How popular is the baby name Michael 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 Michael.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Michael


Posts that Mention the Name Michael

Popular baby names in Austin (Texas), 2017

Austin, Texas

A few days ago, I stumbled upon a set of baby name data for Austin, Texas, for the year 2017. While it isn’t current, it does seem to be complete — so it includes hundreds of rare and single-use names (which are always fascinating!).

The data accounts for nearly 19,900 births (9,733 girls and 10,163 boys), and features nearly 6,100 names (3,431 given to girls, 2,656 given to boys).

According to this data, which comes from the City of Austin’s Open Data Portal, the top baby names in the capital of Texas five years ago were Emma and James.

Here are Austin’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names

  1. Emma, 98 baby girls
  2. Isabella, 88
  3. Olivia, 84
  4. Mia, 81
  5. Evelyn, 77
  6. Sophia, 75
  7. Ava, 73
  8. Abigail, 59 (tie)
  9. Charlotte, 59 (tie)
  10. Emily, 58
  11. Camila, 56 (tie)
  12. Elizabeth, 56 (tie)
  13. Harper, 53
  14. Amelia, 52
  15. Penelope, 51 (tie)
  16. Sofia, 51 (tie)
  17. Scarlett, 46
  18. Ella, 45
  19. Avery, 43 (tie)
  20. Zoe, 43 (tie)
  21. Lillian, 41
  22. Layla, 40 (tie)
  23. Madison, 40 (tie)
  24. Eleanor, 39
  25. Victoria, 38
  26. Allison, 37
  27. Claire, 36 (3-way tie)
  28. Elena, 36 (3-way tie)
  29. Luna, 36 (3-way tie)
  30. Aria, 35 (tie)
  31. Chloe, 35 (tie)
  32. Ellie, 34 (tie)
  33. Katherine, 34 (tie)
  34. Samantha, 33
  35. Hannah, 30 (4-way tie)
  36. Hazel, 30 (4-way tie)
  37. Mila, 30 (4-way tie)
  38. Stella, 30 (4-way tie)
  39. Leah, 29
  40. Cora, 28 (5-way tie)
  41. Genesis, 28 (5-way tie)
  42. Grace, 28 (5-way tie)
  43. Natalie, 28 (5-way tie)
  44. Ximena, 28 (5-way tie)
  45. Clara, 27 (3-way tie)
  46. Eliana, 27 (3-way tie)
  47. Ruby, 27 (3-way tie)
  48. Audrey, 26 (tie)
  49. Sarah, 26 (tie)
  50. Alexa, 25 (3-way tie)
  51. Everly, 25 (3-way tie)
  52. Lily, 25 (3-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. James, 104 baby boys
  2. Noah, 85
  3. Daniel, 83
  4. Benjamin, 82
  5. William, 80
  6. Oliver, 75
  7. Liam, 74
  8. Alexander, 73
  9. Sebastian, 70
  10. Henry, 67
  11. Elijah, 66 (tie)
  12. Mateo, 66 (tie)
  13. Ethan, 65
  14. Jackson, 63
  15. Anthony, 61
  16. Jacob, 60
  17. Aiden, 59 (tie)
  18. Luke, 59 (tie)
  19. David, 58 (tie)
  20. Samuel, 58 (tie)
  21. John, 56
  22. Isaac, 55 (tie)
  23. Julian, 55 (tie)
  24. Michael, 54
  25. Charles, 53 (3-way tie)
  26. Jack, 53 (3-way tie)
  27. Matthew, 53 (3-way tie)
  28. Jose, 52 (tie)
  29. Joshua, 52 (tie)
  30. Wyatt, 50
  31. Aaron, 49 (4-way tie)
  32. Grayson, 49 (4-way tie)
  33. Joseph, 49 (4-way tie)
  34. Levi, 49 (4-way tie)
  35. Dylan, 48
  36. Hudson, 47
  37. Josiah, 46 (3-way tie)
  38. Logan, 46 (3-way tie)
  39. Santiago, 46 (3-way tie)
  40. Jayden, 45
  41. Nathan, 44
  42. Christopher, 43 (tie)
  43. Thomas, 43 (tie)
  44. Andrew, 42 (4-way tie)
  45. Gabriel, 42 (4-way tie)
  46. Luis, 42 (4-way tie)
  47. Owen, 42 (4-way tie)
  48. Lucas, 41
  49. Adrian, 40 (3-way tie)
  50. Axel, 40 (3-way tie)
  51. Christian, 40 (3-way tie)

On the girls’ list, Allison caught my eye. It ranked 26th in Austin in 2017, but 61st nationally the same year. Interesting.

Further down on the boys’ list was Austin itself, in 95th place — vs. 75th nationally — with 21 baby boys. Much further down was Texas, with 2 baby boys.

