How popular is the baby name Nathan 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 Nathan.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Nathan


Posts that Mention the Name Nathan

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

What turned Valiant into a baby name in the 1940s?

The characters Prince Valiant and Aleta (in 1945) from the comic strip "Prince Valiant" (1937-)
Prince Valiant and Aleta (in 1945)

Names like Brave and Warrior have surfaced in the U.S. baby name data over the last couple of decades, but Valiant first appeared way back in the 1940s:

  • 1949: 7 baby boys named Valiant
  • 1948: 5 baby boys named Valiant
  • 1947: 6 baby boys named Valiant [debut]
  • 1946: unlisted
  • 1945: unlisted

Why?

My best guess is comic strip character Prince Valiant, who’d been familiar to newspaper readers for a decade by 1947.

Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur by Nova Scotian artist Harold “Hal” Foster is an action-adventure comic strip set in sixth-century England.

It is difficult to imagine the impact Foster’s “Prince Valiant” had on 1930s and 1940s popular culture. When “Prince Valiant” began, Superman’s debut in “Action Comics No. 1” was still over a year away. […] “Swipes” of Foster’s art can be found in the origin of Batman and in comics drawn by Jack Kirby, the co-creator of many of today’s movie heroes, including Captain America, the Avengers, the X-Men and Thor.

Other characters from the strip also influenced U.S. baby names.

The earliest example I’ve found is that of the maid Ilene, Prince Valiant’s first love. During 1938, Val fought rival suitor Prince Arn of Ord for her. The same year, the baby name Ilene saw a spike in usage:

  • 1940: 227 baby girls named Ilene [rank: 451st]
  • 1939: 283 baby girls named Ilene [rank: 397th]
  • 1938: 343 baby girls named Ilene [rank: 347th]
  • 1937: 248 baby girls named Ilene [rank: 412th]
  • 1936: 263 baby girls named Ilene [rank: 392nd]

Turns out neither suitor won — Ilene died in a shipwreck — but Arn and Val did end up becoming good friends.

Several years later, Valiant met Aleta, the grey-eyed queen of the Misty Isles. She became a central part of the storyline in the mid-1940s, and the characters finally got married in October of 1946.

As a result, the baby name Aleta saw a steep rise in usage from 1945 to 1947:

  • 1948: 227 baby girls named Aleta [rank: 551st]
  • 1947: 262 baby girls named Aleta [rank: 511th] – peak usage
  • 1946: 171 baby girls named Aleta [rank: 606th]
  • 1945: 102 baby girls named Aleta [rank: 737th]
  • 1944: 38 baby girls named Aleta
Graph of the usage of the baby name Aleta in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Aleta

Val and Aleta went on to welcome five children, 3 boys and 2 girls:

  1. Arn (who was named after Prince Arn of Ord) in 1947
  2. Karen (twin) in 1951
  3. Valeta (twin) in 1951
  4. Galan in 1962
  5. Nathan in 1982

The name Arn debuted in the data in 1949, and the name Valeta saw peak usage in 1952.

Interestingly, the three middle children were all named via contest:

After Val and Aleta’s twin girls were born, King Features held a contest to name them, but Foster reserved the right to select the winning entry. A young girl, Cindy Lou Hermann, sent in the winning names “Karen” and “Valeta” and visited Hal in Connecticut. For Val and Aleta’s fourth child, a boy who would become the king of the Misty Isles, John Hall won the competition with “Galen” after the Greek physician, Claudius Galen.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Valiant? (Would you use it?)

Sources:

Popular baby names in Switzerland, 2021

switzerland

Last year, the country of Switzerland welcomed 89,644 babies.

What were the most popular names among these babies? Mia and Noah.

