How popular is the baby name David in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to David and check out all the blog posts that mention the name David.

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Popularity of the Baby Name David

Number of Babies Named David

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name David

Name Spotting: Malancthon

sign, colorado, names
Sign inside Garden of the Gods

My dad came out to visit us in Colorado recently. He loves geology, so we made sure to take him to several different places with impressive rocks/terrain.

One place we visited was Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. In this park we spotted the above sign, which described how the park got its name back in the 1850s:

As they looked over this area of cathedral-like rock spires, one man, Malancthon Beach, commented that the spot would be a great place for a beer garden someday. His friend, a poetic young man named Rufous Cable, replied that it was a place “fit for the Gods.”

It’s a cool story, but, to me, that first name “Malancthon” is way more interesting than the origin of the park name. Where did it come from?

My best guess is that Malancthon is a tribute to 16th-century German theologian Philipp Melanchthon, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. His surname at birth was Schwartzerd (“black earth” in German), but as a young man he Latinized his name to the classical equivalent Melanchthon (“black earth” in Greek).

Civilian Conservation Corps, new deal
CCC Company 1848

We also saw some names at Red Rocks, which is both a park and a famous amphitheater.

The amphitheater was constructed from 1936 to 1941 by men in the Civilian Conservation Corps, a work relief program that existed during the Great Depression. One display included a photo of 124 of the men in the local CCC. Here are their first names, sorted by frequency:

  • 5: Joe, Raymond
  • 4: Charles
  • 3: Arthur, Clarence, Edward
  • 2: Bill, Byron, Carl, David, Earnest, Edwin, Everett, Jack, James, Leo, Maurice, William
  • 1: Aaron, Albert, Aldine, Alfonso, Allen, Alva, Amos, Ancelmo, Arleigh, Aubrey, Audrey, Barnett, Blaine, Calvin, Celestino, Charley, Claud, Claude, Clayton, Cleston, Dale, Damas, Dan, Darold, Dick, Don, Donald, Ed, Elden, Elias, Elipio, Emerson, Emilio, Eric, Ernest, Eston, Fares, Frank, Fred, Glenn, Grant, Gust, Guy, Horace, Hubert, Irvin, Jake, Jasper, Jesse, Jim, John, Jose, Kenneth, Lawrence, Leland, Leonard, Lester, Louis, Lyman, Manual, Marvin, Max, Merce, Noah, Norman, Orval, Pasqual, Paul, Pete, Richard, Rowland, Rudolfo, Russel, Russell, Sandeford, Trenton, Willard

…What interesting names have you spotted while out and about recently?

Classics on the Decline: Paul, Jesse, Frank

boy names falling out of fashion

A few weeks back, a reader named Caitlin emailed me a cool list of well-known names that were decreasing in usage. Her list included:

  • Andrew, now ranked 40th — lowest ranking since 1963
  • Michael, now ranked 12th — lowest ranking since 1942
  • David, now ranked 23rd — lowest ranking since 1924

She also generously told me that I could share her findings (thank you Caitlin!).

The names that intrigued me most were the “lowest ever” names: names that had been in the data since 1880, but that saw their lowest usage ever (in terms of rankings) in 2017. Three of the boy names on her list — Paul, Richard, Robert — were “lowest ever” names, so I decided start with these and search for others.

I checked hundreds of potential candidates. Many (like Andrew, Michael, and David) hit a low in 2017, but it wasn’t their all-time low. Many others (like Stanley, Alvin, and Clarence) hit a low recently, but not as recently as 2017.

In the end, I was able to add 15 names to the list:

  • Allen. Ranked 401st in 2017; peak was 71st in the 1940s/1950s.
  • Dennis. Ranked 544th in 2017; peak was 16th in the 1940s.
  • Edgar. Ranked 353rd in 2017; peak was 51st in the 1880s.
  • Edwin. Ranked 332nd in 2017; peak was 52nd in the 1910s/1920s.
  • Frank. Ranked 373rd in 2017; peak was 6th in the 1880s/1890s.
  • Gerald. Ranked 824th in 2017; peak was 19th in the 1930s.
  • Glenn. Ranked 1,288th in 2017; peak was 55th in the 1960s.
  • Herman. Ranked 2,347th in 2017; peak was 44th in the 1880s/1890s.
  • Jerome. Ranked 857th in 2017; peak was 93rd in the 1930s.
  • Jesse. Ranked 186th in 2017; peak was 37th in the 1980s.
  • Lloyd. Ranked 1,570th in 2017; peak was 51st in the 1910s.
  • Martin. Ranked 281st in 2017; peak was 62nd in the 1960s.
  • Marvin. Ranked 559th in 2017; peak was 44th in the 1930s.
  • Paul. Ranked 225th in 2017; peak was 12th in the 1910s/1930s.
  • Raymond. Ranked 293rd in 2017; peak was 14th in the 1910s.
  • Richard. Ranked 175th in 2017; peak was 5th in the 1930s/1940s.
  • Robert. Ranked 65th in 2017; peak was 1st in the 1920s/1930s/1950s.
  • Wayne. Ranked 816th in 2017; peak was 29th in the 1940s.

