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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Sarah

Number of Babies Named Sarah

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Sarah

Popular Baby Names in Paris, 2016

According to Open Data Paris, the most popular baby names in Paris, France, in 2016 were Louise and Gabriel.

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

Girl Names
1. Louise, 291 baby girls
2. Emma, 209
3. Alice, 208
4. Chloé, 179
5. Jeanne, 177
6. Inès, 166
7. Sarah, 163
8. Léa, 157
9. Charlotte, 145
10. Anna, 141

Boy Names
1. Gabriel, 370 baby boys
2. Adam, 353
3. Raphaël, 340
4. Louis, 275
5. Arthur, 247
6. Paul, 203
7. Alexandre, 197 (tie)
8. Victor, 197 (tie)
9. Mohamed, 184
10. Joseph, 175

The #1 names in 2015 were also Louise and Gabriel (…and Adam, tied with Gabriel).

In the girls’ top 10, Léa and Charlotte replace Adèle and Juliette.

In the boys’ top 10, Joseph replaces Jules.

Source: Open Data Paris (via Maybe it is Daijirou)


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 Austria, 2015

According to data released in December of 2016 by Statistics Austria, the most popular baby names in the country in 2015 were Anna (and variants) and Lukas (and variants).

Here are Austria’s top 10 girl name-groups and top 10 boy name-groups of 2015:

Girl Names
1. Anna (21 variants, including Ann, Hannah, Yahna)
2. Sophie (12 variants, including Sophia)
3. Maria (36 variants, including Merry, Moira, Miriam)
4. Emilia (14 variants)
5. Elena (40 variants, including Elaine, Helen, Ilijana)
6. Emma (1 variant)
7. Lena (8 variants)
8. Sarah (9 variants)
9. Mia (2 variants)
10. Laura (1 variant)

Boy Names
1. Lukas (11 variants, including Luc)
2. David (12 variants)
3. Jakob (20 variants, including Giacomo, Jaime, Tiago)
4. Elias (31 variants, including Ilian)
5. Maximilian (9 variants)
6. Alexander (32 variants, including Alejandro, Alistair, Iskender)
7. Jonas (12 variants)
8. Paul (7 variants, including Pablo)
9. Tobias (3 variants)
10. Leon (7 variants, including Levon)

The #1 name-groups were the same in 2014. There are no new entries on either top 10 list.

Source: Anna und Lukas sind die beliebtesten Babynamen 2015 (found via Popularity of Names in Austria, 2015)

Popular Baby Names in New York City, 2015

According to data from the New York City Department of Health, the most popular baby names in the city last year were Olivia and Ethan.

Here are New York City’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names
1. Olivia (595 baby girls)
2. Sophia
3. Emma (tied)
4. Mia (tied)
5. Isabella
6. Leah
7. Emily
8. Ava
9. Chloe
10. Madison

Boy Names
1. Ethan (773 baby boys)
2. Liam
3. Noah
4. Jacob
5. Jayden
6. Matthew
7. David
8. Daniel (tied)
9. Dylan (tied)
10. Aiden

On the girls’ list, Olivia replaces Sophia as the top name and Madison replaces Sofia in the top 10.

On the boys’ list, Dylan and Aiden replace Michael and Alexander in the top 10.

Here are the top names broken down by ethnic/racial group:

Latino:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Isabella
2. Sophia
3. Mia
4. Emma
5. Camila
1. Liam
2. Dylan
3. Ethan
4. Matthew
5. Noah

Black:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Madison
2. Skylar
3. Ava
4. Olivia
5. Mia
1. Noah
2. Liam
3. Aiden
4. Jeremiah
5. Ethan/Josiah (tie)

White:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emma
2. Olivia
3. Leah
4. Sarah
5. Esther
1. David
2. Joseph
3. Moshe
4. Jacob
5. Benjamin

Asian & Pacific Islander:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Olivia
2. Chloe
3. Sophia
4. Emily
5. Emma
1. Jayden
2. Ethan
3. Ryan
4. Muhammad
5. Aiden

New York City’s less-popular names (used 10 times each) included…

  • Damaris, Eunice, and Shirin (girl names)
  • Dimitri, Immanuel, and Ousmane (boy names)

The news release also mentioned that NYC’s baby name data goes back as far back as 1898. That year, the top girl names were Mary, Catherine, and Margaret, and the top boy names were John, William, and Charles.

