Most Common American Men's Names

Guess the most popular first names for all males born in the United States between 1940–2019.
Age = average age of people with that name
To make it easier, we give you the first letter
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: September 17, 2020
First submittedDecember 12, 2013
Times taken66,495
Rating4.21
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Name
Age
M
Michael
46
J
James
52
J
John
53
R
Robert
55
D
David
50
W
William
50
C
Christopher
35
J
Joseph
43
R
Richard
57
T
Thomas
51
D
Daniel
39
M
Matthew
31
C
Charles
53
 
Name
Age
M
Mark
51
A
Anthony
37
S
Steven
49
J
Joshua
27
A
Andrew
32
K
Kevin
41
B
Brian
43
T
Timothy
46
J
Jason
36
P
Paul
53
K
Kenneth
54
J
Jeffrey
48
R
Ryan
27
 
Name
Age
R
Ronald
60
J
Jacob
21
E
Eric
39
D
Donald
60
N
Nicholas
28
G
Gary
61
J
Jonathan
30
S
Stephen
51
J
Justin
28
S
Scott
48
B
Brandon
26
E
Edward
54
 
Name
Age
L
Larry
62
G
George
56
G
Gregory
50
B
Benjamin
27
A
Alexander
21
S
Samuel
30
P
Patrick
43
T
Tyler
22
D
Dennis
60
A
Aaron
29
A
Adam
30
Z
Zachary
23
+14
Level ∞
Dec 12, 2013
Why are the average ages so old? It's not the baby boom. In fact, modern birth figures are just as high as the baby boom. It's the fact that modern children have more diverse names. This year's top name wouldn't even crack the top 20 in 1970.
+1
Level 66
Dec 14, 2013
Interesting fact!
+2
Level 80
Dec 14, 2013
Concluded as much. Though, parents aren't really any more creative these days with names- there are still trends that everyone jumps on and follows, but in the recent past the trends that everyone followed like sheep were to avoid "old fashioned" names and adopt something new-sounding like Aidan or Tristan or Madison and Hailey. Though, more recently than that, it has now become the fashion to adopt *very* old-fashioned sounding names... names like Jacob, Alexander, Patience and so on are making a comeback because parents imagine it makes them sound sophisticated and grounded. Just like naming their kid Aidan 15 years ago made them feel hip and creative, and naming them Jason or Michelle 30 years ago made them... I don't know...
+13
Level 79
Jan 24, 2015
I'm confused, Kalbahamut. First you say we aren't creative in our names, then you complain that we jump on latest trends, then you complain that we go back to really old-fashioned names...if you had a son, what would you name him to 1. Be creative 2. Not be trendy 3. Not be old-fashioned 4. Not give him a "weird" name 5. Not conform by being different. Some of us have very common last names and we'd like to help our child not be one of three kids in his class with the same name. Still, looking through historical books of my area, I have to wonder about the parents of people named Belle Ringer, Green Fields, Madden Looney, Knighten Day, and Golden Brown.
+1
Level 80
Sep 27, 2016
If naming your kid something very old fashioned is a trend it's still a trend. It's not a complaint it's just a fact.
+5
Level 65
Oct 12, 2018
Maybe some people just like certain names. The name "Liam" has become very trendy, but I also know a ton of Irish families who have picked the name simply because they like traditional Irish names. Seems a bit crass to judge someone's choice of name for their child, unless it's one of those celebrity children's names that is obviously an expression an ego (and may border on cruelty toward the child).
+1
Level 50
Nov 13, 2020
You mean names like X Æ A-12 as cruel to the child?
+1
Level 80
Dec 14, 2013
The fact that Jacob, Tyler, and Alexander make the list at all AND have such extremely low average ages is proof that contemporary names are not really more diverse. I mean they'd have to be even more conformist than usual to come up with a naming trend that appears on a list right alongside John, James and Michael, since few people born prior to 1990 have these names as the young average age confirms.
+11
Level ∞
Dec 15, 2013
@Kalbahamut. When in doubt, look at the data:

http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/popularnames.cgi

In 1970, the top 20 boy names constituted almost 40% of all the male births.

In 2013, the top 20 boy names were only 15% of all the male births.

Modern names are MUCH more diverse.

+1
Level 80
Dec 15, 2013
I can't find the data you are referring to using this link, but I found other data. In 1900 the most common boys' name was John and there were about 50 Johns for every 1,000 births. Jacob has been the #1 most popular boys' name in the USA for something like 13 or 14 years running, and each year the number of Jacobs born per 1,000 births is somewhere in the high teens to low twenties.

