Name Timelines

Names

We all know that baby names go in and out of fashion.  But recently, the website fivethirtyeight.com looked at Social Security Administration records going back to the 1880s, to determine the median age of people with different first names.

The results?  The oldest female names are Gertrude (median age 80), Mildred, Opal Beulah, Myrtle and Blanche (77), Florence and Mabel (76).  The “oldest” list also includes Agnes, Ethel, Viola, Thelma, Bessie, Lula, Nellie, Bernice, Dolores, Elsie, Dorothy and Gladys.

The youngest, trendiest new baby names for girls: Ava (median age 5), Isabella, Lily, and Mia (6), Chloe and Sophie (7), Kaylee, Gabriella, Zoe and Ella (8).  Also on the youngest list: Isabelle, Hailey, Alexa, Emma, Madison, Abigail, Amelia and Olivia.

The average median age of men named Elmer is 66, and the next oldest is Willard, at 65.  The median Fred, Harold and Bob are 64, while your average Harry, Herbert and Harvey are 63.  Also on the oldest man’s name list list are Bill, Eugene, Norman, Jimmie, Wallace, Clyde, Gene and Herman.

Young boy names include Liam (3), Jayden and Aiden (4), Mason, Landon and Carter (6), along with Wyatt, Jackson, Owen, Sebastian, Gavin and Elijah.

You can see a variety of charts and graphs here: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-to-tell-someones-age-when-all-you-know-is-her-name/?ex_cid=538twitter, and you’ll discover that a few names have continued to be popular for the lifespan of the average Gertrude.  The female list of enduring names includes Violet, Lola, Lillian, Stella, Genevieve, Cora, Evelyn, Lucy, Clara, Ruby and Eva—all names that never became trendy, which may account for their steady popularity.  Men’s names with staying power through the decades: Leo, Jack, Everett, Henry, Charlie, Edwin, Sam, Marshall, Calvin and Edgar.

About the Author: Bob Veres has been a commentator, author and consultant in the financial services industry for more than 20 years.  Over his 20-year career in the financial services world, Mr. Veres has worked as editor of Financial Planning magazine; as a contributing editor to the Journal of Financial Planning; as a columnist and editor-at-large of Dow Jones Investment Advisor magazine; and as editor of Morningstar’s advisor web site: MorningstarAdvisor.com.

Mr. Veres has been named one of the most influential people in the financial planning profession by Investment Advisor magazine and Financial Planning magazine, was granted the NAPFA Special Achievement Award by the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, and most recently the Heart of Financial Planning Distinguished Service Award from the Denver-based Financial Planning Association. 

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