And now it’s time for the unique names!

One-of-a-kind names were given to 24% of the baby girls and 17% of the baby boys born in Austin in 2017. Here’s a sampling of the names that were bestowed just once:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Aubrion, Autry, Blue Jay, Cadeau, Ceiba, Dulceluna, Eeriemoon, Fiza, Gilana, Holleen, Itzigueri, Jill, Kasleen, Lillabee, L’Oreal, Mauzie, Millioni, Nincye, Nobelina, Orchid, Princess Plethora, Qiwei, Roshnee, Scepter, Shanze, Thais, Tsumugi, Umutoni, Vyga, Wengiel, Xyzla, Ynafets, ZieglindAshton Alchimist, Bruges, Cayenne, Dalbus, Eames, Fenghua, Ganesh, Getsai, Hackett, Itzae, Jizael, Kavelli Kaine, Linnaeus, Linux, Mazoree, Mistral, Naranna, Nimbus, Olince, Penn, Qhing, Rigveda, Shooter, Syphax, Tavoric, Templar, Urfan, Vetri, Wajahat, Xavi, Yoonbin, Zaxton

Some possible explanations/associations for a few of the above:

  • Cadeau is the French word for “present, gift.”
  • Ceiba is a type of tree.
  • Tsumugi Shirogane is a character from the 2017 video game Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.
  • Ynafets is “Stefany” spelled backwards.
  • Bruges is the capital of West Flanders (a province of Belgium).
  • Mistral is a strong late-winter wind in southern France.
  • The Rigveda is a sacred Hindu text.

I’ve never posted rankings for Austin before, but I have posted rankings recently for two nearby Texas cities: Houston (which is more than twice the size of Austin, population-wise) and College Station (which is about an eighth of the size of Austin).

Sources: From Aadhav to Zyva: 6,087 Names of Babies Born in Austin in 2017 | Open Data | City of Austin Texas, Wiktionary
Image by MJ Tangonan on Unsplash

Popular baby names in Armenia, 2021

Armenia

The landlocked country of Armenia is located in Western Asia and bordered by Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Iran.

Last year, Armenia welcomed over 36,600 babies — about 17,600 girls and about 19,000 boys.

What were the most popular names among these babies? Nare and Davit.

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

Girl Names

  1. Nare, 758 baby girls – a diminutive of Narine (which ranked 49th)
  2. Maria, 635
  3. Arpi, 540
  4. Mane, 493
  5. Angelina, 444
  6. Marie, 402
  7. Yeva, 396
  8. Mariam, 357
  9. Anahit, 338 – an Armenian goddess (related to the Persian goddess Anahita)
  10. Anna, 305
  11. Sofi, 302
  12. Ani, 294
  13. Ellen, 284
  14. Milena, 279
  15. Lyusie, 277
  16. Eva, 263
  17. Ariana, 259
  18. Adriana, 247
  19. Luse, 245
  20. Tatev, 237 – from the name of the Tatev monastery
  21. Yana, 231
  22. Gayane, 226
  23. Nane, 224 – an Armenian goddess
  24. Milla, 202
  25. Arina, 193
  26. Emily, 187
  27. Elina, 186 (tie)
  28. Sona, 186 (tie)
  29. Lilit, 176
  30. Natalie, 170
  31. Sarah, 160
  32. Amelie, 155
  33. Hasmik, 153 – means “jasmine” in Armenian
  34. Lia, 152
  35. Arevik, 148
  36. Mary, 146
  37. Susanna, 136
  38. Viktoria, 134
  39. Monika, 130
  40. Gohar, 123
  41. Karina, 112
  42. Lili, 100
  43. Sofia, 98
  44. Karine, 92
  45. Lusine, 89 (tie) – based on the Armenian word lusin, meaning “moon”
  46. Anush, 89 (tie) – means “sweet” in Armenian
  47. Lucy, 88
  48. Sofya, 83 (tie)
  49. Narine, 83 (tie)
  50. Astghik, 82 – an Armenian goddess whose name is a diminutive of the Old Armenian word for “star”

