Most Common Male First Names in the United States

In this section of the site we have data on the most common male first names in the United States.

Note: the data source for these names is the 1990 Decennial Census, and is very outdated. If you want to view more accurate data on the popularity of first names, please check the baby names section of the site, which has much more recent data of names registered on Social Security card applications.

The table below shows the most popular first names for the U.S. population for the 1990 Census.

You can use the links below to view more common first names. This page is currently showing male names ranked from 1 to 300.

Most common first names: 1-1000 | 1001+

Most common male names: 1-300 | 301-600 | 601-900 | 900+

Most common female names: 1-1000 | 1001-2000 | 2001-3000 | 3001+

Rank Name Frequency (%) Count
1 JAMES 3.32% 10,773,473
2 JOHN 3.27% 10,620,865
3 ROBERT 3.14% 10,205,252
4 MICHAEL 2.63% 8,536,305
5 WILLIAM 2.45% 7,958,343
6 DAVID 2.36% 7,672,609
7 RICHARD 1.70% 5,529,603
8 CHARLES 1.52% 4,945,147
9 JOSEPH 1.40% 4,558,757
10 THOMAS 1.38% 4,480,830
11 CHRISTOPHER 1.04% 3,360,622
12 DANIEL 0.97% 3,162,557
13 PAUL 0.95% 3,078,135
14 MARK 0.94% 3,045,665
15 DONALD 0.93% 3,022,936
16 GEORGE 0.93% 3,009,949
17 KENNETH 0.83% 2,682,004
18 STEVEN 0.78% 2,532,643
19 EDWARD 0.78% 2,529,396
20 BRIAN 0.74% 2,389,776
21 RONALD 0.73% 2,354,059
22 ANTHONY 0.72% 2,341,071
23 KEVIN 0.67% 2,178,722
24 JASON 0.66% 2,143,005
25 MATTHEW 0.66% 2,133,265
26 GARY 0.65% 2,110,536
27 TIMOTHY 0.64% 2,078,066
28 JOSE 0.61% 1,990,397
29 LARRY 0.60% 1,941,693
30 JEFFREY 0.59% 1,918,964
31 FRANK 0.58% 1,886,494
32 SCOTT 0.55% 1,772,850
33 ERIC 0.54% 1,766,356
34 STEPHEN 0.54% 1,753,368
35 ANDREW 0.54% 1,743,627
36 RAYMOND 0.49% 1,584,525
37 GREGORY 0.44% 1,431,917
38 JOSHUA 0.44% 1,412,435
39 JERRY 0.43% 1,402,694
40 DENNIS 0.42% 1,347,496
41 WALTER 0.40% 1,295,544
42 PATRICK 0.39% 1,263,074
43 PETER 0.38% 1,237,099
44 HAROLD 0.37% 1,204,629
45 DOUGLAS 0.37% 1,191,641
46 HENRY 0.37% 1,185,147
47 CARL 0.35% 1,123,454
48 ARTHUR 0.34% 1,087,738
49 RYAN 0.33% 1,065,009
50 ROGER 0.32% 1,045,527
51 JOE 0.32% 1,042,280
52 JUAN 0.32% 1,026,045
53 JACK 0.32% 1,022,798
54 ALBERT 0.31% 1,019,551
55 JONATHAN 0.31% 1,016,304
56 JUSTIN 0.31% 1,009,810
57 TERRY 0.31% 1,009,810
58 GERALD 0.31% 1,003,316
59 KEITH 0.31% 1,000,069
60 SAMUEL 0.31% 993,575
61 WILLIE 0.30% 980,587
62 RALPH 0.28% 915,648
63 LAWRENCE 0.28% 915,648
64 NICHOLAS 0.28% 892,919
65 ROY 0.27% 886,425
66 BENJAMIN 0.27% 876,684
67 BRUCE 0.26% 853,955
68 BRANDON 0.26% 844,214
69 ADAM 0.26% 840,967
70 HARRY 0.25% 814,991
71 FRED 0.25% 814,991
72 WAYNE 0.25% 808,498
73 BILLY 0.25% 805,251
74 STEVE 0.25% 798,757
