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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Benjamin


Posts that Mention the Name Benjamin

Where did the baby name Alson come from in 1888?

Politician Alson J. Streeter (1823-1901)
Alson J. Streeter

The name Alson first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1888:

  • 1890: unlisted
  • 1889: unlisted
  • 1888: 5 baby boys named Alson [debut]
  • 1887: unlisted
  • 1886: unlisted

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) data for the same window of time shows a similar increase in usage in 1888:

  • 1890: 7 people named Alson
  • 1889: 14 people named Alson
  • 1888: 14 people named Alson
  • 1887: 3 people named Alson
  • 1886: 4 people named Alson

What was the influence?

A third-party candidate in the 1888 U.S. presidential election named Alson J. Streeter.

In May of that year, Streeter — a former Illinois state senator — had won the nomination of the fledgling Union Labor Party (made up of both agricultural and industrial workers).

He ran against Republican candidate Benjamin Harrison, Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland, and several other third-party candidates, including Belva Lockwood.

Harrison won the electoral vote (and hence the election), but Cleveland won the popular vote. Prohibition candidate Clinton Fisk came in third with 2.2% of the popular vote, while Alson Streeter took fourth with 1.3%.

Support for Streeter was particularly high in the states of Kansas (where he won 11.4% of the vote), Texas (8.2%), Arkansas (6.8%), and Missouri (3.6%). So it doesn’t surprise me that the people I found named “Alson Streeter” specifically were also from these states:

In Streeter’s case, the name Alson may have come from a family surname. If so, it’s likely that Alson is a variant of the surname Allison, which would have originally referred to the son of someone with an Al-name like Alan, or Alexander.

Do you like the name Alson? Would you use it?

Sources: 1888 United States presidential election – Wikipedia, Alson Streeter – Wikipedia, Union Labor Party – Encyclopedia of Arkansas, SSA

Popular baby names in New York City, 2021

New York City

New York City, located in southeastern New York state, is the most populous city in the United States.

In 2021, New York City welcomed 99,262 babies — 48,648 girls and 50,614 boys.

What were the most popular names among these babies? Emma and Liam.

Here are New York City’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Emma, 434 baby girls
  2. Olivia
  3. Mia
  4. Sophia
  5. Leah
  6. Ava
  7. Isabella
  8. Amelia
  9. Luna
  10. Sofia

Boy Names

  1. Liam, 703 baby boys
  2. Noah
  3. Ethan
  4. Lucas
  5. Jacob
  6. Joseph
  7. David
  8. Daniel
  9. Aiden
  10. Benjamin

In the girls’ top 10, Luna and Sofia replaced Sarah and Chloe.

In the boys’ top 10, Benjamin replaced Alexander.

Names in the top 100 included: Grace, Lily, Violet, Aurora, Angel, Ruby, Rose, Harper, Axel, Melody, Summer, Serenity, Iris, Autumn, Jade, Chase, August, Angelina, Ivy, Eden, Goldy, Daisy, Journey, and Faith. (Genders weren’t specified, but most of these look like girl names to me.)

If you’d like to compare 2021 to earlier years, here are NYC’s 2020 rankings, and here’s a round-up of all the NYC rankings from 2019 all the way back to 1990 (plus a few from even earlier).

Source: Health Department Announces Top Baby Names in New York City
Image by mscamilaalmeida from Pixabay

Popular baby names in Iceland, 2021

iceland

Iceland is a sparsely populated (and actively volcanic!) island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean, very close to the Arctic Circle.

Last year, Iceland welcomed 4,866 babies. What were the most popular names among these babies? Embla and Aron.

