Old Person Names
October 21, 2020
What does your name say about your age? The answer: quite a bit. In fact, based on your first name, we can guess how old you are likely to be!
To do this, we looked at Social Security Administration data which lists the first names of people born in the United States in each year. Then we looked at actuarial tables to figure out the odds that a person born in a given year is still alive.
Based on this methodology, we can guess the average age of a person born in the United States who has any given name.
What were the names with the oldest average age, as of 2019?
* This only includes names where at least 10,000 living people have that name.
Average age: 77.05
Myrtle is a type of flowering plant. Its popularity as a name peaked in 1894, when it was the 27th most popular name for baby girls.
Average age: 76.38
Average age: 75.35
Average age: 74.22
Alternate spelling of Betty. You're going to notice a pattern here.
Average age: 74.16
Eula is a shortening of the name Eulalia, co-patron saint of Barcelona. Today, EULA is an acronym which stands for End-User License Agreement, those annoying contracts that you agree to without reading.
Average age: 73.98
Another Betty variation which occurred during the Betty crazy of the 1920s.
Average age: 73.94
Average age: 73.68
A long time ago, Ethel was a popular name. In 1896, it was the 6th most popular name for baby girls. But since the 1980s it has become virtually extinct. Only 23 babies named Ethel were born in 2019.
Americans might recognize Ethel as one of the main characters on popular 1950s TV sitcom I Love Lucy.
Average age: 73.28
Appropriately, Blanche Devereaux was one of the characters on The Golden Girls.
Average age: 73.11
Betty was the second most popular girl's name in the U.S. from 1928–1934. At its peak, more than 3% of baby girls were named Betty.
Average age: 73.09
Average age: 72.82
Another popular name from the 1920s. By the time The Flintstones debuted in 1960, the name had already become unpopular.
Average age: 72.73
The only male name in the top 20. There are two reasons for this:
- Male names tend to remain more stable over time.
- Men tend to die earlier than women.
In case you're wondering, the name has referred to a certain body part since the 1600s. However, it wasn't until the 1960s that the word came to mean "an unpleasant person".
Average age: 72.50
Average age: 72.27
Average age: 72.22
Average age: 72.22
Average age: 71.98
Average age: 71.97
Average age: 71.73
Another one of the The Golden Girls!
Both Thelma and Louise are in the top 100 oldest female names. So are Laverne and Shirley. The name Shirley exploded in popularity between 1933 and 1935 due to the emergence of child star Shirley Temple.
Patsy is another name that appears on the list of 100 oldest female names. But, in the 1910s, there were actually more boys named Patsy then there were girls.