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Note: the data source for these names is the 1990 Decennial Census, and is very outdated.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% 10,835,570
2 JOHN 3.27% 10,682,082
3 ROBERT 3.14% 10,264,073
4 MICHAEL 2.63% 8,585,507
5 WILLIAM 2.45% 8,004,214
6 DAVID 2.36% 7,716,833
7 RICHARD 1.70% 5,561,475
8 CHARLES 1.52% 4,973,651
9 JOSEPH 1.40% 4,585,033
10 THOMAS 1.38% 4,506,656
11 CHRISTOPHER 1.04% 3,379,992
12 DANIEL 0.97% 3,180,785
13 PAUL 0.95% 3,095,877
14 MARK 0.94% 3,063,220
15 DONALD 0.93% 3,040,360
16 GEORGE 0.93% 3,027,297
17 KENNETH 0.83% 2,697,462
18 STEVEN 0.78% 2,547,241
19 EDWARD 0.78% 2,543,975
20 BRIAN 0.74% 2,403,550
21 RONALD 0.73% 2,367,627
22 ANTHONY 0.72% 2,354,565
23 KEVIN 0.67% 2,191,280
24 JASON 0.66% 2,155,357
25 MATTHEW 0.66% 2,145,560
26 GARY 0.65% 2,122,701
27 TIMOTHY 0.64% 2,090,044
28 JOSE 0.61% 2,001,870
29 LARRY 0.60% 1,952,884
30 JEFFREY 0.59% 1,930,025
31 FRANK 0.58% 1,897,368
32 SCOTT 0.55% 1,783,068
33 ERIC 0.54% 1,776,537
34 STEPHEN 0.54% 1,763,474
35 ANDREW 0.54% 1,753,677
36 RAYMOND 0.49% 1,593,658
37 GREGORY 0.44% 1,440,171
38 JOSHUA 0.44% 1,420,576
39 JERRY 0.43% 1,410,779
40 DENNIS 0.42% 1,355,263
41 WALTER 0.40% 1,303,012
42 PATRICK 0.39% 1,270,355
43 PETER 0.38% 1,244,229
44 HAROLD 0.37% 1,211,572
45 DOUGLAS 0.37% 1,198,509
46 HENRY 0.37% 1,191,978
47 CARL 0.35% 1,129,930
48 ARTHUR 0.34% 1,094,007
49 RYAN 0.33% 1,071,147
50 ROGER 0.32% 1,051,553
51 JOE 0.32% 1,048,287
52 JUAN 0.32% 1,031,959
53 JACK 0.32% 1,028,693
54 ALBERT 0.31% 1,025,428
55 JONATHAN 0.31% 1,022,162
56 JUSTIN 0.31% 1,015,631
57 TERRY 0.31% 1,015,631
58 GERALD 0.31% 1,009,099
59 KEITH 0.31% 1,005,833
60 SAMUEL 0.31% 999,302
61 WILLIE 0.30% 986,239
62 RALPH 0.28% 920,925
63 LAWRENCE 0.28% 920,925
64 NICHOLAS 0.28% 898,066
65 ROY 0.27% 891,534
66 BENJAMIN 0.27% 881,737
67 BRUCE 0.26% 858,877
68 BRANDON 0.26% 849,080
69 ADAM 0.26% 845,815
70 HARRY 0.25% 819,689
71 FRED 0.25% 819,689
72 WAYNE 0.25% 813,158
73 BILLY 0.25% 809,892
74 STEVE 0.25% 803,360
75 LOUIS 0.24% 793,563
76 JEREMY 0.24% 790,298
77 AARON 0.24% 783,766
78 RANDY 0.23% 757,641
79 HOWARD 0.23% 751,109
80 EUGENE 0.23% 751,109
81 CARLOS 0.23% 747,844
82 RUSSELL 0.22% 731,515
83 BOBBY 0.22% 728,250
84 VICTOR 0.22% 724,984
85 MARTIN 0.22% 705,390
86 ERNEST 0.22% 702,124
87 PHILLIP 0.21% 695,593
88 TODD 0.21% 695,593
89 JESSE 0.21% 682,530
90 CRAIG 0.21% 672,733
91 ALAN 0.20% 666,201
92 SHAWN 0.20% 653,139
93 CLARENCE 0.20% 643,342
94 SEAN 0.20% 643,342
95 PHILIP 0.20% 643,342
96 CHRIS 0.20% 643,342
97 JOHNNY 0.20% 636,810
98 EARL 0.19% 630,279
99 JIMMY 0.19% 623,747
100 ANTONIO 0.19% 620,482
101 DANNY 0.19% 620,482
102 BRYAN 0.19% 620,482
103 TONY 0.19% 620,482
104 LUIS 0.19% 617,216
105 MIKE 0.19% 617,216
106 STANLEY 0.19% 607,419
