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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Levi

Number of Babies Named Levi

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Levi

The “Elda Rema” Baby Name Formula

baby name formula, elda rema

In his book The American Language, H. L. Mencken mentioned a “woman professor in the Middle West [with] the given name of Eldarema, coined from those of her grandparents, Elkanah, Daniel, Rebecca and Mary.”

The woman he’s talking about did exist, but Mencken didn’t get her name quite right.

Elda Rema Walker was botany professor at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. And so was her sister — here they are, listed one after the other, in the University of Nebraska General Catalog for 1916-1917:

elda rema walker, leva belle walker

(Leva Belle’s names were also inspired by family — parents Levi and Isabel.)

So here’s the Elda Rema baby name formula:

  • First name =
    • First 2 letters of one grandfather’s name +
    • First 2 letters of the other grandfather’s name
  • Middle name =
    • First 2 letters of one grandmother’s name +
    • First 2 letters of the other grandmother’s name

Using the names of your parents and your partner’s parents, can you come up with any usable first + middle combos?

The best I can do is “Aujo Elhe.” Hopefully you can do better…

Source: H. L. Mencken. The American Language. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1921.


California Family with 22 Children

Story family of California in 1940 U.S. census
The Story family on the 1940 U.S. Census
Marion and Charlotte “Lottie” Story of Bakersfield, California, had at least 22 children — including five sets of twins — from 1922 to 1946. Seventeen of their kids are listed on the 1940 U.S. Census (at right).

I don’t know the names of all the Story children, but here are 20 of them: Jean, Jane, Jack, Jacqueline, June, Eileen, Clyde, Robert, James, Jeannette, Steve, Jerry, Terry (sometimes “Terrytown”), Charlotte, Scotty, Sherrie, Garry, Joanne, Frances (called Lidwina), and Monica (called Sandy).

Charlotte Story herself was one of a dozen children, born from 1899 to 1919. Her 11 siblings were named Pearl, George, Rhea, Hazel, Fern, Ira, Myrtle, Dorothy, Helen, Russell, and Viola.

And Charlotte’s mother Elsie was one of 13 children, born from 1865 to 1892. Her 12 siblings were named Edward, Levi, William, Frank, Rosa, Joseph, Mary, Elizabeth, Margaret, Archibald, Gertrude, and Emma.

So here’s the question: If you had to choose all of your own children’s names from just one of the sibsets above, which set would you pick? Why?

Sources: Charlotte M Lacount Story – Find A Grave, Elsie E Dubay LaCount – Find A Grave

Popular Baby Names in Northern Territory, 2015

According to the government of Northern Territory, Australia, the most popular baby names in NT in 2015 were Charlotte and Jack.

Here are Northern Territory’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Charlotte, 20 baby girls
2. Ava, 14 (tie)
3. Ella, 14 (tie)
4. Emily, 14 (tie)
5. Lucy, 14 (tie)
6. Olivia, 14 (tie)
7. Isla, 13 (tie)
8. Matilda, 13 (tie)
9. Sophie, 13 (tie)
10. Chloe, 12 (tie)
1. Jack, 24 baby boys
2. James, 22
3. William, 19
4. Thomas, 18
5. Levi, 16
6. Oliver, 15 (tie)
7. Ryan, 15 (tie)
8. Lucas, 14
9. Hunter, 13 (tie)
10. Isaac, 13 (tie)

Tied with Chloe was Evie (in 11th place), and tied with Hunter and Isaac were Lachlan, Liam and Samuel (in 11th, 12th and 13th place).

Here are Northern Territory’s 2014 rankings.

Source: Popular Names – Department of the Attorney-General and Justice

Update, 8/22/2016: Just learned that, technically, the top baby name in NT last year was “not stated.”

Why? Because parents of ninety of the nearly 4,000 babies born in 2015 weren’t able to get a name registered within NT’s 60-day naming deadline.

Most of these parents simply weren’t able to decide in time. Others did decide in time, but the names they chose were rejected by the registrar.

Source: Why ‘not stated’ tops the baby names list in the Territory

Most Popular U.S. Baby Names of 2015

According to the Social Security Administration, Emma and Noah were the most popular baby names in the United States in 2015.

Here’s the top 10:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emma, 20355 baby girls
2. Olivia, 19553
3. Sophia, 17327
4. Ava, 16286
5. Isabella, 15504
6. Mia, 14820
7. Abigail, 12311
8. Emily, 11727
9. Charlotte, 11332
10. Harper, 10241
1. Noah, 19511 baby boys
2. Liam, 18281
3. Mason, 16535
4. Jacob, 15816
5. William, 15809
6. Ethan, 14991
7. James, 14705
8. Alexander, 14460
9. Michael, 14321
10. Benjamin, 13608

Emma and Noah were also the #1 names in 2014.

Harper replaces Madison in the girls’ top 10; Benjamin replaces Daniel in the boys’ top 10.