Here are Iceland’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Embla, 31 baby girls
  2. Emilía, 29 (tie)
  3. Sara, 29 (tie)
  4. Sóley, 26 – means “buttercup” in Icelandic.
  5. Aþena, 25 (tie) – form of Athena.
  6. Matthildur, 25 (tie) – form of Matilda.
  7. Katla, 24
  8. Guðrún, 23
  9. Eva, 22 (3-way tie)
  10. Saga, 22 (3-way tie)
  11. Viktoría, 22 (3-way tie)
  12. Anna, 21 (4-way tie)
  13. Bríet, 21 (4-way tie)
  14. Emma, 21 (4-way tie)
  15. Hekla, 21 (4-way tie)
  16. Júlía, 19
  17. Móeiður, 18
  18. Aldís, 17 (3-way tie)
  19. Andrea, 17 (3-way tie)
  20. Elísabet, 17 (3-way tie)
  21. Freyja, 16 (tie)
  22. Kristín, 16 (tie)
  23. Ísabella, 15 (tie)
  24. Katrín, 15 (tie)
  25. Alexandra, 14 (7-way tie)
  26. Hanna, 14 (7-way tie)
  27. Klara, 14 (7-way tie)
  28. Margrét, 14 (7-way tie)
  29. Rakel, 14 (7-way tie)
  30. Salka, 14 (7-way tie)
  31. Una, 14 (7-way tie)
  32. Hrafnhildur, 13 (3-way tie) – comprised of elements meaning “raven” and “battle.”
  33. Íris, 13 (3-way tie)
  34. Þórdís, 13 (3-way tie)
  35. Kolbrún, 12
  36. Berglind, 11 (7-way tie)
  37. Birta, 11 (7-way tie)
  38. Helga, 11 (7-way tie)
  39. Kamilla, 11 (7-way tie)
  40. Laufey, 11 (7-way tie)
  41. María, 11 (7-way tie)
  42. Sóldís, 11 (7-way tie)
  43. Amelía, 10 (14-way tie)
  44. Aría, 10 (14-way tie)
  45. Áróra, 10 (14-way tie)
  46. Elín, 10 (14-way tie)
  47. Hafdís, 10 (14-way tie)
  48. Heiðdís, 10 (14-way tie)
  49. Hildur, 10 (14-way tie)
  50. Hrafntinna, 10 (14-way tie) – based on the Icelandic word hrafntinnu, meaning “obsidian.” (The elements mean “raven” and “flint.”)
  51. Lena, 10 (14-way tie)
  52. Lóa, 10 (14-way tie)
  53. Mía, 10 (14-way tie)
  54. Natalía, 10 (14-way tie)
  55. Unnur, 10 (14-way tie)
  56. Ylfa, 10 (14-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. Aron, 41 baby boys
  2. Jökull, 36 – (pronounced yoh-kut, roughly) means “glacier” in Icelandic.
  3. Alexander, 31
  4. Kári, 30
  5. Emil, 28
  6. Jón, 27
  7. Óliver, 25
  8. Matthías, 24 (tie)
  9. Mikael, 24 (tie)
  10. Atlas, 23 (tie)
  11. Elmar, 23 (tie)
  12. Óðinn, 22
  13. Birnir, 21 (tie)
  14. Sigurður, 21 (tie)
  15. Baldur, 20 (6-way tie)
  16. Birkir, 20 (6-way tie) – based on the Icelandic word birki, meaning “birch”
  17. Brynjar, 20 (6-way tie)
  18. Ísak, 20 (6-way tie)
  19. Stefán, 20 (6-way tie)
  20. Tómas, 20 (6-way tie)
  21. Dagur, 19
  22. Styrmir, 18
  23. Úlfur, 18
  24. Bjartur, 17 (5-way tie)
  25. Daníel, 17 (5-way tie)
  26. Fannar, 17 (5-way tie)
  27. Guðmundur, 17 (5-way tie)
  28. Róbert, 17 (5-way tie)
  29. Ari, 16 (6-way tie)
  30. Jóhann, 16 (6-way tie)
  31. Kristófer, 16 (6-way tie)
  32. Óskar, 16 (6-way tie)
  33. Theodór, 16 (6-way tie)
  34. Viktor, 16 (6-way tie)
  35. Baltasar, 15 (3-way tie)
  36. Bjarki, 15 (3-way tie)
  37. Ólafur, 15 (3-way tie)
  38. Benedikt, 14 (9-way tie)
  39. Benjamín, 14 (9-way tie)
  40. Einar, 14 (9-way tie)
  41. Hjörtur, 14 (9-way tie)
  42. Hrafn, 14 (9-way tie)
  43. Jakob, 14 (9-way tie)
  44. Kristján, 14 (9-way tie)
  45. Magnús, 14 (9-way tie)
  46. Ýmir, 14 (9-way tie)
  47. Hinrik, 13 (4-way tie)
  48. Hlynur, 13 (4-way tie) – means “maple” in Icelandic.
  49. Máni, 13 (4-way tie) – based on the Old Norse word máni, meaning “moon.”
    • Máni was the personification of the moon in Germanic mythology.
  50. Ragnar, 13 (4-way tie)

