How popular is the baby name Julia 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 Julia.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Julia


Posts that Mention the Name Julia

Popular Baby Names in Providence, RI, 1868

19th-century Providence, Rhode Island
19th-century Providence

Years ago, I discovered three documents with relatively complete lists of births for the city of Providence, Rhode Island, for the years 1866, 1867, and 1868. I’ve already created Providence’s baby name rankings for 1866 and 1867 using the first two documents, and today (finally!) I’ve got the third set of rankings for you.

Let’s start with some stats:

  • 1,762 babies were born in Providence in 1868, by my count. According to the introduction of the document I’m using a source, however, the total number is 1,866. I don’t know how to account for this discrepancy.
  • 1,617 of these babies (791 girls and 826 boys) had names that were known at the time of publication. The other 145 babies got blank spaces. Either their names hadn’t been registered yet, or they hadn’t been named yet, or perhaps these babies died young and never received a name.
  • 284 unique names (143 girl names and 141 boy names) were shared among these 1,617 babies.

And now, on to the names!

Top 5

A quick look at the top 5 girl names and boy names in Providence in 1868:

Top baby girl namesTop baby boy names
1. Mary
2. Catherine
3. Sarah
4. Ellen
5. Margaret
1. John
2. William
3. James
4. Charles
5. George

All Girl Names

  1. Mary, 149 baby girls
  2. Catherine, 39
  3. Sarah, 38
  4. Ellen, 31
  5. Margaret, 28
  6. Elizabeth, 25
  7. Alice, 24
  8. Anna, 20
  9. Ann, 16
  10. Emma, 14
  11. Eliza, 13
  12. Clara & Martha, 11 each (tie)
  13. Hannah & Lucy, 10 each (tie)
  14. Bridget, Grace, Jennie, Julia & Maria, 9 each (5-way tie)
  15. Annie, Florence, Jane, Minnie & Susan, 8 each (5-way tie)
  16. Agnes, Caroline, Cora, Ella & Harriet, 7 each (5-way tie)
  17. Anne, Carrie, Hattie, Ida, Mabel & Nellie, 6 each (6-way tie)
  18. Eva, Joanna, Lydia & Rosanna, 5 each (4-way tie)
  19. Abby, Charlotte, Emily, Jessie, Josephine, Lillian, Lizzie, Louisa, Louise, Marion, Phebe, Rosella & Theresa, 4 each (13-way tie)
  20. Anastasia, Bertha, Edith, Gertrude, Isabella, Nettie, Pearl, Rebecca & Susanna, 3 each (9-way tie)
  21. Ada, Almira, Edna, Fannie, Flora, Frances, Helen, Henrietta, Inez, Laura, Lelia, Lillie, Lottie, Maud, Priscilla & Virginia, 2 each (16-way tie)
  22. Addie, Adelaide, Adelicia, Adeline, Agatha, Allene, Amanda, Amy, Angelica, Antoinette, Arabella, Augusta, Aurelia, B.*, Belle, Bessie, Betsey, Catharine, Celia, Claudia, Della, Eleanor, Eleanora, Estella, Estelle, Esther, Eudavelia, Eulalie, Evelyn, Francenia, Genevieve, Georgia, Honora, Imogene, Jesse, Juliette, Kate, Leonora, Lilla, Lillias, Lorena, Luella, Luetta, Magdalena, Marian, Marietta, Matilda, Mercy, Minerva, Miriam, Myra, Myrtis, Nanoan, Nora, Pauline, Reberta, Rhoda, Roberta, Rosa, Rose, Ruth, Sabrina, Sophia, Stella & Winifred, 1 each (65-way tie)

*What do you think the “B.” might have stood for?

