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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Jose

Number of Babies Named Jose

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Jose

Popular Boy Names: Biblical vs. Non-Biblical

How has the ratio of Biblical names to non-Biblical names changed over time (if at all) among the most popular baby names in the U.S.?

This question popped into my head recently, so I thought I’d take a look at the data. We’ll do boy names today and girl names tomorrow.

First, let’s set some parameters. For these posts, “Biblical” names are personal names (belonging to either humans or archangels) mentioned in the Bible, plus all derivatives of these names, plus any other name with a specifically Biblical origin (e.g., Jordan, Sharon, Genesis). The “most popular” names are the top 20, and “over time” is the span of a century.

For boy names, the ratio of Biblical names to non-Biblical names has basically flipped over the last 100 years. Here’s a visual — Biblical names are in the yellow cells, non-Biblical names are in the green cells, and a borderline name (which I counted as non-Biblical) is in the orange cell:

Popular boy names: Biblical vs. non-Biblical, from Nancy's Baby Names.
Popular boy names over time: Biblical (yellow) vs. non-Biblical. Click to enlarge.
  • Biblical names: Adam, Alexander, Andrew, Austin (via Augustus), Benjamin, Daniel, David, Elijah, Ethan, Jack (via John), Jackson (via John), Jacob, James, Jason, John, Jonathan, Joseph, Joshua, Justin (via Justus), Lucas, Mark, Matthew, Michael, Nathan, Nicholas, Noah, Paul, Stephen, Steven, Thomas, Timothy, Zachary
  • Non-Biblical names: Aiden, Albert, Anthony, Arthur, Billy, Brandon, Brian, Charles, Christopher, Dennis, Donald, Dylan, Edward, Eric, Frank, Gary, George, Harold, Harry, Henry, Jayden, Jeffrey, Kenneth, Kevin, Larry, Liam, Logan, Louis, Mason, Raymond, Richard, Robert, Ronald, Ryan, Scott, Tyler, Walter, William
  • Borderline name: Jerry (can be based on the Biblical name Jeremy/Jeremiah or on the non-Biblical names Jerome, Gerald, Gerard)
    • It felt strange putting an overtly Christian name like Christopher in the non-Biblical category, but it doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible, so…that’s where it goes.

      Here are the year-by-year tallies:

      Year Top 20 names
      given to…
      # Biblical # Non-Biblical
      1914 40% of baby boys 5 (25%) 15 (75%)
      1924 43% of baby boys 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
      1934 43% of baby boys 7 (35%) 13 (65%)
      1944 47% of baby boys 7 (35%) 13 (65%)
      1954 46% of baby boys 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
      1964 42% of baby boys 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
      1974 38% of baby boys 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
      1984 36% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)
      1994 27% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)
      2004 19% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)
      2014 14% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)

      But there’s a huge difference between sample sizes of 40% and 14%, so let’s also take a look at the 2014 top 100, which covers 42% of male births.

      By my count, last year’s top 100 boy names were half Biblical, half non-Biblical:

      Biblical names (49) Non-Biblical names (51)
      Noah, Jacob, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, James, Daniel, Elijah, Benjamin, Matthew, Jackson (via John), David, Lucas, Joseph, Andrew, Samuel, Gabriel, Joshua, John, Luke, Isaac, Caleb, Nathan, Jack (via John), Jonathan, Levi, Jaxon (via John), Julian (via Julius), Isaiah, Eli, Aaron, Thomas, Jordan, Jeremiah, Nicholas, Evan, Josiah, Austin (via Augustus), Jace (via Jason), Jason, Jose, Ian, Adam, Zachary, Jaxson (via John), Asher, Nathaniel, Justin (via Justus), Juan Liam, Mason, William, Logan, Aiden, Jayden, Anthony, Carter, Dylan, Christopher, Oliver, Henry, Sebastian, Owen, Ryan, Wyatt, Hunter, Christian, Landon, Charles, Connor, Cameron, Adrian, Gavin, Robert, Brayden, Grayson, Colton, Angel, Dominic, Kevin, Brandon, Tyler, Parker, Ayden, Chase, Hudson, Nolan, Easton, Blake, Cooper, Lincoln, Xavier, Bentley, Kayden, Carson, Brody, Ryder, Leo, Luis, Camden

      (Christian, Angel, Xavier, Dominic…all technically non-Biblical, despite having strong ties to Christianity.)