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

Girl Names

  1. Mia, 467 baby girls
  2. Emma, 416
  3. Elena, 322
  4. Lina, 315
  5. Mila, 307
  6. Emilia, 303
  7. Sofia, 298
  8. Olivia, 279
  9. Nora, 270
  10. Alina, 260
  11. Anna, 259
  12. Lea, 256
  13. Lia, 255
  14. Lara, 251
  15. Lena, 243
  16. Julia, 241
  17. Ella, 240
  18. Elin, 238
  19. Laura, 233
  20. Malea, 231
  21. Nina, 225
  22. Leonie, 220
  23. Giulia, 213
  24. Sophia, 211
  25. Chiara, 208
  26. Alice, 203
  27. Elina, 197 (tie)
  28. Valentina, 197 (tie)
  29. Luna, 195
  30. Luana, 193
  31. Livia, 191
  32. Sara, 187 (tie)
  33. Sophie, 187 (tie)
  34. Yara, 176
  35. Eva, 174
  36. Emily, 171
  37. Aurora, 170
  38. Amelia, 167
  39. Ava, 160 (3-way tie)
  40. Juna, 160 (3-way tie)
  41. Zoé, 160 (3-way tie)
  42. Elisa, 155
  43. Alea, 147
  44. Melina, 146 (tie)
  45. Victoria, 146 (tie)
  46. Jana, 144
  47. Hana, 141
  48. Maria, 140
  49. Mara, 137
  50. Charlotte, 136

Boy Names

  1. Noah, 559 baby boys
  2. Liam, 391
  3. Matteo, 385
  4. Luca, 368
  5. Gabriel, 327
  6. Leon, 315
  7. Elias, 303
  8. Louis, 272
  9. Lio, 270
  10. Nino, 258
  11. Leo, 256
  12. Leonardo, 248
  13. Samuel, 243
  14. Leano, 229
  15. Ben, 227
  16. David, 226
  17. Julian, 218
  18. Diego, 206
  19. Aaron, 204 (tie)
  20. Elia, 204 (tie)
  21. Lian, 201
  22. Levi, 199
  23. Finn, 197
  24. Nico, 192
  25. Robin, 185
  26. Elio, 183 (tie)
  27. Mateo, 183 (tie)
  28. Malik, 179
  29. Levin, 178
  30. Arthur, 177
  31. Tim, 176
  32. Luan, 175
  33. Alessio, 170 (tie)
  34. Jonas, 170 (tie)
  35. Nael, 169
  36. Adam, 168
  37. Lenny, 162
  38. Dario, 159
  39. Benjamin, 157 (tie)
  40. Milo, 157 (tie)
  41. Laurin, 156
  42. Leandro, 154
  43. Emil, 153
  44. Lucas, 152
  45. Noé, 148
  46. Luis, 147
  47. Alexander, 146
  48. Mattia, 144 (tie)
  49. Nathan, 144 (tie)
  50. Gian, 143 (tie)
  51. Jan, 143 (tie)

Home to more than 8.5 million people, Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. Here are the top baby names among the speakers of each of these languages:

Girl NamesBoy Names
German speakers
(62.3% of the population)
1. Mia, 343
2. Emilia, 277
3. Emma, 272
4. Lina, 261
5. Elena, 256
1. Noah, 385
2. Matteo, 293
3. Luca, 288
4. Leon, 287
5. Lio, 266
French speakers
(22.8% of pop.)
1. Emma, 125
2. Alice, 108
3. Olivia, 104
4. Mia, 95
5. Eva, 93
1. Gabriel, 165
2. Noah, 149
3. Liam, 139
4. Arthur, 116
5. Lucas, 98
Italian speakers
(8.0% of pop.)
1. Sofia, 30
2. Mia, 26
3. Noemi, 24
4. Alice, 23
5. Aurora, 22
1. Leonardo, 44
2. Alessandro, 30
3. Liam, 24
4. Noah, 23
5. Tommaso, 20
Romansh speakers
(0.5% of pop.)
1. Luana/Mia/Nora, 3 (tie)
2. Andrina/Anuk/Bigna/Melody/Valentina, 2 (tie)
1. Luca/Lucas/Manuel/Nico, 3 (tie)
2. Andrin/Elio/Fabio/Flurin/Jon/Leon/Noah/Valerio, 2 (tie)

And here’s a selection of names from the other end of the spectrum — names that were given to just 2 babies each in Switzerland in 2021:

Rare Girl Names Rare Boy Names
Annigna, Bignia, Cinzia, Dragana, Eirini, Flutra, Gresa, Hermine, Ishana, Jonida, Kari, Lamia, Milijana, Nangsel, Orela, Philia, Rialda, Sidona, Tylia, Umay, Vilja, Yua, ZayleeAtréju, Boiken, Cuno, Dorijan, Elvedin, Floki, Gionatan, Hristijan, Iori, Jasha, Klodian, Lendrit, Maurizio, Namkha, Orik, Pieter, Roland, Senna, Toivo, Urs, Viliam, Ylano, Zejn

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

Sources: Prénoms des nouveau-nés – Office fédéral de la statistique, Languages of Switzerland – Wikipedia

Popular baby names in Belgium, 2021

Belgium

According to data from Statistics Belgium, the country’s most popular baby names last year were Olivia and Noah.

