Most popular baby name from the year you were born

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Every year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) releases a list of the most popular baby names from the previous year. These are the most popular names for babies in the U.S. starting in 1955.

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In 1955, Michael was the most popular name for boys and Mary was the most popular name for baby girls. Mary was among the most popular baby names through most of the previous 50 years as well.

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Michael topped the list of male baby names again the following year - starting a trend for years to come. Mary was the most popular girl name again as well.

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Most popular: Michael and Mary. For girls, the names Debra, Karen and Susan also ranked in the top five.

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Michael and Mary took the top spots once again. In 1958, Patricia slid into the top 10 girl names, as did Mark for boys.

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Michael and Mary led the national rankings for five years in a row. In '59, the girl names Deborah, Patricia and Cynthia also scored in the top 10.

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In 1960, Michael slid down to the second most popular boy name as David took the first spot. Mary remained the favorite choice for girls. James, John and Robert rounded out the top five for boys while Mary was followed by Susan, Linda, Karen and Donna on the female side.



Michael climbed back up in 1961 as the most popular name for boys. Mary, once again, was the top choice for girls.

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The early '60s continued with the Micheal trend, but there was a shift in girl names. Lisa was the second most popular name the year prior and became the favorite in 1962.

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Michael and Lisa topped the list again. Actress Lisa Kudrow, known for her role as the quirky Phoebe Buffay in "Friends," was born in '63.

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In 1964, Michael and Lisa remained the favorites but John was a close second for boys. The 35th president of the United States, John. F Kennedy, was assassinated in November 1963, which may have been a factor in the name's popularity the following year.

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Michael and Lisa kept their top spot. For boys, the names John, David, James and Robert made it into the top five. And for girls, Mary, Kimberly, Karen and Susan were the five most popular names in '65.

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Michael and Lisa dominated the list of popular baby names, coming in at the top again, and for a few years to follow.

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The most popular names were Michael and Lisa. The name David consistently ranked in the top three in the 50s and 60s. David, which means "beloved," is based off King David, who played an important role in Christian, Jewish and Islamic scriptures. The spelling and pronunciation may vary between religions.

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Michael and Lisa were the most popular names again, while Robert and Melissa both cracked the top five.

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The most popular baby names were Michael and Lisa once more. The name Lori entered the national baby name rankings for girls.

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The '70s ushered in fondue parties, disco and the reign of the name Jennifer for baby girls. Jennifer surpassed Lisa in 1970 as the most popular baby name for girls while Michael continued its stronghold on that title for the boys.

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The most popular baby names of 1971 were Michael for the boys and Jennifer for the girls.

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Most popular: Micheal and Jennifer. The name Christopher for boys was gaining popularity as the No. 2 name for boys.

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Michael and Jennifer were the leading names again with Amy a close second for girls.

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Most popular: Michael and Jennifer. For girls, Heather and Michelle were climbing in popularity, as was Angela.

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Michael and Jennifer were the leading names in 1975. Rounding out the top five for girls were Amy, Heather, Melissa and Angela. Parents in '75 were frequently naming their boys Jason, Christopher, James and David as well.

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Michael and Jennifer kept their spot while the names Daniel for boys and Amanda for girls were the 10th most popular.

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While Michael and Jennifer were still the most popular names, Jason and Melissa were the second favorites for parents naming their babies in '77.

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The No. 1 spot didn't change - Michael and Jennifer were still the top choices. A few other girl names in the top 20 were Crystal, Rebecca and Elizabeth. Timothy and Eric faired well among boy names.

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Michael and Jennifer were still going strong in 1979. The name Jennifer was a favorite heading into the '80s, and it's origins are from a Cornish form of the Welsh name "Gwenhwyfar."

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At the start of the 1980s, there were more than 700,000 boys named Michael and close to 600,000 Jennifers - both still claiming the No. 1 spot in the rankings. Christopher and Amanda were the second most popular choices.

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Michael and Jennifer were leading the list and the names Adam and Amber rounded out the top 20.

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Most popular: Michael and Jennifer. In 1982, shorter names like Eric and Erin were catching steam for boys and girls.

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Most popular: Michael and Jennifer. Jessica was the second most popular for girls and the name Crystal was also among the favorites in 1983.

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The year 1984 was a banner year in history. Most notably, Apple aired its iconic dystopian-themed Super Bowl commercial for Apple Commuters. The ad was inspired by the classic George Orwell novel "1984." The most popular names, however, were unchanged from the years prior - Michael and Jennifer were still on top.

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For most popular girls names, Jessica ranked first in 1985, sending Jennifer to No. 3. Michael was still on top, with the names Christopher, Matthew, Joshua and Daniel also in the top five. The other three top-five girls names were Ashley, Amanda and Sarah. The name Meghan, which has seen a recent resurgence, also peaked in 1985.

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Michael and Jessica were once again the most popular, with Christopher and Ashley trailing behind. Images Plus


The most popular names were Michael and Jessica. Elizabeth ranked 10th in popularity for girls and was among the 25 most popular names given to girls for many decades prior.

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Most popular: Michael and Jessica. The names Kevin and Kayla rounded out the top 20 most popular baby names in 1988.

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The most popular names were still Michael and Jessica, but the name Brittany was among the top three girl names heading into the '90s.

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Most popular: Michael and Jessica. In fact, there would be 462,327 boys named Michael throughout the '90s and 303,094 Jessicas. The name Samantha also entered the top five at the start of the new decade.