107 LEONARD 0.19% 607,419
108 NATHAN 0.19% 604,153
109 DALE 0.18% 600,888
110 MANUEL 0.18% 591,090
111 RODNEY 0.18% 587,825
112 CURTIS 0.18% 587,825
113 NORMAN 0.18% 578,028
114 ALLEN 0.17% 568,231
115 MARVIN 0.17% 558,434
116 VINCENT 0.17% 548,636
117 GLENN 0.17% 545,371
118 JEFFERY 0.17% 542,105
119 TRAVIS 0.17% 542,105
120 JEFF 0.17% 542,105
121 CHAD 0.17% 538,839
122 JACOB 0.17% 538,839
123 LEE 0.16% 529,042
124 MELVIN 0.16% 529,042
125 ALFRED 0.16% 529,042
126 KYLE 0.16% 522,511
127 FRANCIS 0.16% 522,511
128 BRADLEY 0.16% 519,245
129 JESUS 0.16% 506,182
130 HERBERT 0.16% 506,182
131 FREDERICK 0.15% 502,917
132 RAY 0.15% 499,651
133 JOEL 0.15% 496,385
134 EDWIN 0.15% 483,323
135 DON 0.15% 473,525
136 EDDIE 0.14% 470,260
137 RICKY 0.14% 460,463
138 TROY 0.14% 450,666
139 RANDALL 0.14% 450,666
140 BARRY 0.13% 437,603
141 ALEXANDER 0.13% 431,071
142 BERNARD 0.13% 414,743
143 MARIO 0.13% 408,212
144 LEROY 0.13% 408,212
145 FRANCISCO 0.12% 404,946
146 MARCUS 0.12% 404,946
147 MICHEAL 0.12% 401,680
148 THEODORE 0.12% 401,680
149 CLIFFORD 0.12% 401,680
150 MIGUEL 0.12% 398,415
151 OSCAR 0.12% 398,415
152 JAY 0.12% 385,352
153 JIM 0.12% 385,352
154 TOM 0.12% 382,086
155 CALVIN 0.12% 375,555
156 ALEX 0.12% 375,555
157 JON 0.12% 375,555
158 RONNIE 0.11% 369,023
159 BILL 0.11% 365,758
160 LLOYD 0.11% 365,758
161 TOMMY 0.11% 365,758
162 LEON 0.11% 365,758
163 DEREK 0.11% 365,758
164 WARREN 0.11% 359,226
165 DARRELL 0.11% 352,695
166 JEROME 0.11% 352,695
167 FLOYD 0.11% 349,429
168 LEO 0.11% 346,163
169 ALVIN 0.11% 342,898
170 TIM 0.10% 339,632
171 WESLEY 0.10% 339,632
172 GORDON 0.10% 339,632
173 DEAN 0.10% 339,632
174 GREG 0.10% 339,632
175 JORGE 0.10% 339,632
176 DUSTIN 0.10% 336,366
177 PEDRO 0.10% 336,366
178 DERRICK 0.10% 336,366
179 DAN 0.10% 329,835
180 LEWIS 0.10% 323,304
181 ZACHARY 0.10% 323,304
182 COREY 0.10% 320,038
183 HERMAN 0.10% 316,772
184 MAURICE 0.10% 316,772
185 VERNON 0.10% 316,772
186 ROBERTO 0.10% 316,772
187 CLYDE 0.10% 310,241
188 GLEN 0.09% 306,975
189 HECTOR 0.09% 306,975
190 SHANE 0.09% 303,709
191 RICARDO 0.09% 303,709
192 SAM 0.09% 300,444
193 RICK 0.09% 297,178
194 LESTER 0.09% 297,178
195 BRENT 0.09% 293,912
196 RAMON 0.09% 293,912
197 CHARLIE 0.09% 293,912
198 TYLER 0.09% 290,647
199 GILBERT 0.09% 290,647
200 GENE 0.09% 284,115
201 MARC 0.09% 284,115
202 REGINALD 0.08% 274,318
203 RUBEN 0.08% 267,787
204 BRETT 0.08% 267,787
205 ANGEL 0.08% 267,787
206 NATHANIEL 0.08% 264,521
207 RAFAEL 0.08% 264,521
208 LESLIE 0.08% 264,521
209 EDGAR 0.08% 261,255
210 MILTON 0.08% 261,255
211 RAUL 0.08% 257,990
212 BEN 0.08% 254,724
213 CHESTER 0.08% 254,724
214 CECIL 0.08% 254,724
215 DUANE 0.08% 251,458
216 FRANKLIN 0.08% 251,458
217 ANDRE 0.08% 248,193
218 ELMER 0.07% 241,661
219 BRAD 0.07% 238,396
220 GABRIEL 0.07% 238,396
221 RON 0.07% 235,130
222 MITCHELL 0.07% 235,130
