These groovy baby names rocked the 1960s

The 1960s saw a transformation of American culture. Impacted by the civil rights movement, second-wave feminism and a variety of other campaigns, Americans experienced “transformational change” over the decade.


One thing that changed were the names parents gave their children. The experts at MooseRoots, a genealogy research site by Graphiq, found the 50 most popular names for boys and girls that captured the limelight in the 1960s.

Using data from the Social Security Administration, MooseRoots compared the popularity of baby names in America in the 1960s to their average popularity since 1920. The data experts then found names for both sexes that were at least two standard deviations more popular in the 1960s than the average and ranked them based on their 1960s popularity. The most common names for each sex – the names with the largest frequency – took the No. 1 spot.

MooseRoots found a number of interesting insights. First, nicknames were extremely popular in the 1960s. Names like Beth, Chris and Mike dominate the ranking.

Names most popular in the 1960s also tended to be shorter. The average name length of the 100 grooviest names of the 1960s is only 4.98 characters, 16 percent shorter than the average name length of 5.87 characters of the top 100 baby names for boys and girls in 2015. Since the length of baby names doesn’t change greatly over time, this is a significant difference.

Note: Numbers showing how many boys and girls of every million were born with a given name have been rounded to the nearest whole…

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