75 LOUIS 0.24% 789,016
76 JEREMY 0.24% 785,769
77 AARON 0.24% 779,275
78 RANDY 0.23% 753,299
79 HOWARD 0.23% 746,805
80 EUGENE 0.23% 746,805
81 CARLOS 0.23% 743,558
82 RUSSELL 0.22% 727,323
83 BOBBY 0.22% 724,076
84 VICTOR 0.22% 720,829
85 MARTIN 0.22% 701,347
86 ERNEST 0.22% 698,100
87 PHILLIP 0.21% 691,606
88 TODD 0.21% 691,606
89 JESSE 0.21% 678,618
90 CRAIG 0.21% 668,877
91 ALAN 0.20% 662,384
92 SHAWN 0.20% 649,396
93 CLARENCE 0.20% 639,655
94 SEAN 0.20% 639,655
95 PHILIP 0.20% 639,655
96 CHRIS 0.20% 639,655
97 JOHNNY 0.20% 633,161
98 EARL 0.19% 626,667
99 JIMMY 0.19% 620,173
100 ANTONIO 0.19% 616,926
101 DANNY 0.19% 616,926
102 BRYAN 0.19% 616,926
103 TONY 0.19% 616,926
104 LUIS 0.19% 613,679
105 MIKE 0.19% 613,679
106 STANLEY 0.19% 603,938
107 LEONARD 0.19% 603,938
108 NATHAN 0.19% 600,691
109 DALE 0.18% 597,444
110 MANUEL 0.18% 587,703
111 RODNEY 0.18% 584,456
112 CURTIS 0.18% 584,456
113 NORMAN 0.18% 574,715
114 ALLEN 0.17% 564,974
115 MARVIN 0.17% 555,233
116 VINCENT 0.17% 545,492
117 GLENN 0.17% 542,245
118 JEFFERY 0.17% 538,998
119 TRAVIS 0.17% 538,998
120 JEFF 0.17% 538,998
121 CHAD 0.17% 535,751
122 JACOB 0.17% 535,751
123 LEE 0.16% 526,010
124 MELVIN 0.16% 526,010
125 ALFRED 0.16% 526,010
126 KYLE 0.16% 519,516
127 FRANCIS 0.16% 519,516
128 BRADLEY 0.16% 516,269
129 JESUS 0.16% 503,282
130 HERBERT 0.16% 503,282
131 FREDERICK 0.15% 500,035
132 RAY 0.15% 496,788
133 JOEL 0.15% 493,541
134 EDWIN 0.15% 480,553
135 DON 0.15% 470,812
136 EDDIE 0.14% 467,565
137 RICKY 0.14% 457,824
138 TROY 0.14% 448,083
139 RANDALL 0.14% 448,083
140 BARRY 0.13% 435,095
141 ALEXANDER 0.13% 428,601
142 BERNARD 0.13% 412,366
143 MARIO 0.13% 405,872
144 LEROY 0.13% 405,872
145 FRANCISCO 0.12% 402,625
146 MARCUS 0.12% 402,625
147 MICHEAL 0.12% 399,378
148 THEODORE 0.12% 399,378
149 CLIFFORD 0.12% 399,378
150 MIGUEL 0.12% 396,131
151 OSCAR 0.12% 396,131
152 JAY 0.12% 383,143
153 JIM 0.12% 383,143
154 TOM 0.12% 379,896
155 CALVIN 0.12% 373,402
156 ALEX 0.12% 373,402
157 JON 0.12% 373,402
158 RONNIE 0.11% 366,909
159 BILL 0.11% 363,662
160 LLOYD 0.11% 363,662
161 TOMMY 0.11% 363,662
162 LEON 0.11% 363,662
163 DEREK 0.11% 363,662
164 WARREN 0.11% 357,168
165 DARRELL 0.11% 350,674
166 JEROME 0.11% 350,674
167 FLOYD 0.11% 347,427
168 LEO 0.11% 344,180
169 ALVIN 0.11% 340,933
170 TIM 0.10% 337,686
171 WESLEY 0.10% 337,686
172 GORDON 0.10% 337,686
173 DEAN 0.10% 337,686
174 GREG 0.10% 337,686
175 JORGE 0.10% 337,686
176 DUSTIN 0.10% 334,439
177 PEDRO 0.10% 334,439
178 DERRICK 0.10% 334,439
179 DAN 0.10% 327,945
180 LEWIS 0.10% 321,451
181 ZACHARY 0.10% 321,451
182 COREY 0.10% 318,204
183 HERMAN 0.10% 314,957
184 MAURICE 0.10% 314,957
185 VERNON 0.10% 314,957
186 ROBERTO 0.10% 314,957
187 CLYDE 0.10% 308,463
188 GLEN 0.09% 305,216