Boy Names

  1. Davit, 1,275 baby boys
  2. Narek, 859
  3. Monte, 647
  4. Tigran, 584 – a form of Tigranes, the name of several ancient Armenian kings
  5. Areg, 564
  6. Hayk, 550
  7. Mark, 507
  8. Michael, 448
  9. Alex, 385
  10. Aren, 355
  11. Armen, 346
  12. Robert, 339
  13. Daniel, 326
  14. Gor, 323
  15. Arthur, 321
  16. Aram, 318
  17. Leo, 310
  18. Hovhannes, 303
  19. Samvel, 298
  20. Alen, 287
  21. Ashot, 255 (tie)
  22. Arman, 255 (tie)
  23. Levon, 252
  24. Erik, 232
  25. Gevorg, 219
  26. Gagik, 213
  27. Vahe, 209
  28. Arsen, 195
  29. Sargis, 186
  30. Artiom, 176
  31. Vardan, 154
  32. Karen, 152 – In Armenia, Karen is a male name! (Tell that to the manager!) It’s a short form of the Armenian name Garegin/Karekin.
  33. Avet, 150
  34. Albert, 126
  35. Andranik, 118
  36. Van, 116 – possibly from the name of Lake Van…?
  37. Suren, 115
  38. Raphael, 110
  39. Max, 105
  40. Ruben, 100 (tie)
  41. Hakob, 100 (tie)
  42. Alexandr, 97
  43. Mher, 95
  44. Grigor, 94
  45. Harutyun, 90
  46. Vahan, 80 – means “shield” in Armenian
  47. Edgar, 75
  48. Menua, 73 (tie) – the name of an ancient Armenian king
  49. Henry, 73 (tie)
  50. Noy, 67

Here’s a link to Armenia’s 2020 rankings, if you’d like to compare last year to the year before.

Sources: Statistical Committee of the Republic of Armenia (2021 pdf), Behind the Name
Image by DenisStreltsov from Pixabay

Most-changed baby names in the U.S. (2017-2022)

signs

The Washington Post recently published a pair of articles about babies whose names had been changed.

The first article mentioned that, according to SSA data, nearly 30,000 babies in the U.S. had had their names changed from January 2017 to March 2022.

The second article dug a little deeper, revealing the names that ranked highest on either side of the name-change spectrum: most-abandoned and most-adopted.

Most-abandoned baby namesMost-adopted baby names
1. Issac [sic]
2. Chole [sic]
3. Aiden
4. Conner
5. Elliot
6. Michael
7. James
8. Isabella
9. Sophia
10. David
1. Isaac
2. Chloe
3. Sebastian
4. William
5. Olivia
6. Michael
7. Elijah
8. Matthew
9. Connor
10. Jonathan

The top two names on both lists — Issac/Isaac and Chole/Chloe — clearly represent spelling corrections.

And my guess is that at least a portion of the boys named “Conner” had their names changed to the more common spelling “Connor.” (Connor has been a top-100 boy name since the early 1990s.)

My favorite thing about these rankings, though? The fact that Michael managed to balance itself out by ranking #6 on both lists. :)

(Thank you to Ellyn for letting me know about the WaPo articles!)

Sources:

Image by Javier Allegue Barros from Unsplash

The Jackson 5…and their five other siblings

Seven of the Jackson siblings: Jackie, Michael, Tito, Marlon, Randy, La Toya, Rebbie, and Janet (in 1976)
Seven of the Jackson siblings

We’ve all heard of the Jackson 5, but did you know that there were actually ten siblings in the Jackson family?

Katherine and Joe Jackson of Gary, Indiana, welcomed ten children — seven boys and three girls — over the course of 16 years. Here are the names of all ten, in order:

  1. Maureen Reillette, “Rebbie” (b. 1950)
  2. Sigmund Esco, “Jackie” (b. 1951)
  3. Tariano Adaryll, “Tito” (b. 1953)
  4. Jermaine LaJuane (b. 1954)
  5. La Toya Yvonne (b. 1956)
  6. Brandon (twin, b. 1957) — he died soon after birth
  7. Marlon David (twin, b. 1957)
  8. Michael Joe (b. 1958)
  9. Steven Randall, “Randy” (b. 1961)
  10. Janet Damita Jo (b. 1966)

Here are Jermaine’s thoughts on some of the Jackson family names, from his memoir:

I have often wondered how many names my parents went through before agreeing on the final nine. Not that it mattered in the end, because the choice of “Sigmund Esco” for their first son morphed into “Jackie” when Papa Samuel thought it easy to refer to him as “Jackson boy,” then laziness shortened it some more. And “Tariano Adaryl” [sic] became “Tito” because it was easier for us all. I was forever curious as a child about how two people’s taste could go from the exotic-sounding “Jermaine LaJuane” to “Michael Joe.” From somewhere, and especially after Michael’s death, a rumor began that his middle name was Joseph. Maybe this myth prefers the echo with our father’s name because the crossover reads better about a father and son who struggled to see eye to eye. “Joe” was his middle name, as recorded on his birth certificate. His first name was almost “Ronald,” at the suggestion of Mama Martha, but Mother quickly quashed that one.

(Papa Samuel was Jermaine’s paternal grandfather; Mama Martha was his maternal grandmother.)

Which Jackson sibling name do you like best?

Sources:

How did The Jackson 5 influence baby names in the early 1970s?