Notably, the girl name Saga jumped from 80th place in 2020 to 10th in 2021.

Here are several interesting names from outside the top 50:

More Girl NamesMore Boy names
Dagbjört (“day” + “light”), 5Frosti (“frost”), 12
Melkorka (a character from a saga), 5Nökkvi (“boat, skip”), 9
Kría (“arctic tern”) 4Víkingur, 8
Ósk (“wish”), 2Snæbjörn (“snow” + “bear”), 5
Ugla (“owl”), 2Örlygur (“warrior”), 2

And, because Iceland releases all of its baby name data (yay!), we can check out names at the other end of the spectrum.

Over 340 girl names and over 360 boy names were bestowed just once in Iceland last year. Here’s a selection of Iceland’s unique baby names of 2021:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Álfrún, Blíða, Charlotta, Dýrleif, Elínrós, Fanndís, Gígja, Hjaltey, Irmý, Jökla, Kristrún, Lílú, Marlaug, Myrkey, Nanna, Oddný, Pála, Quin, Rökkva, Svanhvít, Þórkatla, Unndís, Viðey, Wilrie, Ylfur, ZojaÁstmar, Barði, Carlos, Döggvi, Dreki, Ellert, Feykir, Greipur, Himri, Ísarr, Jörfi, Klettur, Kveldúlfur, Loftur, Myrkvi, Númi, Öxar, Pálmi, Röskvi, Skúmur, Sumarliði, Þorfinnur, Vigfús, Xander, Yariel, Zoran

Some simplified definitions for a few of the above…

  • Döggvi, “dew”
  • Dreki, “dragon”
  • Dýrleif, “deer” + “heir”
  • Fanndis, “snowdrift” + “woman”
  • Feykir, “fire”
  • Gigja, “fiddle”
  • Himri, short for himbrimi, “common loon” in Icelandic
  • Jökla, feminine version of Jökull, the #2 boy name
  • Myrkvi, “darkness (caused by fog or a storm)” or “eclipse
  • Sumarliði, “summer-farer”
  • Svanhvit, “swan” + “white”

There was also a single non-binary name, Blær (“light breeze”), registered in Iceland last year.

Interestingly, about a decade ago, a teenager named Blær forced Iceland to legally recognize her name — which, at that time, was considered solely masculine — by taking the government to court. Perhaps that court battle paved the way for Blær to become a dual-gender name in Iceland? Hm…

The last time I posted rankings for Iceland, in 2018, the top two names (Embla and Aron) were the same.

Sources: Vinsælustu nöfnin 2021 | Þjóðskrá, Vinsælustu nöfnin 2021 | Þjóðskrá, Nordic Names
Image by Kamil Kalbarczyk from Unsplash

Popular baby names in Liechtenstein, 2021

liechtenstein

Liechtenstein, one of the smallest countries in Europe, is located in the Alps (sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland).

Last year, Liechtenstein welcomed 375 babies — 181 girls and 194 boys.

What were the most popular names among these babies? Emilia/Frida/Mia (3-way tie) and Elias.