Considering how overwhelmingly English the USA was 100 years ago, and how many different ethnic/linguistic traditions are now competing in the USA... I would not be impressed by modern parents' level of creative thinking. Also, it's part of the fashion now to name your kid something weird, whereas before it wasn't. By doing something "different" they are in a way conforming. And, I would like to have found better data to support this, but still it's pretty impressive that Jacob, which in 1970 was 253rd in popularity, and was often lower than 300th any year prior, is now in the top 50 of ALL living males

+1
Level 80
Dec 15, 2013
top 33 even,

and, wait.. it's not even living males is it, it's all people born in the last 80 years alive or dead. So, that makes it even more noteworthy. and I'm speaking in relative terms, of course. I think you were taking my comment too literally.

+2
Level 49
Jan 24, 2015
any name in teh bible is usually common enough. I am curious how Peter, and Paul didnt make the cut tho lol
+1
Level 80
Nov 3, 2020
Looks like Paul is on now. I'm always surprised by the lack of Peter.
+2
Level 80
Dec 14, 2013
My own name, Ryan... was *extremely* common when I was growing up. Almost every class in primary school had at least 2 or 3 Ryans in them (plus one or two other Johns, which is my real first name, to make things even more confusing). Yet, I almost never meet anybody older than me with that name. So the average of 22 doesn't surprise me. It's remarkable that a name that wasn't even in use more than 35 years ago can appear on a most popular names of the last 80 years list, and shows a remarkable lack of creativity on the part of recent parents.
+1
Level 80
Dec 14, 2013
sorry for rambling so much.
+2
Level 44
Apr 10, 2014
My name - David - was everywhere in the early 70's. I had one class in high school with five of us. I know what you mean, Ryan.
+5
Level 50
Aug 8, 2014
So THAT'S your name!
+1
Level 58
Feb 1, 2016
^ Haha exactly what I thought. Makes me wonder what "kalbahamut" means/where it comes from. Sorry for any unwanted attention, @kalbahamut. But now you got me curious, and my google search results for a translation of the words/phrase has yielded very interesting results, to say the least!
+5
Level 88
Jun 30, 2016
Well Bahamut is a great fish/Leviathan from Arabic mythology, I think he was supposed to support the world, similar to the Indochinese great turtle. The name has been reused in modern times, notably in Dungeons and Dragons and the Final Fantasy series, as a dragon deity, or sometimes a dragon paladin.

So that just leaves kal, which is a fairly common morpheme across many languages, so certainty is going to be hard. I'd lean towards assuming the meaning of 'strong' from the Finnish, or perhaps 'King and God' from the Belgariad series.

How's that for too much attention kal?