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For boys, the name Michael remained a hit - but for girl names, Ashley became the leading choice.

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The most popular names for boys and girls were now Michael and Ashley. Ashley interrupted Jessica's reign as the most popular name for only two years, but there was barely a difference in popularity. They would go on to be the No. 1 and No. 2 names of the decade with 301,803 Ashleys and 303,094 Jessicas.

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Jessica was once again the top pick for parents with baby girls in 1993. Names like Emily, which would skyrocket in popularity in a few short years, and Nicholas, a winter-themed named, were also among the top 20. But Michael was the leading choice again for boys.

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The rankings were led by Michael and Jessica, followed by Ashley and Christopher.

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In 1995, the most popular names were Michael and Jessica again. Rachel was the 12th most popular name for girls, a fact that may have been influenced by the hit TV series, "Friends," which was in its early seasons. The character Rachel Green, with her fashion sense and humor, was an increasingly popular figure.

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In 1996, Emily was the most popular name for girls, while Michael was still the top pick for boys. Emily was joined in the top five by Jessica, Ashley, Sara and Samantha. Matthew, Jacob, Christopher and Joshua rounded out the top five for boys.



Michael and Emily took the first slots in the popularity contest. There were 237,232 Emilys born in the '90s. 

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Emily was once again the leading name. Michael was the most popular baby name of either gender from 1955 to 1998, appearing at No. 1 on the SSA's list 42 times.

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Jacob took over the No.1 spot for boys in 1999, with Michael sliding down to No. 2. Emily remained the favorite for the girls.

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At the beginning of the new millennium, the most popular baby names were still Jacob and Emily. In fact, there were 273,844 Jacobs and 223,690 Emilys born in the aughts alone.

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Jacob for boys and Emily for girls remained the most popular name. The name Madison for baby girls was gaining steam at second place.

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Emily and Jacob held the first spot, but girl names like Madison and Hannah were not too far behind in popularity. For boys, names like Ryan, Brandon and Tyler were making appearances in the top 20.

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Most popular: Emily and Jacob. In 2003, Emma was the second most popular for girls while Michael continued its grip on the list and was the second most popular baby boy name.

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Emily was consistently popular into the 2000s. For boys, the exact same names - Jacob (at No. 1), Michael, Joshua and Matthew - were popular year over year. 2004 was also the year Gwyneth Paltrow famously bestowed the moniker Apple on her daughter.

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Emily and Jacob claimed the top spots in 2005. Popular boy names in 2005 were very biblical, with Michael, Joshua, Matthew and Ethan making up the top five. Emma, Madison, Abigail and Olivia were right behind Emily on the list.

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The most popular names in 2006 were Emily and Jacob. To put in perspective the popularity of these two names, there have been almost a million babies given each name in the past century - 915,562 Jacobs and 820,233 Emilys.

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Emily and Jacob led the ranks again in 2007. This is the year the name Emily peaked in popularity, with 19,355 babies bestowed the name. There seemed to be a trend for girl names ending with an "a" - the names Mia, Olivia, Ava and Isabella were becoming more common.

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Emily and Jacob were the top names again. For boys, names like Aiden and Jayden were gaining some steam in the late 2000s. For girls, Chloe and Alexis started to rise in the ranks.

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Jacob for boys, and Isabella for girls were the most popular baby name in 2009. The decade closed out with Emma, Olivia, Sophia and Ava rounding out the top five most popular names for girls and Ethan, Michael, Alexander and William completing the top five most popular boy names.

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Jacob and Isabella were the most popular baby names once again in 2010. From 2010 to 2018, there were 152,020 Jacobs born, making Jacob the third most popular boy name of the incomplete decade. There were 156,709 Isabellas born from 2010 to 2018, making Isabella the fourth most popular girl name of the yet-to-be-completed decade.

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Jacob once again claimed the top spot for boys. Sophia - meaning wisdom in Greek origin - was at the top of the list for girl names in 2011.

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Jacob and Sophia again, but the names Mason, Ethan and Noah were close behind for boys. Meanwhile, Michael fell to seventh in the national baby-name rankings. Jacob peaked in popularity this year with 19,074 baby boys given the name.

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Noah was the No.1 most popular baby boy name in 2013, ending Jacob's 14-year run. Sophia remained a hit for girl names. Between 2010 and 2018, there were 166,986 Sophias born.

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Noah was still the most popular name for boys in 2014, with Emma leading the girls category. The name Emma has German origins and means "whole" or "universal," while Noah has Biblical origins and means "rest" or "repose." Emma has been a popular name for girls since the 1880s.

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Noah and Emma were still the most popular baby names in 2015. Liam, Mason, Jacob and William rounded out the top five for the boys. Olivia, Sophia, Ava and Isabella followed Emma in the top five girl spots. Michael was still hanging around in the top 10 at No. 9.

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Noah and Emma held strong at No. 1. The names Ella, Scarlett and Mia appeared in the top 20 names for girls. Jackson, Aiden and Elijah were among the top 20 names for baby boys.

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The names Liam and Emma were first in the national rankings in 2017. The name Aria was No. 20 on the list, perhaps influenced by HBO's "Game of Thrones," in which the character "Arya" was quickly becoming a fan favorite.

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Liam and Emma were still at the top in 2018. In fact, Emma was in the top three for 15 consecutive years. But 2018 saw another trend: food names rising in the ranks. Though the most popular baby names over the past seven or so decades haven't changed dramatically year-to-year, there's a whole other list of old-fashioned baby names that could be making a comeback.

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