SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Are you between the ages of 53 and 62 and your name is Michael or Lisa or James or Karen? You aren’t alone.
The most popular name for baby boys in the 1960s was Michael followed by David, John, James and Robert. The most popular for baby girls was Lisa, Mary, Susan, Karen and Kimberly, according to the Social Security Administration. The SSA has links to popular names by year or decade and lists for state and nationwide. The lists are gathered from SSA card application data.
In 1960, 216 girls born in South Dakota in 1960 were named Mary. David was the name for 308 boys.
Lisa Marie Presley was born during the 1960s, in 1968. Another Lisa in the already popular name list for the U.S.
Things were a little different for the neighbor to the north. The most popular name for boys born in 1960 in North Dakota was David but it was followed by Mark, Michael, Robert and Kevin. For girls, it was Mary, Susan, Lori, Julie and Karen which also made South Dakota’s top 10 in a different order. But Kevin was only 9th for boys in South Dakota.
The popular names in South Dakota were nearly the same for Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska but Mark made the top three for boys in Nebraska.
There was a shift in the 1970s. Michael was the most popular baby name for boys in the nation. Jennifer was the most popular girls name. Christopher was second for boys and Amy, for girls.
Here’s the rest of the top five: Jason, David, and James. Melissa, Michelle and Kimberly for girls.
Although she was born in 1969, a famous Jennifer is Jennifer Aniston. Jennifer Lopez was also born in 1969.
Baseball player Jason Giambi was born in 1971.
Michael Jackson was born in 1958 and would have been famous when the 1970s rolled around. Maybe his popularity influenced some parents.
Mary, a top-ranked name in the 1960s, dropped to 15th.
Tiffany placed 42nd. Kelly made the list in two versions for girls. Kelly ranked 14th and Kelli ranked 138th
Iowa followed the national trend as Jennifer was the top name for baby girls and Michael was the top for boys in 1970. Ditto for Minnesota but Jason and Lisa ranked second.
Michelle was tops for girls in North Dakota and Michael for boys. Nebraska had the same top names as the nation.
Go back 100 years to 1922 when Mary was the top name for baby girls in the U.S. Mary held that spot from 1922 through 1946. It slid into second place behind Linda in 1947.
Singer Linda Ronstadt was born in 1946 when Linda was the second most popular name for girls born that year.
Famous Marys include Mary Tyler Moore and Mary Martin.
From 1945 until 1954, there was a good chance that baby Mary met baby Linda in the U.S. as those were either the first or second most popular names for girls.
If you were in elementary school or high school from the late 1980s through mid-2000s, you probably had classmates named Ashley, Emily or Jessica or Michael, Jacob or Matthew.
Actress Jessica Alba was born in 1981. Singer Jessica Simpson was born in 1980.
The most popular baby name for boys born in 1980 in South Dakota was Michael, followed by Justin. Jennifer was first and Jessica was second for girls.
Joshua reached the boys top spot in North Dakota followed by Michael.
100 years before that the boys names sounded a bit like a royalty line-up as John, William, James, George and Charles made up the top five in boys names in the U.S. in 1880.
Guess which was the most popular girls name? Mary. Then Anna, followed by Emma, which has a resurgence in the past five to 10 years. Elizabeth was fourth and Margaret, fifth.
Although the most popular birth names change from year to year and decade to decade, some familiar names still have a hold on the top spot from 1921 to 2021. Mary is the top name with just over 3.1 million girls given that name. James is the top spot with about 4.6 million boys given that name. Their popularity may not always be in the top five or top 10 of each year or decade but’s the overall popularity in those years that gives them the top rank.