Here’s the rest of the top 50:

Girl Names Boy Names
11. Madison, 10038
12. Amelia, 9795
13. Elizabeth, 9656
14. Sofia, 9650
15. Evelyn, 9313
16. Avery, 9298
17. Chloe, 7884
18. Ella, 7852
19. Grace, 7589
20. Victoria, 7575
21. Aubrey, 7357
22. Scarlett, 7100
23. Zoey, 6900
24. Addison, 6683
25. Lily, 6617
26. Lillian, 6571
27. Natalie, 6466
28. Hannah, 6372
29. Aria, 6371
30. Layla, 6289
31. Brooklyn, 6268
32. Alexa, 6029
33. Zoe, 5995
34. Penelope, 5921
35. Riley, 5707
36. Leah, 5585
37. Audrey, 5581
38. Savannah, 5413
39. Allison, 5329
40. Samantha, 5304
41. Nora, 5301
42. Skylar, 5258
43. Camila, 5257
44. Anna, 5094
45. Paisley, 5056
46. Ariana, 4933
47. Ellie, 4838
48. Aaliyah, 4836
49. Claire, 4805
50. Violet, 4779
11. Elijah, 13511
12. Daniel, 13408
13. Aiden, 13378
14. Logan, 12862
15. Matthew, 12648
16. Lucas, 12246
17. Jackson, 12182
18. David, 11691
19. Oliver, 11592
20. Jayden, 11475
21. Joseph, 11375
22. Gabriel, 10782
23. Samuel, 10733
24. Carter, 10727
25. Anthony, 10564
26. John, 10303
27. Dylan, 10232
28. Luke, 10219
29. Henry, 10112
30. Andrew, 10027
31. Isaac, 9878
32. Christopher, 9742
33. Joshua, 9720
34. Wyatt, 9597
35. Sebastian, 9569
36. Owen, 9549
37. Caleb, 8727
38. Nathan, 8530
39. Ryan, 8474
40. Jack, 8456
41. Hunter, 8284
42. Levi, 8236
43. Christian, 8127
44. Jaxon, 8015
45. Julian, 8003
46. Landon, 7896
47. Grayson, 7852
48. Jonathan, 7577
49. Isaiah, 7528
50. Charles, 7125

In the girls’ top 50, Alexa, Paisley, Ellie and Violet replace Arianna, Gabriella, Sadie and Sarah.

In the boys’ top 50, Grayson and Charles replace Eli and Aaron.

Impressive rises:

  • Alexa rose 31 places, from 63rd to 32nd
  • Violet rose 17 places, from 67th to 50th
  • Grayson rose 16 places, from 63rd to 47th
  • Oliver rose 13 places, from 32nd to 19th
  • Riley (girl name) rose 12 places, from 47th to 35th

Impressive drops:

  • Arianna dropped 16 places, from 40th to 56th
  • Gabriella dropped 11 places, from 43rd to 54th
  • Anna dropped 10 places, from 34th to 44th

There’s much more to come! Until then, I’ll quote liberally from the SSA’s press release:

Each year, the list reveals the effect of pop-culture on naming trends. This year’s winners for biggest jump in popularity in the Top 1,000 are Alaia and Riaan.

Alaia jumped 2,012 spots on the girls’ side to number 664, from number 2,676 in 2014. Perhaps this can be attributed to high fashion designer Azzedine Alaia, or maybe it is because of Alaia Baldwin, the model/daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin.

Riaan increased 1,360 spots for the boys, from number 2,286 in 2014 to number 926. Of Indian origin, it is also the name of the young son of a well-known Bollywood actor, Riteish Deshmukh.

The second fastest riser for girls was Meilani. If you have ever watched MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” and maybe even if you haven’t, you’ve heard of Jenni “JWoww” Farley. She gave birth to daughter Meilani in 2014. On a different American shore, out in Hawaii, is another well-known Meilani–Bethany Meilani Hamilton, the professional surfer whose story of surviving a shark attack was documented in the movie “Soul Surfer.”

For boys, it was Huxley (a brave new comeback for the late science fiction writer?).

Some other notable names in the top 10 biggest increase category, and some possible reasons for their newfound popularity:

  • Omari and Jabari for boys. Omari Hardwick is an actor, known for his roles in “Sparkle,” “The A-Team,” and BET Network’s “Being Mary Jane.” He currently stars in “Power,” a popular cable TV series. Jabari Parker is a professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks. He was the second overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft out of Duke.
  • Adaline and Zelda for girls. “The Age of Adaline” is a 2015 fantasy film starring Blake Lively, Harrison Ford, Michiel Huisman, and Ellen Burstyn. As for Zelda, maybe the legend continues to grow?

I’ll also note that the name Isis dropped from 705th place (398 baby girls) in 2014 to 1770th place (117 baby girls) in 2015.

Source: Emma and Noah Once Again Social Security’s Most Popular Baby Names for 2015

U.S. Baby Names 2015: Most Popular Baby Names, Top Debuts: Girl Names, Top Debuts: Boy Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Girl Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Boy Names, First Letter Popularity, Name Length Popularity

Popular Baby Names in the Netherlands, 2015

According to data from Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB), the most popular baby names in the Netherlands in 2015 were Emma and Liam.