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

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 580 baby girls
  2. Emma, 500
  3. Louise, 455
  4. Mila, 435
  5. Alice, 416
  6. Camille, 403
  7. Lina, 394
  8. Sofia, 359
  9. Ella, 352
  10. Juliette, 346
  11. Nora, 342
  12. Mia, 325
  13. Marie, 317
  14. Lucie, 314
  15. Anna, 303
  16. Jade, 296
  17. Elena, 281
  18. Eva, 280
  19. Julia, 279
  20. Noor, 263
  21. Nina, 256
  22. Léa, 252
  23. Victoria, 249
  24. Chloé, 244
  25. Alix, 235
  26. Lou, 232
  27. Elise, 220
  28. Zoé, 215
  29. Giulia, 212
  30. Ellie, 210 (tie)
  31. Luna, 210 (tie)
  32. Liv, 209
  33. Renée, 207
  34. Amélie, 204
  35. Inaya, 202
  36. Rose, 194
  37. Charlotte, 191
  38. Jeanne, 188 (tie)
  39. Lily, 188 (tie)
  40. Lena, 187
  41. Sara, 176
  42. Manon, 171
  43. Julie, 170
  44. Mona, 160
  45. Alba, 159
  46. Livia, 155
  47. Billie, 154 (tie)
  48. Sophia, 154 (tie)
  49. Amira, 146
  50. Clara, 144 (tie)
  51. Stella, 144 (tie)

Boy Names

  1. Noah, 627 baby boys
  2. Arthur, 584
  3. Louis, 558
  4. Liam, 537
  5. Jules, 526
  6. Adam, 474
  7. Lucas, 426
  8. Gabriel, 422
  9. Victor, 416
  10. Oscar, 336
  11. Leon, 310
  12. Mathis, 294 (tie)
  13. Mohamed, 294 (tie)
  14. Finn, 289
  15. Léon, 275
  16. Matteo, 264
  17. Lewis, 251
  18. Hugo, 245
  19. Nathan, 238
  20. Luca, 234
  21. Elias, 225
  22. Raphaël, 223
  23. Théo, 221
  24. Amir, 217 (tie)
  25. Eden, 217 (tie)
  26. Rayan, 209
  27. Lou, 208
  28. Milo, 205
  29. Yanis, 204
  30. Achille, 201
  31. Otis, 194
  32. Sacha, 191 (tie)
  33. Vic, 191 (tie)
  34. Felix, 190
  35. Marcel, 187
  36. Basile, 185
  37. Aaron, 179
  38. Léo, 178
  39. Maurice, 174
  40. Alexander, 173
  41. Maël, 171
  42. Emiel, 168 (tie)
  43. Georges, 168 (tie)
  44. Jack, 167 (tie)
  45. William, 167 (tie)
  46. Emile, 163 (tie)
  47. Vince, 163 (tie)
  48. Samuel, 161
  49. Gaston, 159
  50. Oliver, 158

If Leon and Léon had been counted as a single name, their combined total (585) would have been enough to edge Arthur (584) out of second place on the boys’ list.

And the gender-neutral name Lou managed to pop up on both lists in nearly the same spot: 26th for girls, 27th for boys.

Map of the three regions of Belgium
Belgium’s three regions

The top baby names within each of Belgium’s three regions were…

Girl NamesBoy Names
Flanders
(57.6% of the population)
Language: Dutch
1. Olivia, 328
2. Ella, 303
3. Marie, 275
4. Mila, 266
5. Nora, 261
1. Noah, 399
2. Arthur, 321
3. Jules, 311
4. Leon, 288
5. Louis, 284
Wallonia
(31.8% of pop.)
Language: French/German
1. Emma, 204
2. Olivia, 203
3. Louise, 190
4. Alice, 188 (tie)
5. Lucie, 188 (tie)
1. Gabriel, 266
2. Louis, 235
3. Liam, 233
4. Arthur, 208
5. Jules, 191
Brussels-Capital
(10.6% of pop.)
Languages: Dutch/French
1. Lina, 89
2. Sofia, 83
3. Emma, 60 (tie)
4. Nour, 60 (tie)
5. Olivia, 49
1. Mohamed, 118
2. Adam, 112
3. Gabriel, 82
4. Amir, 70
5. Noah, 62

