Boys Names 1960-2012

Last week, I noted a post from Jezebel showing the popularity of girls names over the past 52 years. Today, they’ve done something similar for boys names.

It starts in 1960 with David at the top of the list:

Boys Names 1960


It appears that this was the end of the run for David, though, because within a mere five years Michael was dominating the land:

Boys Names 1965



Michael’s dominance continued for some 30 years until Jacob started to take over, although his dominance hasn’t lasted for long as a slew of other names seem to be taking hold in various parts of the country, although Michael still seems to have a redoubt in New York, New Jersey, and Delaware:

Boys Names 2012

As with last week’s post, there is a pretty cool animated GIF at the link showing all of this.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    I was a Michael when it was cool, now my son is a Jacob when that’s cool. Always on top of the trends, man. Ridin’ the cool wave.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    Just look at all the states that have gone “Mason” and of course Florida goes “Jayden.”

  3. Mikey says:

    I think Michael has a deeper foothold in NY and NJ because it’s a very popular name for people of Italian ancestry. My family, for example, where my grandfather, uncle, cousin, and I are Michael, and a female cousin married a Michael. Calling out “Hey Mike” at a family gathering results in several simultaneous affirmative responses.

  4. DrDaveT says:

    It’s fascinating to watch the spread from the initial point of infection. Epidemiology in action.

    I’m reminded of Connie Willis’s novel Bellwether.

  5. Just Me says:

    During my childhood Michael and James were the most popular but I didn’t have a single Michael in my class and there was only one James.

    My sons are supposed to be surrounded by Jacobs but there aren’t that many. Would love to see a county by county map-in our town Devin and Kyle would he king.

  6. Franklin says:

    I have yet to meet a Liam.

  7. Tyrell says:

    What ever happened to Junior, Bubba, and Buddy? Those used to be popular around here.

    “My name is Bocephus” (Hank Willliams Jr.)
    “My name is Sue” (Cash)

  8. Lounsbury says:

    Where on earth did Lliam come from in your Pacific Northwest?

  9. the Q says:

    What “Quatswaddle” didn’t make the list?