The Jackson Five on the cover of Jet magazine (Aug. 6, 1970)
The Jackson 5

The Jackson 5, whose “bubblegum soul” sound made them remarkably successful in the early 1970s, consisted of five musically gifted brothers out of Gary, Indiana. Their names were:

  • Sigmund Esco “Jackie” Jackson, b. 1951
  • Toriano Adaryll “Tito” Jackson, b. 1953
    • Records suggest that Tito’s first name was actually “Tariano,” but the press typically spelled it “Toriano.”
  • Jermaine LaJuane Jackson, b. 1954
  • Marlon David Jackson, b. 1957
  • Michael Joe Jackson, b. 1958

The brothers began performing together in the mid-1960s, but Jacksonmania didn’t hit until 1970, with the success of songs like “I Want You Back” (1969), “ABC” (1970), “The Love You Save” (1970), and “I’ll Be There” (1970) — all four of which hit #1 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart.

At the height of their fame, the boys even had a Saturday morning cartoon show called “The Jackson 5ive” (1971-1972).

The animated version of the Jackson brothers in the cartoon series "The Jackson 5ive" (1971-1972).
“The Jackson 5ive”

So how did the Jacksons’ celebrity affect U.S. baby names in the early 1970s? Let’s go brother by brother…

Jackie

Jackie Jackson couldn’t stop the name Jackie from trending downward, and he didn’t do much for the unusual name Esco, but the name Sigmund did see a distinct uptick in usage in 1971.

Fun fact: Jackie dated Debraca Foxx during the early ’70s.

Tito

Tito Jackson not only popularized his nickname, Tito, but he boosted both Toriano and Adaryll into the data for the first time. In fact, Toriano was the top debut name of 1970, and it still ranks as one of the top boy-name debuts of all time. (It also likely influenced the car name Torino.) The name Adaryll didn’t surface until 1972.

TitoTorianoAdaryll
197499†61.
197362807
197276135†9*†
19715477.
19703962*.
196933..
*Debut, †Peak

Tito’s first son, Toriano Adaryll “Taj” Jackson, Jr. (b. 1973) — whose nickname was derived from his initials — gave the name Taj a boost. His second son, Taryll (b. 1975), was behind the debut of the name Taryll (also mentioned here).

Jermaine

Jermaine Jackson, the co-lead vocalist of the group (with Michael), brought so much attention to the name Jermaine that it not only entered the top 1,000, but nearly cracked the top 100 as well:

  • 1974: 1,628 baby boys named Jermaine [rank: 151st]
  • 1973: 2,039 baby boys named Jermaine [rank: 127th]
  • 1972: 1,966 baby boys named Jermaine [rank: 135th]
  • 1971: 1,015 baby boys named Jermaine [rank: 233rd]
  • 1970: 171 baby boys named Jermaine [rank: 622nd]
  • 1969: 5 baby boys named Jermaine

Jermaine was the fastest-rising boy name in the U.S. in both 1970 and 1971 — two years in a row, impressively.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Jermaine in the U.S. since 1880.
Usage of the baby name Jermaine

On the heels of Jermaine’s rise, several variant spellings of the name either saw similarly increased usage or appeared for the first time in the boys’ data:

19691970197119721973
Jermaine51711,0151,9662,039†
Germaine.2995157†146
Jermain.13*329494
Jamaine..42*4038
Jarmaine..16*1319
Germain..112721
Jermine.9*1716
Jeremaine..8*714
Jermane..7*2033
Jemaine..7*913
Jermanie..7*78
Jermon..6*812
Jarmain..6*..
Jermayne...17*†17†
Jermone...119
Jerman...8*7
Jamain...8*†5
Jamane...8*†.
Jermyn...7*7
Germane...5*7†
Jermanine...5*.
Germayne...5*†.
Jermiane....8*†
*Debut, †Peak usage

Jermaine’s middle name, LaJuane, also debuted (in 1971).

Jermaine had a total of nine children, one of whom was named (rather infamously) Jermajesty.

Marlon

Marlon Jackson was the main reason that the name Marlon saw peak usage in 1972. (But he had some help from Marlon Brando, whose movie The Godfather came out the same year.)

Michael

Michael Jackson — who was still a decade away from releasing his massively popular solo album Thriller — couldn’t ultimately reverse the decline of the name Michael. But the combined influence of Michael Jackson and other famous Michaels (like basketball star Michael Jordan, and TV star Michael Landon) did help the name’s usage level out somewhat during the 1970s and ’80s.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Michael in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Michael

Which Jackson 5 name is your favorite? (And, if you were around during Jacksonmania: Which group member was your favorite?)

While you ponder these questions, check out the group’s appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in December of 1969:

Sources:

Images: © 1970 Jet, © 1971 Videocraft International Limited