All Boy Names

  1. John, 112 baby boys
  2. William, 68
  3. James, 64
  4. Charles, 52
  5. George, 45
  6. Thomas, 37
  7. Frederick, 25
  8. Henry, 23
  9. Joseph, 22
  10. Edward, 19
  11. Daniel & Patrick, 18 each (tie)
  12. Robert, 17
  13. Frank, 16
  14. Francis, 15
  15. Walter, 13
  16. Michael, 11
  17. Albert, 10
  18. Arthur, 9
  19. Benjamin, Peter & Samuel, 7 each (3-way tie)
  20. Freddie, Harry, Herbert & Stephen, 6 each (4-way tie)
  21. Edwin, Lawrence, Lewis, Martin & Timothy, 5 each (5-way tie)
  22. Bernard, Edmund, Eugene, Louis, Philip & Richard, 4 each (6-way tie)
  23. Alfred, Augustus, Christopher, Eben, Horace, Howard, Hugh, Jeremiah, Matthew & Willard, 3 each (10-way tie)
  24. Abel, Barney, Byron, Dennis, Edgar, Ferdinand, Gilbert, Luke, Max, Nathaniel, Owen, Roger, Solomon & Victor, 2 each (14-way tie)
  25. Alden, Alexis, Allen, Alrick, Amos, Andrew, Ansel, Anson, Archibald, Asa, Ashby, Bartholomew, Calvin, Carlos, Clarence, Clark, Clarke, Clement, Clifford, Collyer, Crolander, Darius, David, Earl, Elisha, Ellis, Eri, Ernest, Erwin, Eusebe, Everett, Felix, Forrest, Foster, Franklin, Fred, Gardner, Jacob, Jason, Jerome, Jireh, Joaneto, Josiah, Jubal, Justin, Lawson, Lodovic, Louis, Lucien, Lyman, Major, Malachi, Manuel, Melbourne, Monroe, Morey, Morris, Myron, Nelson, Nicholas, Olney, Orville, Oscar, Pendleton, Ralph, Reuben, Rolfe, Rowland, Rufus, Simeon, Simon, Steven, Stewart, Theodore, Ulysses*, Volney, Warren, Whiting, Willie & Winchester, 1 each (80-way tie)

*Ulysses was likely named in honor of Ulysses S. Grant, who was elected president in 1868.

Twins

Finally, nineteen sets of twins were born in Providence in 1868. (All of these twin names are accounted for in the rankings above.)

Girl-girl twinsGirl-boy twinsBoy-boy twins
Caroline & Harriet
Lucy & Lydia
Mary & Rosanna
Margaret & Mary
Lizzie & Martha
(blank) & (blank)
Anne & Thomas
Emma & Charles
Florence & William
Hannah & Josiah
Ida & John
Isabella & John
Jennie & Horace
Charles & William
Francis & Robert
George & John
James & John
James & Stephen
(blank) & (blank)

Have any thoughts about these rankings, or any of the specific names above?

Source: Snow, Edwin M. Alphabetical Lists of the Names of Persons Deceased, Born and Married in the City of Providence. Number three. Providence: Millard & Harker, 1870.

Babies Named for Sailing Ships (Y, Z)

The people below were born aboard — and named after! — ships with Y- and Z-names…

  • Yeoman:
    • Elizabeth Victoria Yeoman Goddard, born in 1887
  • York:
    • Christopher York Gurten, born in 1862
    • John York Lillis, born in 1862
  • Young England:
    • Young England Coleman, born in 1865
  • Zamora:
    • Julia Zamora Fitzgerald, born in 1877
    • Agnes Maria Zamora Gabaluseke, born in 1881
    • Zamora Jane Walker, born in 1881
    • Edward Zamora Bently, born in 1882
    • Joseph Zamora Daly, born in 1882
  • Zeno:
    • Annie Zeno Babin, born in 1876
  • Zealandia:
    • Zealandia Helena Harvey, born in 1875
  • Zephyr:
    • Edith Anjer Zephyr Watson, born in 1878

Do you think any of the ship names above work particularly well as human names?

Source: FamilySearch.org

Popular Baby Names on the Balearic Islands, 2019

According to IBESTAT, the most popular baby names on the Balearic Islands two years ago were Julia and Marc.

(The Balearic Islands are part of Spain. We’ve already seen Spain’s rankings for 2019 and 2020, but I thought this deserved its own post because there’s an island-by-island breakdown.)