223 ROLAND 0.07% 235,130
224 ARNOLD 0.07% 235,130
225 HARVEY 0.07% 235,130
226 JARED 0.07% 231,864
227 ADRIAN 0.07% 225,333
228 KARL 0.07% 225,333
229 CORY 0.07% 222,067
230 CLAUDE 0.07% 222,067
231 ERIK 0.07% 222,067
232 DARRYL 0.07% 218,801
233 JAMIE 0.07% 215,536
234 NEIL 0.07% 215,536
235 JESSIE 0.07% 212,270
236 CHRISTIAN 0.07% 212,270
237 JAVIER 0.07% 212,270
238 FERNANDO 0.07% 212,270
239 CLINTON 0.07% 212,270
240 TED 0.06% 209,004
241 MATHEW 0.06% 209,004
242 TYRONE 0.06% 209,004
243 DARREN 0.06% 209,004
244 LONNIE 0.06% 209,004
245 LANCE 0.06% 205,739
246 CODY 0.06% 205,739
247 JULIO 0.06% 205,739
248 KELLY 0.06% 205,739
249 KURT 0.06% 202,473
250 ALLAN 0.06% 199,207
251 NELSON 0.06% 199,207
252 GUY 0.06% 195,942
253 CLAYTON 0.06% 195,942
254 HUGH 0.06% 195,942
255 MAX 0.06% 192,676
256 DWAYNE 0.06% 192,676
257 DWIGHT 0.06% 189,410
258 ARMANDO 0.06% 189,410
259 FELIX 0.06% 189,410
260 JIMMIE 0.06% 189,410
261 EVERETT 0.06% 186,145
262 JORDAN 0.06% 182,879
263 IAN 0.06% 182,879
264 WALLACE 0.06% 182,879
265 KEN 0.06% 179,613
266 BOB 0.06% 179,613
267 JAIME 0.06% 179,613
268 CASEY 0.05% 176,347
269 ALFREDO 0.05% 176,347
270 ALBERTO 0.05% 173,082
271 DAVE 0.05% 173,082
272 IVAN 0.05% 173,082
273 JOHNNIE 0.05% 169,816
274 SIDNEY 0.05% 169,816
275 BYRON 0.05% 169,816
276 JULIAN 0.05% 169,816
277 ISAAC 0.05% 166,550
278 MORRIS 0.05% 166,550
279 CLIFTON 0.05% 163,285
280 WILLARD 0.05% 163,285
281 DARYL 0.05% 163,285
282 ROSS 0.05% 163,285
283 VIRGIL 0.05% 160,019
284 ANDY 0.05% 160,019
285 MARSHALL 0.05% 160,019
286 SALVADOR 0.05% 160,019
287 PERRY 0.05% 160,019
288 KIRK 0.05% 160,019
289 SERGIO 0.05% 160,019
290 MARION 0.05% 156,753
291 TRACY 0.05% 156,753
292 SETH 0.05% 156,753
293 KENT 0.05% 156,753
294 TERRANCE 0.05% 156,753
295 RENE 0.05% 156,753
296 EDUARDO 0.05% 153,488
297 TERRENCE 0.05% 153,488
298 ENRIQUE 0.05% 150,222
299 FREDDIE 0.05% 150,222
300 WADE 0.05% 146,956

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.

Link To or Reference This Page

We spent a lot of time downloading, cleaning, merging, and formatting the data that is shown on the site.

If you found the data or information on this page useful in your research, please use the tool below to properly cite or reference Name Census as the source. We appreciate your support!

  • "Most Common Male First Names in the United States". NameCensus.com. Accessed on December 9, 2022. https://namecensus.com/first-names/common-male-first-names/.

  • "Most Common Male First Names in the United States". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/first-names/common-male-first-names/. Accessed 9 December, 2022

  • Most Common Male First Names in the United States. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from https://namecensus.com/first-names/common-male-first-names/.