
As is Liam for William
+3
Level 83
Apr 5, 2018
I can't speak for the younger generation, but I know when I was growing up nobody in the United States named William was called Liam. They would have been called Bill or Will or Willy or Billy or just William. I don't think most Americans would think of Liam as a nickname for William, but instead as a separate distinct name. I could be wrong. More recently than when I was a child, starting approximately around 2006 or 2007, there seemed to be this trend in the US amongst young people to start giving themselves unusual nicknames based on some other random and arbitrary portion of their name. e.g. instead of Christopher becoming Chris... it would be "Topher." Instead of Brittany become "Brit" it would be.. "Tanny." etc. I started hearing lots of odd ones around that time. Run in to the same thing in the Philippines. They like odd names over here.
+4
Level 21
Jun 30, 2018
Liam is the Irish form of William.
+2
Level 77
Oct 2, 2020
I knew a man named Frederick who, at different times in his life, went by Fred, Eric, and Rick.
+2
Level 85
May 9, 2021
I think these previous-year commenters would be amused by the name that turned up as #1 in 2020 after not appearing anywhere else in the list.
+2
Level 53
Jun 21, 2021
Liam has been used as a nickname for William for centuries, but please use your revised history instead of facts to make yourself feel better.
+1
Level 26
Apr 4, 2019
Every Bob I know, their name is Robert.
+5
Level 43
Oct 19, 2015
Jayden, Aiden, Elijah, oh god what's next, Gaylord?
+2
Level 67
Dec 24, 2019
Gaylord is an existing name (for those that didnt know) and one that was still given frequently up untill the 50s, after that usage declined (because of the shift of the meaning of the word gay (which originally meant happy, jolly), besides the normal decline that occurs like with Mildred or something)
+2
Level 63
Jan 22, 2016
Some mentioned using fictional characters from books, friends names or musicians. I also try actors.
+1
Level 54
Mar 13, 2017
And, unsurprisingly, it helps to run through the disciples.
+3
Level 45
Feb 29, 2016
I'm surprised there are no Hispanic names in 2010, or do those count as the English equivalents?
+5
Level 63
Dec 21, 2016
The information probably comes from the social security website, which only counts legal citizens. They keep a list of the top names for each year
+10
Level 28
Feb 2, 2017
^ not sure if you meant for this to be a joke xD
+1
Level 72
Feb 14, 2017
What is quite stunning for me are the huge differences from decade to decade, both here and in the other similar quizzes for the UK etc. Do parents just choose random names? I guess this may sound like a silly question, but in my country it is a tradition to name children after their grandparents, so I am wondering if people do anything similar in any other country...
+2
Level 83
Apr 5, 2018
Naming traditions in the USA used to be more conservative but lately they are not. Names for babies are like fashion trends that come in and out of style. Once a name becomes very popular then people stop favoring it because it's overexposed. Kids still get named after grandparents and odd family relatives, but I think it's more common that this will become a middle name than a first name. There's also the fact that the United States is not a homogenous place. They have lots of different people from lots of different backgrounds living there. Finally I think people from smaller less populous countries with less globally dominant cultures often feel some obligation to preserve their culture, language and traditions for future generations. Americans rarely feel any such pressure. They choose names that they like.
+1
Level 67
Jun 10, 2019
Huge differences??? There could be 20x12= 240 different names on here, but there are only 71 !! Each column is nearly the same, only some slight differences.

I think in many places names have been very unoriginal and limited, sometimes even with brothers of the same name. That has become less and less and I think around 2000 (there is no abrupt line but by then it was a majority) people started naming their kids original things. I think part of it is, religion in most places does not dictate everyday life anymore so biblical names and naming after saints becomes less.

plus the world has become much "bigger" definitely with internet but also because almost everyone has a car now. Nobody normal would use to see the world beyond their town, so traditions and family were a bigger thing. Not that they dont matter now, but it used to be all encompassing.

+2
Level 59
Mar 13, 2017
Shoutout if your name made it on here. Mine did :0
+2
Level 44
Jun 16, 2017
What is your name? I'm a girl. And my first name isn't on the girl version of this quiz, my middle name is.
+1
Level 67
Jun 10, 2019
"geography" is on there?? I guess it gets listed under george :)
+3
Level 23
May 10, 2017
"Gangster? His real name's Clarence"- Eminem (8Mile)
+1
Level 82
May 16, 2017
Wait, Jack doesn't count for Jackson? Jon works for Jonathan and even John, so I didn't bother going past Jack.
+4
Level 56
Jun 2, 2017
Can you accept Aidan for Aiden?
+2
Level ∞
Jun 5, 2017
Okay
+1
Level 61
Jun 28, 2017
needs more time.
+2
Level 66
Jul 8, 2017
Every single one of my uncle's names are on the list. My grandparents aren't very original
+1
Level 67
Jun 10, 2019
I think the originality started about 1 (2 if you are young) generation ago. I think my parents generation were the first that started to give not so oldfashioned names.
+1
Level 87
Oct 2, 2020
I have two uncles named Rob and David, but I also have four more named Doug, Phil, Brad, and Curt, and none of those names appear on this list.
+1
Level 37
Jul 8, 2017
Harold and Harry are the same name.

Fun quiz overall though. I missed a couple whoppers.

+2
Level 67
Jun 10, 2019
No, Harry comes from Henry which comes from Hen(d)rik/Heinrich. Which comes from the roots of home (heim) and ruler (like latin rex and regis. The same part is used in Frederick and Richard).

Harold comes from the roots for army (here (not pronounced as the english word here but more like herre) and rule/power (wald, compare wield)

So definately not the same name. Of you course people can gives other people any nickname they want. (Some people give others random names, like calling every new person in class bob or something eventhough they are called mitchell) But Harold and Hen(d)rik are two distinct names.

