Use the Baby Name Explorer to find out when your name was popular

Published on August 14, 2015 by Dr. Randal S. Olson

baby names Social Security Administration

1 min READ

Around the same time I was working on the Name Age Calculator, I developed a simple tool to visualize trends in American baby names. Ever inventive, I named this web app the U.S. Baby Name Explorer.

The idea behind the U.S. Baby Name Explorer is simple: Take the Social Security Administration baby name database and make visual interface for people to look up baby name trends. Whenever you enter a name and click Explore, it will show you the trends for both boys and girls back to the 1880s.


There's some pretty humorous trends in the database, like the rise of the Tyrions thanks to Game of Thrones:


and the rise of Nevaeh ("Heaven" backwards) after P.O.D. lead singer Sonny Sandoval named his daughter that in 2000. We sure follow some weird trends when naming our kids.


Have fun exploring baby name trends. Here's a list of the 25 most gender neutral baby names if you're looking for some more interesting trends to look up.

If you'd like to tinker with the code or send in a bug report (or better yet, a bug fix!), I've open sourced the code on GitHub here.


Previous research on the Social Security Administration baby name database suggests that records prior to 1940 are estimates and should be taken with a grain of salt. However, records after 1985 are based on actual Social Security records and are quite reliable.