Special Report

Most Popular Girl Names Among the Baby Boomer Generation

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It’s hard to find a Brenda these days in a classroom full of Charlottes and Olivias. Names like Brenda and Janet, which were among the most popular baby names given during the boomer generation, no longer rank in the top 1,000 girls’ names in the U.S. (Here are the biggest name fads of the last 40 years.)

To determine the most popular girls’ names of the baby boomer generation, 24/7 Tempo reviewed name data from the U.S. Social Security Administration. Names were ranked based on the total number of girls that received the name from 1946 to 1964. Supplemental name data for 2022 is also from the SSA.

Click here to see the most popular girls’ names of the baby boomer generation

Mary, the most popular girls’ name for boomers, has hardly lost its appeal. It still ranks among the 150 most popular girls’ names in the U.S., compared to some of the other top names of that generation that have plummeted in use – like Barbara, which ranked at 976 in 2022.

Other popular boomer names include Carol, Sharon, Deborah, and Donna. The name Donna – which was already the 10th most popular girls’ name in the nation when teen rocker Ritchie Valens released his hit single “Donna” in 1958 – rose in popularity the next year to No. 5. (Donna isn’t the only name to become more fashionable after the release of a song. Here are the most popular music-inspired baby names.)

25. Carolyn
> Girls named Carolyn, 1946-1964: 246,527 (0.67% of all girls)
> Girls named Carolyn, 2022: 192 (0.01% of all girls)

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24. Kathy
> Girls named Kathy, 1946-1964: 254,613 (0.69% of all girls)
> Girls named Kathy, 2022: 75 (<0.00% of all girls)

23. Margaret
> Girls named Margaret, 1946-1964: 276,540 (0.75% of all girls)
> Girls named Margaret, 2022: 2,180 (0.12% of all girls)

22. Janet
> Girls named Janet, 1946-1964: 286,080 (0.78% of all girls)
> Girls named Janet, 2022: 103 (0.01% of all girls)

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21. Cheryl
> Girls named Cheryl, 1946-1964: 305,157 (0.83% of all girls)
> Girls named Cheryl, 2022: 44 (<0.00% of all girls)

20. Elizabeth
> Girls named Elizabeth, 1946-1964: 308,179 (0.84% of all girls)
> Girls named Elizabeth, 2022: 6,964 (0.39% of all girls)

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19. Lisa
> Girls named Lisa, 1946-1964: 330,425 (0.90% of all girls)
> Girls named Lisa, 2022: 289 (0.02% of all girls)

18. Diane
> Girls named Diane, 1946-1964: 353,077 (0.96% of all girls)
> Girls named Diane, 2022: 82 (<0.00% of all girls)

17. Brenda
> Girls named Brenda, 1946-1964: 381,724 (1.04% of all girls)
> Girls named Brenda, 2022: 187 (0.01% of all girls)

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16. Kathleen
> Girls named Kathleen, 1946-1964: 387,244 (1.05% of all girls)
> Girls named Kathleen, 2022: 227 (0.01% of all girls)

15. Pamela
> Girls named Pamela, 1946-1964: 394,035 (1.07% of all girls)
> Girls named Pamela, 2022: 93 (0.01% of all girls)

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14. Carol
> Girls named Carol, 1946-1964: 419,506 (1.14% of all girls)
> Girls named Carol, 2022: 80 (<0.00% of all girls)

13. Cynthia
> Girls named Cynthia, 1946-1964: 423,014 (1.15% of all girls)
> Girls named Cynthia, 2022: 312 (0.02% of all girls)

12. Sharon
> Girls named Sharon, 1946-1964: 435,758 (1.18% of all girls)
> Girls named Sharon, 2022: 199 (0.01% of all girls)

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11. Debra
> Girls named Debra, 1946-1964: 448,095 (1.22% of all girls)
> Girls named Debra, 2022: 39 (<0.00% of all girls)

10. Sandra
> Girls named Sandra, 1946-1964: 491,778 (1.34% of all girls)
> Girls named Sandra, 2022: 230 (0.01% of all girls)

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9. Donna
> Girls named Donna, 1946-1964: 495,453 (1.35% of all girls)
> Girls named Donna, 2022: 101 (0.01% of all girls)

8. Nancy
> Girls named Nancy, 1946-1964: 497,862 (1.35% of all girls)
> Girls named Nancy, 2022: 262 (0.01% of all girls)

7. Deborah
> Girls named Deborah, 1946-1964: 581,906 (1.58% of all girls)
> Girls named Deborah, 2022: 296 (0.02% of all girls)

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6. Karen
> Girls named Karen, 1946-1964: 587,276 (1.60% of all girls)
> Girls named Karen, 2022: 196 (0.01% of all girls)

5. Barbara
> Girls named Barbara, 1946-1964: 631,924 (1.72% of all girls)
> Girls named Barbara, 2022: 271 (0.02% of all girls)

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4. Susan
> Girls named Susan, 1946-1964: 749,662 (2.04% of all girls)
> Girls named Susan, 2022: 206 (0.01% of all girls)

3. Patricia
> Girls named Patricia, 1946-1964: 788,693 (2.14% of all girls)
> Girls named Patricia, 2022: 221 (0.01% of all girls)

2. Linda
> Girls named Linda, 1946-1964: 1,059,700 (2.88% of all girls)
> Girls named Linda, 2022: 346 (0.02% of all girls)

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1. Mary
> Girls named Mary, 1946-1964: 1,125,411 (3.06% of all girls)
> Girls named Mary, 2022: 2,097 (0.12% of all girls)

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