Here are NYC’s 2014 rankings. For more U.S.-specific baby name rankings, see the U.S. name rankings subcategory. For international rankings as well, check out the full name rankings category.

Source: Olivia and Ethan Top Health Department’s Annual Most Popular Baby Names For 2015

Popular Baby Names in Israel, 2015

According to data released earlier this week by Israel’s Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS), the top three most popular baby names in the country overall in 2015 were:

  1. Mohammed
  2. Yosef (used for male babies — both Muslim and Jewish)
  3. Ariel (used for Jewish babies — both male and female)

The top baby names for Jewish babies specifically were Noa and Noam:

Girl Names (Jewish)
1. Noa
2. Tamar
3. Maya
4. Avigayil/Avigail/Abigail
5. Talya/Talia
6. Adele
7. Shira
8. Ayala/Ayela
9. Yael
10. Sarah/Sara

Boy Names (Jewish)
1. Noam
2. David
3. Ori/Uri
4. Ariel
5. Eitan
6. Yosef
7. Itai/Itay
8. Yonatan
9. Daniel
10. Moshe

The CBS also reported that the boy names Dror, Yagel/Yigal, and Alroi/Elroi/Elroy each saw a sharp rise in usage in 2015.

The top baby names for Muslim babies specifically were Maryam and Mohammad:

Girl Names (Muslim)
1. Maryam/Miryam/Mariam
2. Sha’im
3. Jana/Janah
4. Lin
5. Lian/Layan
6. Alin/Aline
7. Sa’ara

Boy Names (Muslim)
1. Mohammad
2. Ahmed
3. Yosef
4. Omar
5. Adam
6. Jud/Jod
7. Abed
8. Ali
9. Amir
10. Ibrahim

The 2012 rankings for Israel are pretty similar.

Sources: Mohammad & Noa 2015’s most common names for newborns, Most popular Jewish names: Noam for a boy and Noa for a girl, What were the most popular names for boys and girls in 2015?

Popular Baby Names in Belgium, 2015

According to data from Statistics Belgium, the country’s most popular baby names in 2014 were Emma and Louis.

Here are Belgium’s top 10 baby names:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emma, 645 baby girls
2. Louise, 596
3. Olivia, 538
4. Elise, 437
5. Alice, 428
6. Juliette, 404
7. Mila, 400
8. Lucie, 389
9. Marie, 383
10. Camille, 366
1. Louis, 613 baby boys
2. Arthur, 606
3. Noah, 586
4. Lucas, 572
5. Liam, 561
6. Adam, 543
7. Victor, 487
8. Jules, 468
9. Mohamed, 461
10. Nathan, 450

In the girls’ top 10, Mila and Camille replace Lina and Ella. In the boys’ top 10, Victor replaces Mathis.

Emma and Louis were also the top names in 2014.

Here are the top names within each of the three regions:

Region Girl Names Boy Names
Flanders
(58% of Belgians)
Language: Dutch
1. Louise
2. Emma
3. Marie
4. Elise
5. Ella
1. Lucas
2. Liam
3. Arthur
4. Louis
5. Noah
Wallonia
(32% of Belgians)
Language: mostly French
1. Léa
2. Lucie
3. Alice
4. Emma
5. Chloé
1. Louis
2. Hugo
3. Nathan
4. Noah
5. Gabriel
Brussels
(10% of Belgians)
Languages: Dutch/French
1. Nour
2. Lina
3. Sofia
4. Sara
5. Yasmine
1. Adam
2. Mohamed
3. Gabriel
4. Rayan
5. David

I find it interesting that Olivia, the 3rd-most-popular baby girl name in the country overall, didn’t hit the top 5 in any of the three regions. It came in 6th in both Flanders and Wallonia and 11th in Brussels.

Source: Voornamen meisjes en jongens – Statistics Belgium

The Top Baby Names in Maryland in 2011?