+3
Level 88
Jun 30, 2016
Also, PLEASE tell me you go by Jack Ryan. At least occasionally. Like when going to see Shadow Recruit...
+1
Level 80
Sep 27, 2016
hahaha.. top marks, plats.
+2
Level 65
Sep 27, 2016
Oh man, I always imagined you were a woman! Sorry bout that.
+3
Level 80
Sep 28, 2016
::shrug:: that's not a bad thing, is it?
+1
Level 54
Oct 4, 2016
My 2 year old is Ryan. My wife and I liked it because everyone knows that name and will be able to pronounce it (unlike our last name), but, at the same time, it's not a name that's very common around here, so we didn't have to be afraid that he would be one of five in his class with the name.
+2
Level 80
Mar 18, 2019
Did the average age column get messed up? Before the average age for Ryans was 22 as my last comment attests. Now 5 years later the average is 57? I know we're getting older but not that quickly, I hope.
+1
Level ∞
Mar 18, 2019
Yes, it was messed up. Should be fixed now.
+3
Level 54
Oct 4, 2016
It's also trendy to use gender-neutral names, or even start naming your child a name that is traditionally the opposite gender. My son is Ryan, but we had people say, "Oh, you know that's a girl name, too! So be careful!" Actually, our research of the name showed its meaning (in Gaelic) as "little king." Kings are male, soo...just because someone gives their daughter a boy name doesn't make it a girl name. But we're also not allowed to make differentiation between boys and girls until they're old enough to decide, so what do I know?
+1
Level 46
Aug 7, 2017
Proud to say my name has the lowest age average...I myself am only 14
+1
Level 59
Oct 12, 2018
The average of all the ages here is 39.46. That isn't "so old" given that it is for people up to 80 - in fact it is almost exactly what you would expect. Maybe the average was higher in 2013, when this was posted. And the top few are all older than 40 - quite possibly for the reason @QM suggested. But they're not all very old.
+1
Level 80
Dec 14, 2013
Surprised that Peter and Adam didn't make it.
+1
Level 58
Apr 9, 2015
I don't know about Adam, but Peter was for years associated with being Roman Catholic. During times when either the Irish (predominantly Catholic, or were) or Catholics were not in high popularity with the majority of the population (early years of the U.S., when Catholics were confined to Rhode Island or Maryland, and through the decades of Irish immigration ending in the 1930s) I can't imagine many children were given the name.
+1
Level 80
Mar 18, 2019
I had an uncle Pete and a friend in high school Peter. Neither were Catholic. But the years when Irish was considered undesirable in the United States was long before my time.
+2
Level ∞
Jun 6, 2016
Adam is now #50. Peter is #57.
+2
Level 82
May 27, 2014
The popularity of names goes in cycles sort of. You don't want to name your baby with a name that you think belongs to "old people". However, after a while the names sound cool again and the young parents don't know anyone "old" with the name so it's okay to give it to a baby. Perhaps it's a name that's been in the family before. -- at least it goes a bit like that here.
+1
Level 39
May 29, 2014
Why did I get "John" when I typed in "Jack"?
+2
Level 74
Jun 12, 2014
'Jack' is a variant of 'John', like 'Peggy' is a variant of 'Margaret'.
+3
Level 88
Jun 30, 2016
Given the picture on the quiz, and that the first two answers started with M and J respectively, I was extremely disappointed that the second answer wasn't Jordan.
+1
Level 28
Sep 10, 2016
I instinctively did the same.
+2
Level 59
Sep 27, 2016
Pleased to see Donald is dying out - second highest average age at 59. Total elimination can't come soon enough!
+3
Level 65
Sep 27, 2016
A boy at my school had the name Random. Random Villain.
+1
Level 76
Sep 27, 2016
I did so well on this quiz that I forgot my own name. No, seriously... I forgot to type in my own name.
+4
Level 68
Jul 11, 2018
Is it just me or are those first letters all mixed up? They start out okay, then start being flipped with the letter below it, then just end up completely random. What's going on?!?
+1
Level ∞
Jul 11, 2018
Fixed now, thanks.
+4
Level 67
Jul 14, 2018
i think the ages are still wrong. i don't know any 25-year-olds names Larry.
+1
Level 65
Oct 12, 2018
You don't need to. It's the average age. If you know a 48-year-old named Larry and a two-year-old named Larry, you're all set.
+2
Level ∞
Mar 18, 2019
Yes, you are right. This is now fixed.
+1
Level 45
Oct 12, 2018
Surprised Jack didn't make it to the list
+1
Level 83
Oct 12, 2018
It’s lumped in with both John and Jonathan.
+1
Level 67
Oct 12, 2018
Why are Steven and Stephen (which is the same name but alternate spellings) listed separately, while John and Jonathan (which are different names) lumped together?
+1
Level 59
Mar 18, 2019
Could you please accept 'Antony' without the H?
+1
Level 67
Apr 5, 2019
No peter?
+1
Level 53
Apr 26, 2019
Please accept all these names but with "y" in place of the vowels.
+1
Level 67
Jul 30, 2019
Kenneth is the only one sort of sticking out for me.
+1
Level 65
Dec 8, 2019
Ju-Ju and Ha-Ha will be on this list someday
+1
Level 35
Jan 27, 2020
Wow, Phil does not make the list
+1
Level 80
Feb 9, 2020
probably does not include groundhogs.
+1
Level 83
Sep 17, 2020
No Peter or Isaac, interesting. This is also one of those quizzes where at the end I'm sure I typed in ones that I missed, but of course I just thought that I did.
+1
Level 81
Sep 18, 2020
Odd. It accepts Dick, but not Rick.

John, Paul and George are there, but Ringo didn't even get his one song this time.

+1
Level ∞
Sep 18, 2020
Rick will work now
+1
Level 83
Nov 3, 2020
I mean, he's still here in the form of Richard.

And a fun fact: Paul McCartney's first name is actually James.

+1
Level 79
Nov 3, 2020
Men called Rick in my generation were often named Ricky for Ricky Ricardo, rather than Richard. I know two older men named Ricky who get irritated if someone mistakenly calls them Richard.
+1
Level 67
Nov 3, 2020
I thought Larry was a variant (nickname) of Lawrence? or is it more often only Larry that actually appears on birth certificates?

Traditional variants do make things confusing as not everyone knows the John/Jack thing or Henry/Harry.

And do people even put the full names on certificates these days or just the name they want to use?

+1
Level 59
Nov 3, 2020
My great uncle Larry's real name was Clarence but there are probably lots of people just named Larry.
+1
Level 79
Nov 3, 2020
Larry is popular in my generation. In my class we had five sets of twins, two sets of which were Larry and Gary, and Barry and Terry, and I have a cousin Larry and two neighbors - none of them were named Lawrence. Our neighbor named Lawrence went by Lawrence.
+1
Level 43
Nov 3, 2020
i am torn that peter/pete is not on here
+1
Level 80
Nov 3, 2020
Charlie for Charles?
+1
Level 67
Nov 5, 2020
Surprised not to see a few Spanish names creeping in here, or even the odd Arabic name. Or do all the 'Juans' get rolled into 'John'?
+1
Level 80
Nov 5, 2020
within another 10 or 20 years I imagine that several Hispanic names would make it on. Arabs, on the other hand, are still around 2% or less of the total population in the US and going back in time they were even less represented.