Here are the Balearic Islands’ top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Julia, 93 baby girls
  2. Emma, 89
  3. Martina, 77
  4. Sofia, 75
  5. Paula, 72
  6. Lucia, 69
  7. Maria, 60
  8. Laia, 52
  9. Lara, 50
  10. Carla, 48

Boy Names

  1. Marc, 136 baby boys
  2. Hugo, 70
  3. Lucas, 65
  4. Leo, 60
  5. Pau, 58
  6. Alejandro, 54
  7. Mateo, 48
  8. Marti, 47
  9. Daniel, 45
  10. Joan, 44

Girl names within the top 100 include…

  • Aina – Catalan form of Anna
  • Ainara – a form of Enara, Basque for “swallow” (the bird)
  • Ainhoa – from the name of the town of Ainhoa in France
  • Aitana – from the name of the Aitana mountain range in Spain
  • Margalida – related to Margaret
  • Triana – from the name of the neighborhood of Triana in Seville

Boy names within the top 100 include…

  • Izan – a modern Spanish form of Ethan
  • Adria – Catalan form of Adrian
  • Jordi – Catalan form of George
  • Iker – Basque for “visitation”
  • Biel – Catalan short form of Gabriel
  • Unai – Basque for “cowherd”

Finally, here are the most popular baby names by island:

Island% total pop.Top girl nameTop boy name
Mallorca (say mai-OR-kah)80%Emma/Juila (tie)Marc
Menorca9%ClaudiaLucas
Eivissa (a.k.a. Ibiza)11%Mia/Sofia (tie)Mateo
Formentera1%Mar/Martina (tie)Leo

The last time I posted about the Balearic Islands, in 2013, the top two names were Maria and Marc.

Source: Nombres más frecuentes – Ibestat, Balearic Islands – Wikipedia, Behind the Name

Popular Baby Names in Spain, 2020

According to Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica (INE), the most popular baby names in the country last year were Lucia and Hugo.

Here are Spain’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Lucia, 3,432 baby girls
  2. Sofia, 3,190
  3. Martina, 3,042
  4. Maria, 2,839
  5. Julia, 2,436
  6. Paula, 2,201
  7. Valeria, 2,167
  8. Emma, 2,119
  9. Daniela, 2,015
  10. Carla, 1,831

Boy Names

  1. Hugo, 3,313 baby boys
  2. Mateo, 3,248
  3. Martin, 3,144
  4. Lucas, 3,024
  5. Leo, 2,823
  6. Daniel, 2,592
  7. Alejandro, 2,525
  8. Manuel, 2,411
  9. Pablo, 2,400
  10. Alvaro, 2,070

In the girls’ top 10, Carla replaced Alba.

The boys’ top 10 includes the same 10 names, but in a different order.

In 2019, the top names were also Lucia and Hugo.

Source: Apellidos y nombres más frecuentes – INEbase

How did “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” influence baby names?

The Most Beautiful Girl in the World Pageant, 1984

In January of 1984, a one-of-a-kind beauty pageant called “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” was broadcast live on television from Oahu, Hawaii.

What made it unique? The fact that viewers at home could participate in picking the winner!

Back in 1984, this was a novel idea — so novel that, even though creator Dick Clark had come up with the concept back in the late ’60s, he wasn’t able to garner any interest in it until decades later.

The show was hosted by Jayne Kennedy and David Hasselhoff. In fact, the Hoff was featured in the TV commercial for the pageant:

The Most Beautiful Girl in the World tv commercial, David Hasselhoff

Twenty-one young women from around the globe were chosen as contestants. Here are their names and the regions they represented (in order of introduction):