Maryland’s Open Data website includes a single table of Maryland baby name rankings (2011) broken down by race/ethnic group. This is cool because New York City does the exact same breakdown, and we happen to have the equivalent NYC baby name rankings (2011). So we ought to be able to compare and contrast the two sets of rankings, right?

Yeah, that’s what I thought…until I started looking more closely at Maryland’s data.

According to the SSA, these were the top 10 boy names in Maryland in 2011:

  1. Mason
  2. Jacob
  3. Michael
  4. Ethan
  5. Ryan
  6. William
  7. Alexander
  8. Noah
  9. Daniel
  10. Aiden (tied for 10th)
  11. Jayden (tied for 10th)

But according to the state of Maryland, the top 10 boy names were quite different:

Rank OVERALL Asian &
Pacific Isl.
Black Hispanic White
1 Aiden Aiden Jaiden Christopher Lucas
2 Christopher Lucas Aiden Anthony Mason
3 Jayden Alexander Christopher John Jackson
4 Mason Muhammed Cameron Alexander Jacob
5 Lucas Ethan Elijah Daniel John
6 Jacob Nathan Jeremy Matthew Aiden
7 Alexander John Michael Brian Alexander
8 Nathan Andrew Isaiah Justin Liam
9 Michael Justin Mason Jaiden William
10 Ethan Jacob Caleb Kevin Ryan

It isn’t totally implausible that Aiden and Jayden might have ranked 1st and 3rd in 2011, but Christopher in 2nd? Maybe if this were a dataset from thirty years ago, but not five years ago. The SSA indicates that Christopher ranked closer to 18th in the state that year.

And what’s with the two different spellings of Jayden/Jaiden?

Plus there are some sizable raw number discrepancies, such as:

  • Aiden: 588 babies (MD data) vs. 281 babies (SSA data for MD)
  • Christopher: 584 babies (MD data) vs. 256 babies (SSA data for MD)
  • Jayden: 498 babies (MD data) vs. 281 babies (SSA data for MD)
  • Mason: 463 babies (MD data) vs. 432 babies (SSA data for MD)

And now the girl names. According to the SSA, these were the top 10 girl names in Maryland in 2011:

  1. Sophia
  2. Olivia
  3. Isabella
  4. Madison
  5. Ava
  6. Emma
  7. Abigail
  8. Chloe
  9. Emily
  10. Elizabeth

According to the state of Maryland, though, the top 10 girl names in the state were these:

Rank OVERALL Asian &
Pacific Isl.
Black Hispanic White
1 Sophia Sophia Chloe Sophia Sophia
2 Isabel Chloe London Emily Isabel
3 Chloe Isabel Layla Allison Abigail
4 Ava Caitlin/Kate Madison Isabel Olivia
5 Madison Hannah Kennedy Ashley Ava
6 Olivia Olivia Aaliyah Angelina Riley
7 Emily Sara(h) McKenzie Natalie Madison
8 McKenzie Abigail Zoe(y) Genesis Emily
9 Abigail Emily Payton Gabrielle McKenzie
10 Riley Lillian/Lily Taylor Kimberly Chloe

Not only does Isabel magically replace Isabella in the Maryland data, but McKenzie and Riley rank 8th and 10th — even though the SSA says they should be closer to 77th (!) and 28th.

Not to mention the raw number discrepancies, such as:

  • Sophia: 503 babies (MD data) vs. 367 babies (SSA data for MD)
  • McKenzie: 325 babies (MD data) vs. 71 babies (SSA data for MD)
  • Riley: 298 babies (MD data) vs. 118 babies (SSA data for MD)

Intriguing parallels between the MD data and the NYC data do exist. In both locations, Elijah and Isaiah were in the top 10 for African-American boys only, and London, Aaliyah, and Taylor were in the top 10 for African-American girls only.

But if we can’t trust the data, we can’t draw any meaningful conclusions.

Labels like “Caitlin/Kate,” “Sara(h),” “Zoe(y)” and “Lillian/Lily” suggest that variant names were combined here and there. I suspect this is also what happened with Isabel/Isabella, Sophia/Sofia, Aiden, Jayden, MacKenzie, Riley, and maybe even Christopher (perhaps Maryland merged all the “Chris-” names). What are your thoughts on this?