Here are Liechtenstein’s top girl names and top boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Emilia, Frida/Frieda, and Mia, 4 baby girls each (3-way tie)
  2. Emma, Melina, and Sophia/Sofia, 3 each (3-way tie)
  3. Alicia, Alina, Anna, Aria, Ariana/Arianna, Aurora, Chiara, Elea, Elin, Emily, Hannah, Helena, Jana, Ladina, Leonie, Lina, Mara, Maria, Milena, Mina, and Noelia, 2 each (21-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. Elias/Elyas, 7 baby boys
  2. Louis/Luis, 6
  3. Leo, 5
  4. Noah and Paul, 4 each (tie)
  5. Leano, Luca, Mattia, Nelio, Raphael/Rafael, and Valentin, 3 each (6-way tie)
  6. Benedict/Benedikt, Benjamin, Eliah/Elijah, Eric/Erik, Gion, James, Janik, Julian, Lenny, Levin, Lionel, Lucas/Lukas, Mael, Matteo, Maximilian, Nicklas/Niklas, Oliver, and Ömer, 2 each (18-way tie)

The rest of the names were bestowed just once:

Unique girl names (118)Unique boy names (114)
Ada, Adora, Aflah, Aida, Aileen, Akila, Alessia, Alexandra, Alia, Alizée, Alma, Amalia, Ambra, Amela, Amélie, Amina, Amra, Ana, Aniko, Anila, Anina, Annika, Antonia, Asalia, Ava, Aynara, Calissa, Carla, Carmen, Catalina, Cecilia, Céline, Charlotte, Clea, Darja, Désirée, Diana, Diona, Dorothea, Dua-Lea, Ela, Elena, Elenia, Eleonora, Elif, Elina, Eline, Elise, Ena, Evi, Finja, Gabriella, Gea, Grace, Hailey, Haley, Hava, Heidi, Hindiya, Hylkije, Ina, Jara, Johanna, Josepa, Josephine, Julia, Juliana, Juna, Künkyi, Lailah, Lanah, Lara, Lea, Leila, Lelle, Lena, Leni, Lia, Liara, Lillia, Lily, Lorena, Lounah, Luisa, Malea, Marie, Maya, Mayte, Medina, Mejra, Melissa, Meryem, Mila, Mirella, Mona, Nadine, Naima, Nayla, Nevia, Niva, Nóra, Nurcan, Patrizia, Romina, Ronja, Rosa, Ruby, Sarah, Saskia, Serena, Siena, Svea, Theresia, Yara, Ylvie, Zana, Zeyneb, ZoeAaron, Adrian, Ajan, Akira, Alessio, Alexis, Ali, Alparslan, Alvaro, Ammar, Anton, Arion, Arjen, Aron, Arthur, Aurel, Aurelio, Ayman, Azad, Benno, Björn, Byron, Conradin, Dario, Dayan, Din, Eddie, Ediz, Elliot, Elvis, Emanuel, Emiel, Emil, Emilian, Erlis, Felix, Finn, Florian, Francesco, Gabriel, Gael, Grégory, Gustav, Henrik, Henry, Jakob, Jan, Jari, Jemin, Jonas, Joris, Julius, Juri, Justin, Karl, Kenan, Kian, Korab, Kunga, Laurin, Leandro, Leon, Levi, Liam, Lian, Liano, Linard, Lino, Lio, Louie, Luar, Mailo, Maleo, Malik, Marcelo, Matin, Matti, Mauro, Max, Metehan, Mikkel, Milo, Miro, Musab, Nathan, Neo, Nevio, Nils, Noam, Noar, Noel, Norden, Quentin, Richard, Rocco, Romeo, Rron, Samuel, Sandro, Santiago, Sava, Tenzin, Theo, Tiago, Tim, Timéo, Timo, Tobia, Vinzenz, Vitus, Xaver, Yakari, Yannick, Yannis

Some thoughts on a few of the above…

  • Künkyi and Tenzin are Tibetan.
  • Nevia and Nevio are Italian. They derive from the Roman family name Naevius, which was based on the Latin word naevus, meaning “birthmark” or “mole (on the body).”
  • Rron is an Albanian. It was created from the word rronj, a dialectal form of rroj, which means “to live, to survive.”

Finally, here’s a link to Liechtenstein’s 2020 rankings, if you’d like to compare last year to the year before.

Source: Neugeborenennamen 2021 – Statistikportal Liechtenstein