+1
Level 14
Jul 9, 2017
Jeez, I used a lot of Pokemon and Marvel names to help me....
+1
Level 14
Jul 9, 2017
I have failed General Grievous for not knowing to put the name Matthew
+1
Level 66
Jul 20, 2017
I worked through U.S. presidents, my family and friends, authors, musicians, actors, etc. Still only got 33...
+1
Level 67
Jun 10, 2019
I went biblical, then (for the ones I didnt have yet) english kings, then american president, but that didnt help me much, Cause I dont know too many and lincoln and obama werent on the list :P

Then I think I tried thinking of writers ( and singers ) but I couldnt think of many haha.

+2
Level 50
Oct 29, 2017
Here's a little fun: I was entering Ronald -- for which Ron is enough, but keep typing and it gives me Al!

Now my question: am I wrong thinking William should trigger Liam?

+2
Level 35
Jan 13, 2018
I missed my own name. It only made it twice so it wasn't that dumb of me not to guess it.
+1
Level 5
Jan 21, 2018
I thought of kids in my grade cause there is alot of them with common names
+1
Level 17
May 11, 2018
why my name Aiden has 26%
+2
Level 22
May 14, 2018
Why are boy names so much easier???
+2
Level 66
Aug 12, 2018
Forgot Andrew, Raymond and Arthur.

Surprised Peter, Fred, Muhammed, Sam weren't there

+2
Level 45
Oct 6, 2018
I find it rather interesting that boys names have less diversity then girls. girls had about 113 different names, while boys had 71.
+2
Level 72
Feb 1, 2019
I have been thinking a lot about this. It is much more common in western culture to name a son after a father, grandfather, etc.
+1
Level 67
Jun 10, 2019
I think maybe they want something "pretty" for the girls names, so divert a bit from the beaten path and want to be creative. While for guys known names show strength ( naming after kings and rulers etc)
+2
Level 53
Jan 25, 2019
What's the frequency, Kenneth?
+1
Level 60
Oct 2, 2020
is your Benzedrine, uh-huh

I was brain-dead, locked out, numb, not up to speed

I thought I'd pegged you an idiot's dream

Tunnel vision from the outsider's screen

I never understood the frequency, uh-huh

You wore our expectations like an armored suit, uh-huh

I'd studied your cartoons, radio, music, TV, movies, magazines

Richard said, "Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy"

A smile like the cartoon, tooth for a tooth

You said that irony was the shackles of youth

You wore a shirt of violent green, uh-huh

I never understood the frequency, uh-huh

"What's the frequency, Kenneth?" is your Benzedrine, uh-huh

Butterfly decal, rearview mirror, dogging the scene

You smile like the cartoon, tooth for a tooth

You said that irony was the shackles of youth

You wore a shirt of violent green, uh-huh

I never understood the frequency, uh-huh

You wore our expectations like an armored suit, uh-huh

I couldn't understand

You said that irony was the shackles of youth, uh-huh

+1
Level 60
Oct 2, 2020
I couldn't understand

You wore a shirt of violent green, uh-huh

I couldn't understand

I never understood, don't f- with me, uh-huh

+1
Level 44
Feb 26, 2019
I forgot my own name. *face palm*
+1
Level 67
Oct 3, 2020
LOL
+1
Level 43
May 2, 2019
Can I suggest you accept the Mathew spelling of Matthew with only the one T as its a common alternative spelling.
+2
Level 36
Aug 14, 2019
Frustrating to type in Gerald and then see Jerry on there... Oh well!
+1
Level 30
Jun 15, 2020
Far fewer 'invented' names on the boys' list. I wonder why?
+4
Level 52
Oct 2, 2020
Wait hold up, where is Peter
+1
Level 65
Oct 2, 2020
Oh wow, I didn't even see the second table.
+1
Level 76
Oct 4, 2020
Hum, I missed ten in the 2016 column, but only two in the 1910 and 1920 columns each.
+3
Level 49
Oct 5, 2020
No Peter or Adam?
+2
Level 36
Oct 8, 2020
Surprised that almost none of my classmates names are on here. Harder than I thought. Not very many excuses as I am 11. All my uncles were on here too:)
+2
Level 68
May 8, 2021
I tried Jaden and it didn't work. I think that is a common spelling and should be accepted.
+1
Level ∞
May 8, 2021
Okay
+1
Level 77
Aug 7, 2021
Accept Jay for Jayden?
+2
Level 37
Aug 25, 2021
Mateo, yet no peter...
+1
Level 73
Nov 8, 2021
I like that even though there are 200 slots, they're filled by just 69 names
+1
Level 83
Nov 13, 2021
So a Hispanic name finally cracks the top 20 in the year 2020... and it's Mateo. I tried Juan but when that didn't work didn't guess any others. Should Matthew and Matt not work for Mateo?
+1
Level 23
Nov 16, 2021
55/69 not bad
+2
Level 43
Dec 2, 2021
Why is Jack accepted for John but not Jackson?
+1
Level 37
Jan 29, 2022
The key to this is:

Presidents First and Middle names, (sometimes also last names of presidents), English Kings, French Kings, Common names for boys, Founding fathers, and The Beatles' First names.

+1
Level 16
Feb 11, 2022
False, Ringo didnt work!
+1
Level 68
Feb 22, 2022
Mateo
+1
Level 51
Apr 16, 2022
Liam is a short form or diminutive of William.
+1
Level 25
Apr 26, 2022
Sebastion, really? I'm a teacher and have never come across Sebastion in 30 years.
+2
Level 73
Apr 27, 2022
For one thing, the name is the Sebastian. Furthermore, I don't think you would be teaching anyone born in 2020.