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
You may try searching for a specific MALE name below.
You may try searching for a specific FEMALE name below.
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.