And here’s a selection of names from the other end of the spectrum — names that were given to just 5 babies each in Belgium last year:

Rare Girl NamesRare Boy Names
Anabia, Believe, Caro, Dea, Elaïa, Fallone, Gaby, Heike, Iluna, Jennifer, Kessy, Lyssia, Mahsa, Nihal, Otice, Puck, Queen, Ramla, Siloé, Toos, Vlera, Wassila, Yseult, ZuriAloys, Brandon, Celle, Doruk, Erion, Fedde, Gustav, Hazar, Ilyass, Jip, Karsten, Lothar, Maksim, Nellis, Obi, Paulin, Qays, Riff, Silvio, Tille, Vidar, Wiebe, Yavuz, Zjef

(I’m a little surprised that as many as 5 baby girls in Belgium got the English word “believe” as their first name. I wonder if something specific was influencing that usage…?)

This time around, Belgium also highlighted the girl and boy names that saw the largest increases and decreases in usage over the last decade (2011-2021). The top 5 in each category were…

  • Girl names
    • Largest increases: Alba, Ellie, Ellis, Alya, Cilou
    • Largest decreases: Lisa, Laura, Julie, Lotte, Anaïs
  • Boy names
    • Largest increases: Georges, Lio, Gaston, Otis, Lyam
    • Largest decreases: Maxime, Thomas, Simon, Wout, Nathan

Finally, here’s a link to Belgium’s 2020 rankings, if you’d like to compare.

Sources: First names for boys and girls | STATBEL, Demographics of Belgium – Wikipedia

Map: Adapted from Regions of Belgium by Ssolbergj under CC BY 3.0.

Popular and unique baby names in Quebec (Canada), 2021

Quebec

According to Retraite Québec, the most popular baby names in the Canadian province of Quebec last year were Emma and Noah.

Here are Quebec’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Emma, 521 baby girls
  2. Olivia, 519
  3. Alice, 508
  4. Florence, 498
  5. Charlie, 488
  6. Livia, 473
  7. Charlotte, 465
  8. Léa, 462
  9. Romy, 357
  10. Zoe, 344

Boy Names

  1. Noah, 717 baby boys
  2. William, 709
  3. Thomas, 645
  4. Léo, 622
  5. Liam, 618
  6. Jacob, 529
  7. Nathan, 519
  8. Arthur, 508
  9. Édouard, 499
  10. Félix, 484

In the girls’ top 10, Zoe replaced Clara.

In the boys’ top 10, Felix replaced Logan.

And here are some of the baby names that were bestowed just once in Quebec last year:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Auxane, Beaulieu, Celtina, Dulcinee, Ephelina, Freticia, Gamaelle, Hestia, Isalie, Jophina, Kautjaq, Lasiala, Milaloup, Nausicaa, Oncy, Protea, Qulliq, Riziki, Sensitiva, Timmiak, Uzia, Violaine, Waapikun, Xeia, Yzea, ZoonaAmenzo, Blinken, Clydirk, Dawensky, Eliodore, Fritzner, Ghiss, Hulkson, Ikuagasak, Jackary, Kaulder, Lafleche, Mclovin, Nickford, Otsoa, Piponik, Qianli, Raynloc, Stratos, Trupt, Ulys, Vinicius, Wendrick, Xakhan, Yamsongo, Zoric

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

  • Beaulieu means “beautiful place” in French.
  • Kaulder was a character in the movie The Last Witch Hunter (2015).
  • McLovin was a name used on a fake ID in the movie Superbad (2007).
  • Milaloup looks like a combination of the name Mila and the French word loup, meaning “wolf.”
  • Nausicaa was a character in Homer’s Odyssey.
  • Qulliq refers to a seal-oil/whale blubber lamp used by the Inuit.
  • Timmiak refers to a duck or a goose in Inuktitut.

In 2020, the top names in Quebec were Olivia and Liam.

Sources: Retraite Québec – List of Baby Names, Noah and Emma most popular baby names in Quebec in 2021