  • United States: Susanne Ashley Trimble
  • India: Safira Afzaal
  • Great Britain: Debi Brett
  • Japan: Yoko Ami
  • Swaziland: Zanella Tutu
  • Denmark: Lene Nyholm Jensen
  • Spain: Maria Jose Bustos
  • Italy: Antonia Dell’Atte
  • Brazil: Carmen Carolina Baldelli
  • Germany: Birgit Wiemann
  • Saipan: Zelma Tomokane
  • Puerto Rico: Deborah Carthy Deu
  • The Philippines: Yoraidyl (YOR-ah-dil) Diaz Stone
  • Canada: Elizabeth Stimson
  • Mexico: Jaqueline De La Vega Pineda
  • Singapore: Julie Nickson
  • Morocco: Nadia Bahy
  • France: Patricia Talazac
  • Hong Kong: Tracy Chan
  • Australia: Melanie Ivanhoe
  • Israel: Yarden Levinson

I want to draw your attention to two of these contestants, Safira Afzaal and Yarden Levinson, because the rare names Safira and Yarden both debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1984 specifically:

Safira usageYarden usage
1986unlistedunlisted
1985unlistedunlisted
198418 baby girls6 baby girls
1983unlistedunlisted
1982unlistedunlisted

(Safira may be based on the Islamic name Safeerah, meaning “messenger”; Yarden, the Hebrew name of the Jordan River, is derived from a Hebrew word meaning “descend” or “flow down.”)

Here’s how these two contestants looked during the introductions…

Safira:

Safira Afzal, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, beauty pageant, 1984

Yarden:

Yarden Levinson, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, beauty pageant, 1984

Over the course of the two-hour program, the field of contestants was reduced three times: from 21 to 10 (by a panel of judges), from 10 to 3 (again by the judges), and finally from 3 to 1 (by popular vote).

Both Safira and Yarden survived the first cut. The second portion of the show featured the ten remaining women modeling in swimsuits, modeling in evening gowns, and, rather unusually, doing aerobic exercise. (How ’80s is that?)

Here’s Safira doing aerobics:

Safira Afzal, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, beauty pageant, 1984

And here’s Yarden:

Yarden Levinson, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, beauty pageant, 1984

Before the three finalists were announced, David Hasselhoff explained that each of the three would be assigned a specific “1-900” phone number.

To cast a vote for your favorite girl, you simply dial her phone number. It’s that easy. Your vote will automatically be registered in the phone company’s computer in Kansas City, Missouri, and there’ll be a telephone charge of 50 cents. The total number of calls received at the end of the ten-minute period by the phone company’s computer in Kansas City will be transmitted to us, five thousand miles away, in Hawaii, and we will know our winner.

The three finalists? Debi, Jaqueline, and Yarden. (Not Safira, sadly.)

Here’s Yarden, right after being named a finalist:

Yarden Levinson, finalist in The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, beauty pageant, 1984

During the next ten minutes, viewers saw (among other things) clips of the finalists talking about themselves. Yarden mentioned that, in Israel, every girl goes into the military and “learns how to fight,” and that she “served in a rescue unit in the Air Force.” She also said:

I come to the competition and they look at me and they say, ‘You’re Israeli? You’re blonde, I mean, how can that be?’

Alas, Yarden finished in third place with just 17.48% of the vote.

The winner was Debi Brett, the Brit, with 53.46% of the vote. (She received over $100,000 in cash and prizes, including a 30-day round-the-world trip, a full-length mink coat, a grand piano, a diamond ring, a Dodge 600 convertible, and a Ricoh 35mm camera.)

So, neither Safira nor Yarden won the pageant. But their names live on the U.S. baby name data, which is arguably far cooler. :)

I’m not sure what became of Yarden after the pageant, but I can tell you a bit about Safira (whose last name is actually spelled Afzal). She was born in Pakistan, raised in England, and went on to earn a law degree and become a barrister.

(Other post-pageant careers: Debi became photographer; Antonia became a model/TV personality; Deborah won Miss Universe 1985 and became an actress/TV personality; “Jaqueline” (actually spelled Jacqueline) became a model/TV personality; and “Julie” (Julia) became an actress — in fact, she played the female lead in the second Rambo movie.)

So what are your thoughts on the names Safira and Yarden? Which one would you be more likely to use for a baby girl?

Sources: