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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Jacob

Number of Babies Named Jacob

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Jacob

Baby Names Have Become More Female-Sounding

In 1995, researchers Herbert Barry and Aylene S. Harper invented a way to score personal names to determine how “male” or “female” they sounded. Names with positive scores on the scale were more female-sounding, and names with negative scores were more male-sounding.

“Female” attributes:

  • +2 points if the accent is on the 2nd or later syllable (Elizabeth)
  • +2 points if the last phoneme is unstressed and schwa-like (Sarah)
  • +1 points if the last phoneme is some other vowel sound, not a schwa sound (Melanie)
  • +1 points if the accent is on the 1st of 3 or more syllables (Emily)

“Male” attributes:

  • -1 points if the name has 1 syllable (Mitch)
  • -1 points if the last phoneme is S, Z, F, V, TH, CH, ZH, or DZH (James)
  • -2 points if the last phoneme is P, B, T, D, K, or G (Jacob)
  • -2 points if the accent is on the 1st of 2 syllables and the name has 6+ phonemes (Robert)

The authors looked at Pennsylvania baby names from 1960 to 1990 and discovered that the average phonetic gender score for girl names and boy names had become more “female” over time.

Several years ago, linguist Anika Okrent used the same scale to analyze national baby name data from 1880 to 2013. She noticed the same trend — stretching back to 1950 and continuing until today.

Her theory is that the shift was essentially fueled by shifting trends in boy names. As names like Donald gave way to names like Elijah, the result was an overall rise in the average phonetic gender score for boy names. This in turn triggered a corresponding rise in the average phonetic gender score for girl names “in order to maintain the gender distinction” (i.e., Janet giving way to Olivia).

Do you agree with this theory?

Sources:


Popular Baby Names in Newfoundland and Labrador, 2016

According to preliminary data released on January 6th by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the most popular baby names in 2016 were Emma and Jackson (and variants).

Here are the province’s projected top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Emma
2. Avary/Avery
3. Charlotte
4. Olivia
5. Addison/Addyson
6. Scarlett
7. Abbigail/Abigail/Abigale
8. Anna
9. Cali/Callie/Kali/Kallee/Kallie
10. Emilee/Emily

Boy Names
1. Jackson/Jaxen/Jaxon/Jaxson/Jaxxen/Jaxxon
2. Liam
3. Benjamin
4. Jack
5. James
6. Mason
7. Grayson/Greyson
8. Jacob
9. Noah
10. Isaac/Isac/Issac

The #1 names are the same as in 2015. (I forgot to post the 2015 rankings last year, but here are the 2014 rankings.)

In the girls’ top 10, the Addison-group, Scarlett, the Abigail-group, the Callie-group, and the Emily-group replace the Sophia-group, the Lily-group, the Mia-group, the Ava-group, and the Chloe-group.

In the boys’ top 10, Mason, the Greyson-group, and the Isaac-group replace Parker, the Nathan-group, and Carter.

Most of the pronunciation groupings on N.L.’s full top 100 made sense, but here are two I wasn’t so sure about:

  • In 21st place on the girls’ list was “Lea/Leah/Leia/Leiyah/Lia/Leya,” which mixes LEE‑uh and LAY‑uh names.
  • In 63rd place on the girls’ list was “Raya/Rayah/Rhea,” which mixes RAY‑uh and REE‑uh names.

Sources: Top 100 Baby Names – Open Data Newfoundland and Labrador, Jaxxen among most popular N.L. baby names in 2016

Popular Baby Names in Tennessee, 2016

According to provisional data released on January 10th by Tennessee’s Office of Vital Records, the most popular baby names in the state in 2016 were Emma and William.

Here are Tennessee’s projected top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Emma
2. Olivia
3. Ava
4. Harper
5. Isabella
6. Amelia
7. Elizabeth
8. Ella
9. Charlotte
10. Abigail

Boy Names
1. William
2. Elijah and James (tie)
3. Mason
4. Noah
5. Jackson and Liam (tie)
6. John and Michael (tie)
7. Benjamin
8. Aiden
9. Jacob
10. Carter

The #1 names were the same in 2015.

In the girls’ top 10, Amelia, Ella, and Charlotte replace Sophia, Madison, and Emily.

Newcomers to the boys’ top 10 are Michael, Benjamin, and Aiden. (No drop-offs this year due to the ties.)

Source: Emma, William Maintain Titles as Tennessee’s Top Baby Names

Popular Baby Names in New Brunswick, 2016

According to preliminary data released on January 10th by New Brunswick’s Vital Statistics Office, the most popular baby names in the Canadian province in 2016 were Emma and Liam…I think.

See, the province published the top names in paragraph format, and without rankings. So I can only assume that the names were listed in order of popularity.

With that in mind, here’s my guess at New Brunswick’s projected top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Emma
2. Olivia
3. Charlotte
4. Sophia
5. Ellie
6. Mia
7. Evelyn
8. Anna
9. Amelia
10. Lily

Boy Names
1. Liam
2. Jacob
3. William
4. Thomas
5. Noah
6. Benjamin
7. Samuel
8. Jack
9. Owen
10. Mason

The top boys’ names also included Jaxon, Jackson, and Jaxson — all three — plus both Oliver and Olivier.

