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

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Sara

Number of Babies Named Sara

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Sara

Classics on the Decline: Rebecca, Carol, Susan

girl names falling out of fashion

In last week’s “lowest ever” boy names post, I mentioned that reader Caitlin had shared her research on downward-trending baby names with me recently. While many girl names hit relative lows in 2017, for instance…

  • Sarah, now ranked 62nd — lowest ranking since 1970.
  • Rachel, now ranked 195th — lowest ranking since 1960.
  • Melissa, now ranked 273rd — lowest ranking since 1949.

…a couple of the names on her list, Rebecca and Catherine, hit their “lowest ever” rankings last year. (Plus there was Katherine, a borderline case of a lowest-ever tie.)

So I set out to find other “lowest ever” girl names.

Many of the names I checked (like Clare, Lea, and Bridget) hit a low in 2017, but it wasn’t their all-time low. Many others (like Pauline, Sara, and Mary) hit a low recently, but not as recently as 2017. Still others (like Yvonne) had to be disqualified because, even though they hit their lowest ranking on record in 2017, they didn’t appear in the data for all 138 years (1880-2017)…an issue I didn’t encounter with any of the boy names.

In the end, I was able to add a dozen thirteen names to the list:

  • Ann. Ranked 1,023rd in 2017; peak was 28th in the 1930s.
  • Barbara. Ranked 908th in 2017; peak was 2nd in the 1930s/1940s.
  • Carol. Ranked 1,814th in 2017; peak was 4th in the 1940s.
  • Catherine. Ranked 198th in 2017; peak was 18th in the 1910s.
  • Celia. Ranked 857th in 2017; peak was 141st in the 1880s.
  • Cynthia. Ranked 637th in 2017; peak was 7th in the 1950s.
  • Elisabeth. Ranked 775th in 2017; peak was 286th in the 2000s.
  • Katherine. Ranked 105th in 2017 + 1938; peak 25th in the 1990s.
  • Kathleen. Ranked 871st in 2017; peak was 9th in the 1940s. (Late addition–thanks Kelly!)
  • Linda. Ranked 708th in 2017; peak was 1st in 1940s/1950s.
  • Priscilla. Ranked 527th in 2017; peak was 127th in the 1940s.
  • Rebecca. Ranked 216th in 2017; peak was 10th in the 1970s.
  • Rosa. Ranked 672nd in 2017; peak was 52nd in the 1880s.
  • Susan. Ranked 963rd in 2017; peak was 2nd in the 1950s/1960s.
  • Teresa. Ranked 720th in 2017; peak was 18th in the 1960s.
  • Tressa. Ranked 9242nd in 2017; peak was 761st in the 1960s.

That makes 15 (or 16, if you count Katherine). I certainly could have missed a few, though, so if you can think of a good candidate, please let me know in the comments and I’ll take a look.

The Start of Sierra

The baby name Sierra debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1940.

Back in 1940, the baby name Sierra debuted in the U.S. baby name data rather impressively. It was the top newbie name of the year, in fact.

  • 1942: 13 baby girls named Sierra
  • 1941: 24 baby girls named Sierra
  • 1940: 32 baby girls named Sierra [debut]
  • 1939: unlisted
  • 1938: unlisted

What was behind the debut?

“Sierra Sue,” a song that was a #1 hit in 1940 for Bing Crosby. A version by The Glenn Miller Orchestra also charted the same year.

The song was actually an updated version of an older song written by Joseph B. Carey (a “blind San Francisco organist”) in 1916. Carey died in 1930, and in 1939 the Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. sheet music company secured the rights to the song from Carey’s widow. The song “was probably revived because of the popularity of other western-style songs in the late ’30s.”

And, yes, a large number of the babies named Sierra in 1940 also had the middle name “Sue.” :) Here’s a Sierra Sue who was born in Kansas in 1940.

The Spanish word sierra, which refers to a mountain range, can be traced back to the Latin word serra, meaning “saw.”

In November of the next year, a movie called Sierra Sue starring Gene Autry was released. Here’s the scene in which Gene sings the title song:

Decades later, in 1985, usage of the name began to rise rapidly thanks to soap opera character Sierra Estaban from As the World Turns. Sierra was a top-100 name from 1993 to 2004, peaking in 1999 at 49th (just below Jordan, just above Sara).

Do you like the name Sierra?

Sources:

Popular Baby Names in Norway, 2017

According to Statistics Norway, the most popular baby names in Norway in 2017 were Sofie/Sophie and Jakob/Jacob.

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

Girl Names
1. Sofie/Sophie, 412 baby girls
2. Nora/Norah, 405
3. Emma, 380
4. Sara/Sahra/Sarah/Zara, 346
5. Ella, 319
6. Olivia, 316
7. Maja/Maia/Maya, 312
8. Emilie, 285
9. Sofia/Sophia, 272
10. Ingrid/Ingerid/Ingri, 272

Boy Names
1. Jakob/Jacob, 424 baby boys
2. Lucas/Lukas, 404
3. Emil, 397
4. Oskar/Oscar, 393
5. Oliver, 390
6. William, 383
7. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip, 382
8. Noah/Noa, 368
9. Elias, 349
10. Isak/Isaac/Isac, 330

The girls’ top 10 is the same, but the names are in a different order.

In the boys’ top 10, Elias and Isak replace Mathias and Aksel.

In the capital city of Oslo, the top names were Mohammad and Sofia. Statistics Norway said that it doesn’t have a “good explanation” for why Sofia-with-an-A is #1 in the capital while Sofie-with-an-E is #1 in the country.

In 2016, the top names were Nora/Norah/Noora and William.

Sources: Navn – SSB, These are Norway’s most popular kids’ names, Most popular names in 2017

Top Baby Names in Eindhoven, 2017

We looked at the top baby names in the Netherlands a couple of days ago, so let’s follow that up with the top baby names in Eindhoven, the fifth-largest city in the Netherlands:

Girl Names
1. Anna
2. Sara
3. Emma, Nora, Nova (3-way tie)

Boy Names
1. Dex, James (2-way tie)
2. Milan
3. Jesse

Interestingly, many of these names (Nora, Nova, Dex, and James) aren’t in the national top ten.

Source: Gemeente Eindhoven, via Dex, James and Anna most popular baby names in Eindhoven

Popular Baby Names in the Netherlands, 2017

According to the Netherlands’ Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB), the most popular baby names in the country in 2017 were Emma and Noah.

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

Girl Names
1. Emma, 755 baby girls
2. Tess, 734
3. Sophie, 709
4. Julia, 696
5. Anna, 595
6. Mila, 580
7. Sara, 547
8. Eva, 533
9. Zoë, 522
10. Evi, 510

Boy Names
1. Noah, 635 baby boys
2. Sem, 631
3. Lucas, 629
4. Finn, 615
5. Daan, 614
6. Levi, 609
7. Milan, 583
8. Bram, 573
9. Luuk, 572
10. Jesse, 532

In the boys’ top 10, Bram replaced Max (now 18th).

In 2016, the top two names were Anna and Daan (both of which now rank 5th).

Source: Noah and Emma top the list of most popular Dutch baby names