189 HECTOR 0.09% 305,216
190 SHANE 0.09% 301,969
191 RICARDO 0.09% 301,969
192 SAM 0.09% 298,722
193 RICK 0.09% 295,475
194 LESTER 0.09% 295,475
195 BRENT 0.09% 292,228
196 RAMON 0.09% 292,228
197 CHARLIE 0.09% 292,228
198 TYLER 0.09% 288,981
199 GILBERT 0.09% 288,981
200 GENE 0.09% 282,487
201 MARC 0.09% 282,487
202 REGINALD 0.08% 272,746
203 RUBEN 0.08% 266,252
204 BRETT 0.08% 266,252
205 ANGEL 0.08% 266,252
206 NATHANIEL 0.08% 263,005
207 RAFAEL 0.08% 263,005
208 LESLIE 0.08% 263,005
209 EDGAR 0.08% 259,758
210 MILTON 0.08% 259,758
211 RAUL 0.08% 256,511
212 BEN 0.08% 253,264
213 CHESTER 0.08% 253,264
214 CECIL 0.08% 253,264
215 DUANE 0.08% 250,017
216 FRANKLIN 0.08% 250,017
217 ANDRE 0.08% 246,770
218 ELMER 0.07% 240,276
219 BRAD 0.07% 237,029
220 GABRIEL 0.07% 237,029
221 RON 0.07% 233,782
222 MITCHELL 0.07% 233,782
223 ROLAND 0.07% 233,782
224 ARNOLD 0.07% 233,782
225 HARVEY 0.07% 233,782
226 JARED 0.07% 230,535
227 ADRIAN 0.07% 224,041
228 KARL 0.07% 224,041
229 CORY 0.07% 220,795
230 CLAUDE 0.07% 220,795
231 ERIK 0.07% 220,795
232 DARRYL 0.07% 217,548
233 JAMIE 0.07% 214,301
234 NEIL 0.07% 214,301
235 JESSIE 0.07% 211,054
236 CHRISTIAN 0.07% 211,054
237 JAVIER 0.07% 211,054
238 FERNANDO 0.07% 211,054
239 CLINTON 0.07% 211,054
240 TED 0.06% 207,807
241 MATHEW 0.06% 207,807
242 TYRONE 0.06% 207,807
243 DARREN 0.06% 207,807
244 LONNIE 0.06% 207,807
245 LANCE 0.06% 204,560
246 CODY 0.06% 204,560
247 JULIO 0.06% 204,560
248 KELLY 0.06% 204,560
249 KURT 0.06% 201,313
250 ALLAN 0.06% 198,066
251 NELSON 0.06% 198,066
252 GUY 0.06% 194,819
253 CLAYTON 0.06% 194,819
254 HUGH 0.06% 194,819
255 MAX 0.06% 191,572
256 DWAYNE 0.06% 191,572
257 DWIGHT 0.06% 188,325
258 ARMANDO 0.06% 188,325
259 FELIX 0.06% 188,325
260 JIMMIE 0.06% 188,325
261 EVERETT 0.06% 185,078
262 JORDAN 0.06% 181,831
263 IAN 0.06% 181,831
264 WALLACE 0.06% 181,831
265 KEN 0.06% 178,584
266 BOB 0.06% 178,584
267 JAIME 0.06% 178,584
268 CASEY 0.05% 175,337
269 ALFREDO 0.05% 175,337
270 ALBERTO 0.05% 172,090
271 DAVE 0.05% 172,090
272 IVAN 0.05% 172,090
273 JOHNNIE 0.05% 168,843
274 SIDNEY 0.05% 168,843
275 BYRON 0.05% 168,843
276 JULIAN 0.05% 168,843
277 ISAAC 0.05% 165,596
278 MORRIS 0.05% 165,596
279 CLIFTON 0.05% 162,349
280 WILLARD 0.05% 162,349
281 DARYL 0.05% 162,349
282 ROSS 0.05% 162,349
283 VIRGIL 0.05% 159,102
284 ANDY 0.05% 159,102
285 MARSHALL 0.05% 159,102
286 SALVADOR 0.05% 159,102
287 PERRY 0.05% 159,102
288 KIRK 0.05% 159,102
289 SERGIO 0.05% 159,102
290 MARION 0.05% 155,855
291 TRACY 0.05% 155,855
292 SETH 0.05% 155,855
293 KENT 0.05% 155,855
294 TERRANCE 0.05% 155,855
295 RENE 0.05% 155,855
296 EDUARDO 0.05% 152,608
297 TERRENCE 0.05% 152,608
298 ENRIQUE 0.05% 149,361
299 FREDDIE 0.05% 149,361
300 WADE 0.05% 146,114

