First Name Basis
First Name Basis

First Names on the Census

Many people have asked us about the popularity of the first name of their ancestors. The U.S. Census Bureau has published distribution files from the 1990 census, and we have made them searchable from First Name Basis. As additional census years become available, we will post them here.

You may try searching for a specific MALE name below.

  First name:

You may try searching for a specific FEMALE name below.

  First name:

NOTE: These files contain only a sample of the 1990 population. The fact that a name does not appear, does not mean that it is nonexistent, only that it is reasonably rare. For more information about the limitations of the data see the documentation file.

Although the search area contains 7.2 million persons, almost 15 percent of those persons do not provide enough information to form a name.

The Census Bureau has a primary obligation to protect the confidentiality of individual responses to the Census. As part of this confidentiality commitment, the Census Bureau does not currently release individual census questionnaires (or any other information that could identify an individual) until 72 years after a Decennial Census was taken.

However, there have been numerous demands for sunmary data on the frequency of surnames for genealogical reasons. Similar interest has arisen for the frequency of first names by sex. This data set attempts to satisfy these demands while still providing utmost confidentiality of individual results.

Return to the First Name Basis home page.

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