Here are the Netherlands’ top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Emma
2. Julia
3. Sophie
4. Anna
5. Mila
6. Eva
7. Tess
8. Lotte
9. Sara
10. Zoë
1. Liam
2. Sem (a form of Shem)
3. Lucas
4. Luuk
5. Noah
6. Milan
7. Daan
8. Levi
9. Finn
10. Jesse

On the girls’ list, Lotte replaces Isa (which fell from 6th place to 20th).

On the boys’ list, Jesse replaces Bram (which fell from 2nd place to 13th).

Another significant mover of the boys’ list was Liam itself. Liam ranked 17th in 2013, then 9th in 2014, and finally 1st in 2015.

Other names bestowed last year in the Netherlands include Goodluck, Dikshit, Lovelace, Genius, Narbys-Lenay, Rooney, Amen, Islam, Jood, Godmother, Eh, and You.

The top names in 2014 were Sophie and Daan. In 2013, they were Tess and Sem.

Sources: Kindernamen top 20 – SVB, Emma and Liam are most popular Dutch kids names, but what about little Eh?

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?

Most Popular U.S. Baby Names of 2014

Emma and Noah were the most popular baby names in the United States in 2014.

Here’s the top 10:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emma, 20799 baby girls
2. Olivia, 19674
3. Sophia, 18490
4. Isabella, 16950
5. Ava, 15586
6. Mia, 13442
7. Emily, 12562
8. Abigail, 11985
9. Madison, 10247
10. Charlotte, 10048
1. Noah, 19144 baby boys
2. Liam, 18342
3. Mason, 17092
4. Jacob, 16712
5. William, 16687
6. Ethan, 15619
7. Michael, 15323
8. Alexander, 15293
9. James, 14301
10. Daniel, 13829

Noah remains the #1 boy name, and Emma replaces Sophia as the #1 girl name.

On the girls’ side, Charlotte replaces Elizabeth (now 14th). Elizabeth hasn’t dipped this low since the late 1970s.

On the boys’ side, James replaces Jayden (now 15th). James was last in the top 10 in the early 1990s.

Here’s the rest of the top 50:

Girl Names Boy Names
11. Harper, 9564
12. Sofia, 9542
13. Avery, 9517
14. Elizabeth, 9492
15. Amelia, 8727
16. Evelyn, 8692
17. Ella, 8489
18. Chloe, 8469
19. Victoria, 7955
20. Aubrey, 7589
21. Grace, 7554
22. Zoey, 7358
23. Natalie, 7061
24. Addison, 6950
25. Lillian, 6869
26. Brooklyn, 6767
27. Lily, 6727
28. Hannah, 6512
29. Layla, 6428
30. Scarlett, 5965
31. Aria, 5893
32. Zoe, 5828
33. Samantha, 5680
34. Anna, 5639
35. Leah, 5563
36. Audrey, 5531
37. Ariana, 5461
38. Allison, 5440
39. Savannah, 5433
40. Arianna, 5240
41. Camila, 5194
42. Penelope, 5062
43. Gabriella, 5051
44. Claire, 4991
45. Aaliyah, 4850
46. Sadie, 4823
47. Riley, 4761
48. Skylar, 4732
49. Nora, 4708
50. Sarah, 4647
11. Elijah, 13694
12. Benjamin, 13687
13. Logan, 13579
14. Aiden, 13296
15. Jayden, 12878
16. Matthew, 12809
17. Jackson, 12121
18. David, 12078
19. Lucas, 12078
20. Joseph, 11995
21. Anthony, 11490
22. Andrew, 11069
23. Samuel, 10859
24. Gabriel, 10826
25. Joshua, 10764
26. John, 10600
27. Carter, 10599
28. Luke, 10431
29. Dylan, 10350
30. Christopher, 10278
31. Isaac, 9868
32. Oliver, 9365
33. Henry, 9350
34. Sebastian, 9237
35. Caleb, 9143
36. Owen, 9100
37. Ryan, 9026
38. Nathan, 8902
39. Wyatt, 8812
40. Hunter, 8759
41. Jack, 8685
42. Christian, 8388
43. Landon, 8180
44. Jonathan, 8035
45. Levi, 7958
46. Jaxon, 7635
47. Julian, 7611
48. Isaiah, 7530
49. Eli, 7428
50. Aaron, 7334

On the girls’ side, Ariana, Penelope, Skylar and Nora (previously ranked 54th, 56th, 73rd and 82nd) are new to the top 50. They replace Hailey, Kaylee, Alexis and Nevaeh (now ranked 51st, 52nd, 64th and 65th).

On the boys’s side, Oliver and Aaron (previously ranked 52nd and 51st) are new to the top 50. They replace Brayden and Gavin (now ranked 62nd and 60th).

The biggest jumps within the top 50 were Scarlett (+12 spots), Sebastian (+11) and Aria (+9).

The biggest drops within the top 50 were Aaliyah (-10), Christian (-7), Ryan (-7) and Nathan (-7).

Here are the announcement posts for 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006.

U.S. Baby Names 2014: Most Popular Names, Top Girl Name Debuts, Top Boy Name Debuts, Biggest Girl Name Changes, Biggest Boy Name Changes, Top First Letters, Top Lengths