The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) has posted an interactive chart enabling users to track the frequency of the top 100 boys’ and girls’ baby names from 1904 – 2015.
John, a perennial favourite of the 19th century and earlier, declined steeply in the later 20th century and has not bounced back, though Jack, which left the top 100 about 1945, has been consistently in the top 3 this century.
Other favourite boys’ names, such as William, Thomas, Henry and Joseph declined markedly in the mid-20th century, but have bounced back into the top ten this century.
19th century and earlier favourite girls’ names have also declined. Elizabeth, despite the Queen’s name, has fallen from the top 10 to about 4oth. Mary and Ann or Anne have been absent from the top 100 since the 1980s. Sarah, after recovering to number one in the 1980s has declined in pupularity rapidly this century to about 96th last year.
Earlier posts on this blog examined first name frequency, for example Why is family history so difficult?