Popular baby names in the U.S. have changed dramatically over the past 100 years. But some things never change, including our nation's love of the name "William."
Data from the Social Security Administration shows that virtually none of the top 20 most popular names from 1911 is still in the rankings in the most recent statistics from 2011.
For example, the most popular names in 2011 were "Jacob" for boys and "Sophia" for girls. But in 1911, they were "John" and "Mary." Again, as mentioned above, neither "John" nor "Mary" even appears in the top 20 for 2011:
|2011 ||Male name||Female name|
But one name has resolutely stood the test of time: William. One hundred years later, "William" has fallen only one slot, from No. 2 to No. 3, in the list of popular male names. "James" has also managed to stick around, dropping from No. 3 in 1911 to No. 17 in 2011.
For girls, only "Elizabeth" has stayed on the list, dropping just four spots over the past century, from No. 7 to No. 11.
|1911 ||Male name||Female name|
In recent years, the authors of Freakonomics have famously tracked the ever-evolving choice of baby names in America. And other sites have joined the trend, pointing to changing baby names as a sign of the decline of civilization. But for all the changes in the top 20, the list of popular baby names still reads as fairly tame.
What would be truly fascinating is comparing the top 100 names of 1911 with those of today. What were the 1911 equivalents of "Braxlee" and "Diesel"?