Popular First Letters for Baby Names in 2009

What were the most and least popular first letters for baby names in 2009? The big winner was A, the big loser was U.

A-names accounted for over 12.3% of the baby names registered last year, while U-names accounted for less than .2%.

Most popular to least popular first letters for baby names in the U.S. for 2009 (bar graph).
A-, J- and K-names went to over 31% of 2009′s babies. U-, X- and Q-names, on the other hand, were given to less than 1%.

The most popular first letters for baby girls was also A, by a long shot. About 15% of girls got an A-name.

Most popular to least popular first letters for baby girl names in the U.S. in 2009 (pie chart).
Second and third place were M and K, both over 9%. Fourth and fifth were J (over 8%) and S (over 7%). These five letters accounted for close to 50% of all the girl names given last year.

The most popular first letters for baby boys was J. Over 11% of boys got a J-name.

Most popular to least popular first letters for baby boy names in the U.S. for 2009 (pie chart).

Second and third place went to A and K, both over 9%. Next were D (over 7%), T and M (both over 6%). These six letters accounted for more than 50% of all the boy names given last year.

[My sample included the names of 1,814,929 baby girls and 1,958,848 baby boys born in the U.S. in 2009. I excluded non-names like Baby, Babyboy, Babygirl, Unknown and Unnamed from the calculations. All data came from the SSA.]

7 Responses to Popular First Letters for Baby Names in 2009

  1. i luv it

  2. Wow you really did your research!

  3. You are brilliant! I plan to make iron-on fabric letters to sell and this information will help me to decide which letters will be most useful to start with. Thank you :)

  4. Fantastic, very helpful, thank you :D

  5. Hello, I am searching for the most frequently used letters in modern baby names. Your research is great, but only goes so far as to identify the most popular 1st letters. Do you have any further research regarding the frequency of the remaining letters used? Like Marz above, I am developing a product that will sell by the letters used in a child’s name, and want to ensure as far as I can that I produce the correct numbers of the most used letters.
    Does that all make sense?!
    Many thanks,
    Mel

  6. Hi Mel,

    That’s an interesting question! I’ve never done research into which letters are the most used overall, but I’m curious now about it. Might be a topic for a future post!

    One hunch I have is that the letter N is more popular in names than people might think, as “-en” and “-in” and similar endings are very trendy right now.

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