      50%-50% isn’t quite as extreme as 70%-30%, but it’s still noticeably more Biblical than 1914’s 25%-75%.

      Do any of these results surprise you?


Gaiety Girl Names – Ellaline, Florence, Moya

Gaiety Girl Camille Clifford
Camille Clifford
Before there were Follies girls, there were Gaiety Girls.

These were showgirls appearing in Edwardian musical comedies at London’s Gaiety Theatre during the 1890s.

There’s no definitive list of all the Gaiety Girls, but here are a few of them:

  • Alice Delysia
  • Billie Carleton – birth name Florence
  • Blanche Massey
  • Camille Clifford – birth name Camilla
  • Cicely Courtneidge – birth name Esmerelda
  • Connie Gilchrist – birth name Constance
  • Constance Collier – birth name Laura
  • Denise Orme – birth name Jessie
  • Dorothy Minto
  • Eleanor Souray
  • Ellaline Terriss – birth name Mary (Ellaline was her middle name)
  • Evelyn Laye – birth name Elsie
  • Florence Smithson
  • Gaby Deslys – birth name Marie-Elise-Gabrielle
  • Gabrielle Ray
  • Gertie Millar – birth name Gertrude
  • Gina Palerme
  • Gladys Cooper
  • Irene: Irene Desmond, Irene Richards
  • Jessie Matthews
  • Jose Collins – birth name Charlotte
  • Kitty Gordon – birth name Constance
  • Lily Elsie – birth name Elsie
  • Mabel: Mabel Love, Mabel Russell
  • Mamie Watson
  • Marie Studholme – birth name Caroline
  • May: May Etheridge, May Gates
  • Moya Nugent
  • Olive May
  • Phyllis Dare
  • Rosie Boote – birth name Rose
  • Sylvia: Sylvia Grey, Sylvia Lillian Storey
  • Zena Dare – birth name Florence

Which of the above names do you like best?

Sources: Gaiety Girls – Wikipedia, Gaiety Girls exhibition – National Portrait Gallery
Image: Camille Clifford – National Portrait Gallery

Popular Baby Names in Portugal, 2014

According to data from the Instituto dos Registos e Notariado (IRN), the most popular baby names in Portugal in 2014 were Maria and João.

Here are Portugal’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Maria, 4,809 baby girls
2. Matilde, 2,062
3. Leonor, 1,859
4. Beatriz, 1,378
5. Mariana, 1,330
6. Carolina, 1,295
7. Ana, 1120
8. Inês, 1062 (Agnes)
9. Sofia, 980
10. Margarida, 930
1. João, 1,809 baby boys
2. Rodrigo, 1,783
3. Francisco, 1,718
4. Martim, 1,663
5. Santiago, 1,428
6. Tomás, 1,400
7. Afonso, 1,378
8. Duarte, 1,244 (Edward)
9. Miguel, 1,207
10. Guilherme, 1,206

Those #1 names remind me of all the old U.S. popularity lists (e.g., 1910s) that were dominated by Mary and John.

Portugal is one of the few regions that releases all baby name data (yay!) — you can download the full list here — so let’s check out a few of the unique baby names used only once last year:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Deegbi, Dricla, Elizangila, Euclidiana, Gelciline, Hotchali, Jacymiilly, Jeckliny, Ketley, Luwejíyane, MaMa, Naziriti, Quedna, Quintazinha, Swazilene, Taldia, Túlipa, Uhenya, Vissolela, Wysmara Ariful, Award, Djezzy, Ducu, Eviquene, Iunussa, Lheônidas, Lyrics, Melquizedeque, Odissei, Otchali, Ovidiu, Stalone, Uxío, Visual, Wivendelson, Womna, Yax, Yowami, Zniber

Finally, here are Portugal’s top 10 compound names for each gender:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Maria Inês, 603 baby girls
2. Maria Leonor, 496
3. Maria Francisca, 315
4. Maria Clara, 257
5. Maria Carolina, 164
6. Ana Carolina 161
7. Maria João 140
8. Maria Beatriz 140
9. Lara Sofia, 130
10. Maria Luísa, 125
1. João Pedro, 343 baby boys
2. Rodrigo Miguel, 204
3. Pedro Miguel, 174
4. Afonso Miguel, 140
5. João Miguel, 138
6. Diogo Miguel, 136
7. João Maria, 127
8. Duarte Miguel, 124
9. Tiago Miguel, 123
10. José Pedro, 114

I’m guessing that compound names are counted separately from single names, but I’m not entirely sure.