The Most Common Male Names in the United States

Did you find your name on the list? Or maybe you were surprised by where you found it on the list. This could be because you have a name that is very popular or has been around for many years.

But why do people have names to begin with? And where did people get the idea to name themselves and their children? Keep reading to learn more.

Why Do People Have Names?

It’s easy to see why people have names, just picture a world without them. It doesn’t even have to be a world without names, just think of your family or your coworkers not having names. Rather than calling their name out to ask a question, you would have to physically gesture to them or just say ‘hey you.’

Emailing and texting would be just as difficult as you would never know who anything was from or who it was referring to—you get the point; names are a necessary part of society.

Unfortunately, historians aren’t sure when the practice of naming originated, as everything written in history talks about people using names. Therefore many speculate that names have been around since the time when humans first began using spoken language.

Where Do Male First Names Come From?

Even though the practice of naming has been around for thousands of years, the method of how parents come up with names for their children has remained relatively unchanged. Most names are derived from some basic aspects of life. These aspects will vary widely from culture to culture.

Names From Nouns

The main place where people derived names to name themselves is from nouns. These noun names would be the equivalent of naming someone ‘Tree,’ ‘Earl’ or ‘Hunter’ today. But because English wasn’t always the most prominent language on the planet, your name may be derived from a noun without you knowing.

Take the name ‘Jason’ for example, as it is the Greek word for ‘healer.’ If your name is Jason, it’s unlikely your parents really wanted to name you ‘healer’ but rather they just liked the sound of the name without knowing it’s origin.

Names From Adjectives

Names are also frequently derived from adjectives. Think of the name ‘Harry,’ although someone with this name may not necessarily be any harrier than anyone else, it’s likely that the name was once given to a child who was born very hairy, and the spelling changed over time.

It isn’t always obvious that a name is from an adjective either. Look at the name ‘Robert’ which actually means ‘bright’ in old German. No one speaks old German anymore, so if your name is Robert, you likely had no idea it was an adjective name even though it is one of the most common names for males in the United States.