Source: New Brunswick’s birth numbers and top baby names for 2016

Popular Baby Names in New Zealand, 2016

According to data released a few days ago by New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs, the most popular baby names in the country in 2016 were Olivia and Oliver.

Here are New Zealand’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 266 baby girls
2. Charlotte, 262
3. Isla, 239
4. Harper, 236
5. Ella, 220
6. Amelia, 211
7. Emily, 203
8. Mia, 196
9. Sophie, 189
10. Ava, 188

Boy Names
1. Oliver, 332 baby boys
2. Jack, 286
3. William, 263
4. Mason, 254
5. James, 253
6. Hunter, 244
7. Noah, 229
8. Lucas, 228
9. Leo, 220
10. Max, 217

In the girls’ top 10, Ava (previously 15th) replaces Isabella (now 13th).

In the boys’ top 10, Noah (previously 11th), Max (13th), Lucas (14th), and Leo (24th) replace Liam (now 11th), Charlie (14th), Benjamin (18th), and Jacob (25th).

One name that’s rising fast in New Zealand is Matilda, which ranked…

  • 24th in 2016
  • 41st in 2015
  • 77th in 2014
  • 95th in 2013

Leo jumped from 24th to 9th in a single year…do you think Matilda could do the same?

Here are New Zealand’s 2015 rankings for 2015.

Sources:
Revealed: New Zealand’s most popular baby names of 2016, Most Popular Male and Female First Names

Popular Baby Names in San Diego County, 2016

According to data released yesterday by San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency, the most popular baby names in the county in 2016 were Emma and Noah.

Here are San Diego County’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Emma, 263 baby girls
2. Mia, 258
3. Isabella, 257
4. Olivia, 246
5. Sophia, 225
6. Sofia, 171
7. Victoria, 162
8. Charlotte, 160
9. Ava, 149
10. Emily, 145

Boy Names
1. Noah, 236 baby boys
2. Liam, 228
3. Sebastian, 216
4. Daniel, 194
5. Ethan, 193 (tie)
5. Mateo, 193 (tie)
7. Alexander, 189
8. Jacob, 186
9. Benjamin, 184
10. James, 173

Emma replaces Mia as the #1 name for girls.

In the boys’ top 10, Sebastian jumps from 8th to 3rd, and Mateo and James replace Oliver and David.

Here are the 2015 rankings.

Source: Top Baby Names in San Diego

Popular Baby Names in British Columbia, 2015

According to data released on December 30th by British Columbia’s Vital Statistics Agency, the most popular baby names in the province in 2015 were Emma and Oliver.

Here are British Columbia’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names
1. Emma, 258 baby girls
2. Olivia, 256
3. Emily, 183
4. Sophia, 173
5. Ava, 163
6. Chloe, 159
7. Charlotte, 155
8. Abigail, 150
9. Amelia, 140
10. Ella, 133

Boy Names
1. Oliver, 217 baby boys
2. Ethan, 206
3. Liam, 203
4. Benjamin, 201
5. Lucas, 193
6. Alexander, 183 (tie)
7. Jacob, 183 (tie)
8. Mason, 177
9. William, 173
10. Hunter, 169

On the girls’ list, Emma replaces Olivia as the #1 name and Ella replaces Lily in the top 10.

On the boys’ list, Oliver replaces Ethan as in the top spot and Alexander and Hunter replace Noah and Logan in the top 10.

BC Vital Statistics also attempted to come up with rankings that combined variant spellings:

Girl Names (spellings combined)
1. Emma
2. Olivia
3. Sophia/Sofia
4. Emily/Emilee/Emilie
5. Amelia/Emelia/Emilia

Boy Names (spellings combined)
1. Jackson/Jaxon/Jaxson
2. Lucas/Lukas
3. Oliver
4. Ethan
5. Liam

But combining spellings isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. For instance, if “Amelia” is combined with “Emilia” (which is actually in the Emily family) then why wasn’t “Alivia” combined with “Olivia”? That would boost Olivia/Alivia into the #1 spot. And should “Eva” go with “Ava,” since they’re occasionally pronounced the same way…?

Here are some names from the other end of the rankings, each used just five times in 2015:

  • Girl Names: Anahat, Avreet, Bronwyn, Calla, Clementine, Deanna, Gaia, Harseerat, Jayla, Karis, Lynn, Mae, Mehar, Mirabelle, Ocean, Sailor, Senna, Sahej
  • Boy Names: Andrei, Apollo, Boaz, Brighton, Cory, Dorian, Elio, Fergus, Haroon, Indy, Jimmy, Jodh, Luciano, Nigel, Pasha, Stellan, Trent, Viraj

The news release also mentioned that the top names of 2016 would likely be Olivia and Lucas (according to data covering the year up to December 12). Here are the 2014 rankings.

For more Canada-specific baby name rankings, check out the Canadian name rankings subcategory.

Source: British Columbia’s top baby names for 2015, Baby’s Most Chosen Names in British Columbia, 2015