Source: Em 2014 as meninas continuaram a responder por Maria, os rapazes por João (found by Skizzo — thank you!)

Someone Fact-Checks a Baby Name Claim, Finally

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos was a guest on the Daily Show a few weeks ago. While talking to host Jon Stewart about the growing Latino population in the U.S., Ramos claimed that “the most popular name is no longer John or Steven. It’s Jose, Camilo and Maria of course.”

Now, the Daily Show is a comedy show — Ramos also joked there’d be “more tortillas than hamburger buns” thanks to the changing demographic — but the people at PunditFact were curious enough about Ramos’s offhand name claim to do some digging.

First they got in touch with Ramos. He said he’d been speaking with “states like California and Texas in mind, not so much the entire United States. And he thought he was talking about which names were more popular (as a comparison), not the most popular overall.”

Then PunditFact checked the SSA data — you can see all the details in their Truth-o-Meter post about Ramos’s claim.

Their conclusion?

Ramos said that the most popular names are no longer John or Steven, but Jose, Camilo and Maria. Afterward, Ramos said he was thinking of states with large Hispanic populations.

With that caveat, he has a bit of a point. In states with the highest percentage of Hispanics, Jose beats out John and Steven. Camilo and Maria are not really contenders. None of these names are the most popular in any state.

We rate the claim Mostly False.

“Mostly False” — nice!

A lot of media people don’t bother to check baby name-related claims, even though the facts are easy to find. Kudos to PunditFact for calling Ramos out on this one.

The “Most Regional” Baby Names in the U.S.

FlowingData recently used SSA data to determine the most regional baby names in the U.S. and create some very cool maps.

The analysis reveals the 10 “most regional” girl names and boy names for each decade-year since 1950, and also for 2012. Here are the lists for 2010 and 2012:

Girl Names, 2010 Boy Names, 2010 Girl Names, 2012 Boy Names, 2012
1. Daisy
2. Alexandra
3. Annabelle
4. Julia
5. Presley
6. Paige
7. Mya
8. Cadence
9. Charlotte
10. Lexi
1. Santiago
2. Theodore
3. Josiah
4. Ryker
5. Connor
6. Colby
7. Justin
8. Ryan
9. Jaxon
10. Jake
1. Ayla
2. Delilah
3. Sydney
4. Aubree
5. Stephanie
6. Juliana
7. Aria
8. Tessa
9. Natalie
10. Abigail
1. Santiago (again)
2. Nicolas
3. Josiah (again)
4. Aidan
5. Lane
6. Elias
7. Braylon
8. Gabriel
9. Dalton
10. Jose

Ryker, 4th on the 2010 boys’ list, is one I’ve been wondering about ever since I noticed it was the 12th most popular boy name in Utah last year.

Baby Name Ryker, Regional Popularity, 2010
© FlowingData
Here’s more detail on Ryker’s popularity in Utah:

  • 2012: 168 baby boys named Ryker in Utah (ranked 12th)
  • 2011: 154 baby boys named Ryker in Utah (ranked 19th)
  • 2010: 136 baby boys named Ryker in Utah (ranked 26th)
  • 2009: 151 baby boys named Ryker in Utah (ranked 24th)
  • 2008: 129 baby boys named Ryker in Utah (ranked 37th)

And here are the numbers for Idaho:

  • 2012: 51 baby boys named Ryker in Idaho (ranked 32nd)
  • 2011: 49 baby boys named Ryker in Idaho (ranked 41st)
  • 2010: 53 baby boys named Ryker in Idaho (ranked 33rd)
  • 2009: 53 baby boys named Ryker in Idaho (ranked 36th)
  • 2008: 34 baby boys named Ryker in Idaho (ranked 84th)

So far I don’t have a good theory about what made Ryker so popular in Utah/Idaho. Blogger Jessie Jensen tells me Ryker fits well with the region’s mix-n-match name trend, but I still wonder if some initiating event (sports? religion?) didn’t jump-start things for Ryker say in the 2003-2008 range. Anyone have a guess?

P.S. While we’re talking Utah mysteries, Claire is another name I’ve been wondering about. It ranked 10th there last year. (Also 12th in D.C. and 20th in MN.) Any ideas on Claire?