Names From Compound Phrases

Other names which are popular are made of compound phrases. This would be the equivalent of naming your child ‘He who rides the wave’ or ‘The brave leader’ today. (This is still done in some cultures, such as in Hawaii). Of course, while this is no longer common, there are many popular names that entered the world in this way.

For example, ‘Benjamin’ , a very popular boy's name, is actually Hebrew for ‘Son of the Right Hand.’ Most people who named their son Benjamin have no idea of the meaning behind the name.

Names From Gods/Religion

Does your name not seem to come from any of these categories? Well, then it is likely you are named after a religious figure or god. These names are especially common among males. Take ‘Michael’ which is the name of a famous archangel and is one of the most popular male names.

‘Jesus,’ ‘John,’ and ‘Joseph’ are all names of religious origin that still remain popular today.

Why Are Some Male First Names So Common?

When looking at common first names for males, you will notice the top names are extremely common. Much more so than the top female names in the same places. Why is this?

Well, the practice of how people name their children is actually very difficult to track and even harder to explain. There are some naming phenomena that even scientists don’t understand.

Think about it this way, when parents are naming a child they are much more likely to come up with a unique name for a daughter, rather than for a son. Parents are also more likely to tweak a girl’s name with a spelling change than a boys. Why is this? No one is sure, but it could have something to do with the fact that parents fear a son will be judged much more harshly by his peers if he has a weird name than if their daughter does.

Therefore when faced with a choice between naming their son ‘David’ or coming up with something new like ‘Daviloen,’ many parents will take the easy way out and pick the simple name so their child doesn’t have problems in the future.

But besides just sticking to boring names, you have to account for the fact that people like to show respect to family members by naming their children after their parents/grandparents. Although this does happen with daughters too, it is increasingly more common in boys. Boys are much more likely to be named the same name as their father.

This means that a name like Robert, which has been popular for years, isn’t on the forefront of everyone’s mind, but rather it’s the parents passing on the family name as a sign of respect. Therefore the name remains popular as generation after generation continues the tradition.

Additionally, people often name their children after celebrities or famous people they admire. Thus as certain celebrities rise in fame, there tends to be a spike of children named after that celebrity. This is much more difficult to track in boys than girls (again, due to the lack of creativity) but you can see this in the name ‘Elon’ which has become more popular ever since Elon Musk became a household name.

Besides naming their children after the living, parents also like to name their children after characters in books. Recently, the popular book ‘Twilight’ has brought back many old names which were on their way to extinction such as ‘Edward,’ ‘Emmett,’ and ‘Carlisle.’ It will be interesting to see if this trend continues, or if it fades as the generation who enjoyed this book gets too old to have children.

Overall, it’s difficult to say exactly why some names are popular and others are not. It’s also hard to say for sure why so many male names have been popular for so long. It is likely a combination of all of the above aspects working together to keep names like ‘James’ and ‘John’ at the top of the list.

Why Do Some Male Names Go Out of Style?

There are times when a name will sink down the list, or perhaps be eliminated from it completely. This occurs for several reasons.

As previously mentioned, many people name their children after figures and characters. As these celebrities or stories go out of style, so too does the practice of naming them this way. And sometimes, there is negative publicity surrounding a name, causing people to stop naming their children after the individual entirely. Just look at the popularity of the name ‘Adolf’ for example.

Over time, it is becoming less and less popular to name a son after the father and grandfather. While the US was once filled with ‘Junior’s’ and ‘the seconds’ it is now becoming more popular to give your son a new name. Therefore it is possible names you see on this list today may not retain the same spot in the coming decades.

In conclusion, it’s almost impossible to say why some names go out of style while others remain popular so you’ll just have to keep wondering why there are still so many people naming their son ‘John.’

Data Source(s)

All of the data on this page is sourced from the 1990 Decennial Census survey, from the United States Census Bureau.

If you know of a more up-to-date source for first name data, please let us know. You can also use the baby name section for further research of common and popular first names in the United States.