Wikipedia has articles about given names (example: John).

In each of these articles, I would like to add a histogram showing how popular the name has been through the ages. For each year, it could be the number or proportion of children who received this name.

Where can I find data for this?


  • Must be reusable in Wikipedia (CC-BY-SA 3.0)
  • Since as far back as possible, for instance there have been Johns since 134BC at least. Estimation data is OK.
  • Some will argue that John was actually spelt another way and should be considered another name. Any stance is fine, as long as the data stays consistent with the stance they have chosen.
  • I am looking for data for the whole world, but dataset for parts of it (for instance Chinese names only) are welcome too.
  • 1
    What do you mean by popularity? Naming a child or using the name in literature? Here's one popular source for naming: ssa.gov/oact/babynames . As for mentions, Google Ngrams are still the most comprehensive: books.google.com/ngrams . Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 11:49
  • I've seen lots of tools / visualizations out there, but they always seem to be US centric, and limited to the time range of the SSA data that Anton mentioned.
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 15:18
  • @Anton: Number of children who are given this name each year.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 3:38
  • @NicolasRaoul : the SSA website has that information for the US. Click the 'Popular Names by Birth Year' tab, and then click 'Number of births'
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 18:54

4 Answers 4


Here You have names with the popularity in capital city of Poland: Popularne imiona w Warszawie

  • Thanks! So apparently it only goes back to 2004? Or maybe I am not looking at the right place?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 2:30

For data beyond the SSA dataset (that goes back to 1880, but has full coverage only back to 1932), you may look at this site


providing names for US census data and from British sources. Note that some data are normalised (fortunately the normalisation patterns are Open Source, so you can inspect them and make up your judgement).


For the USA there is another great source on names: The Social Security Death Index (SSDI). Especially it fills the sparseness in the SSA data predating 1932.

As the name tells, it contains only data of deceased people, not of the ones still alive.

EDIT: The Social Security Master Death File (SSDMF) is available from http://ssdmf.info/ It contains Names, Day of Birth and Day of Death. Data go back to 1800 (but the oldest points are probably input errors).

P.S. Note that only the first 10 letters of the given name are recorded in the SSDMF: You find no CHRISOTPHER, but lots of CHRISTOPHE's.

  • Great! Where can it be downloaded? What year does it go back to? Deaths can be correlated to births, at least as a good enough approximation to fill the voids. Thanks!
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 2:46
  • @Nicolas Raoul See EDIT
    – user6083
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 7:53

For the USA, the Social Security Administration has statistics going back to 1880.

The whole national data is downloadable in a ZIP file available for download at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/limits.html
Direct link: http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/names.zip




License: Public domain per http://www.ssa.gov/agency/websitepolicies.html#a0=7

  • @jknappen: Thanks for the link! Believe it or not, I still can't find the page for the 400-1000 interval...
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 9:42
  • Indeed it contains ALL data even though the page says "Beyond the Top 1000 Names", thanks!
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 9:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.