Interestingly, all 18 have spent time in the top 100. And one, Robert, is still in the top 100. (How long before Robert is out of the top 100, do you think?)

A handful of girl names also saw their lowest-ever rankings in 2017. I’ll post that list next week…

Popular Baby Names in Switzerland, 2017

According to data from the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO), the most popular baby names in Switzerland in 2017 were Emma and Noah.

Here are the country’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Emma, 478 baby girls
2. Mia, 420
3. Sofia, 352
4. Lina, 311
5. Lena, 308
6. Lea, 306
7. Lara, 301
8. Emilia, 300
9. Nina, 287
10. Anna, 286

Boy Names
1. Noah, 490 baby boys
2. Liam, 434
3. Luca, 360
4. Leon, 347
5. Gabriel, 328
6. David, 314
7. Elias, 302
8. Samuel, 294
9. Matteo, 276
10. Ben, 273

In the girls’ top 10, Lina, Lea, and Nina replace Elena, Laura, and Mila.

In the boys’ top 10, Matteo and Ben replace Louis and Julian.

Here are the top baby names per gender within each of Switzerland’s main language groups:

  • German speakers (63% of the population)
    • Top 3 girl names: Mia, Emma, Emilia
    • Top 3 boy names: Noah, Leon, Luca
  • French speakers (23%)
    • Top 3 girl names: Emma, Lea, Chloe
    • Top 3 boy names: Gabriel, Liam, Noah
  • Italian speakers (8%)
    • Top 3 girl names: Sofia, Emma, Giulia
    • Top 3 boy names: Leonardo, Noah, Gabriel
  • Romansh speakers (less than 1%)
    • Top girl name: Angelina/Arina/Lina (3-way tie)
    • Top boy name: Gian/Laurin/Lio (3-way tie)

In 2016, the top names in the country overall were Mia and Noah.

Sources: Here are the most popular baby names in Switzerland, Vornamen der Neugeborenen

Popular Baby Names in Spain, 2017

According to Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, the most popular baby names in the country in 2017 were Lucia and Lucas.

Here are Spain’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Lucia, 4,410 baby girls
2. Sofia, 4,206
3. Maria, 3,874
4. Martina, 3,814
5. Paula, 3,085
6. Julia, 2,998
7. Daniela, 2,959
8. Valeria, 2,856
9. Alba, 2,678
10. Emma, 2,525

Boy Names
1. Lucas, 4,209 baby boys
2. Hugo, 4,141
3. Martin, 3,838
4. Daniel, 3,717
5. Pablo, 3,426
6. Alejandro, 3,220
7. Mateo, 3,124
8. Adrian, 2,841
9. Alvaro, 2,794
10. Manuel, 2,517

Lucas replaces Hugo as Spain’s #1 boy name.

In the boys’ top 10, Manuel replaces David.

In the girls’ top 10, Emma replaces Noa.

Finally, here are the 2016 rankings.

Source: Nombres de los recién nacidos – INEbase, LucĂ­a and Lucas, the most popular baby names in Spain in 2017

Dolly Parton’s Dozen

Dolly Parton album coverCountry singer Dolly Parton was born to parents Avie Lee and Robert Lee Parton in Tennessee 1946. She was the fourth of a dozen children: six boys and six girls. The names of all twelve, in order, are:

  1. Willadeene
  2. David Wilburn
  3. Coy Denver
  4. Dolly Rebecca
  5. Bobby Lee
  6. Stella Mae
  7. Cassie Nan
  8. Randel “Randy” Huston
  9. Larry Gerald
  10. Estel Floyd (twin)
  11. Freida Estelle (twin)
  12. Rachel Ann

Things that have since been named after Dolly include a cloned sheep, a celebrity baby, and a Tennessee amusement park.

Source: A Mother’s Love & Inspiration – Avie Lee Parton