19 Top Baby Names of the 1970s

The 1970s experienced the counterculture movement, the rise of disco, and technological innovation. Influenced by public figures and pop culture, these 19 names ranked highest among the new parents of the decade.


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According to the National Post, “Beginning in 1970, Jennifer was the top female baby name in the U.S., a position it would hold for a solid 14 years.” The popularity can be attributed to its appealing sound, which reflects the 1970s trend of moving away from more traditional names.


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Among the top names in the 1970s, the name Jason resonated with parents who were looking for a strong, modern name. Used in Greek mythology, the name is synonymous with leadership and adventure, meaning “healer” or “the Lord is salvation.”


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Rising in popularity in the 1970s, the name Kimberley was favored for being stylish and modern. Originating in England, the name’s phonetic appeal reflects the trend of the era. The name’s presence in popular culture has helped maintain its visibility and appeal, even as trends in baby names have evolved.


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Reinforced by cultural icons like Michael Jackson, Michael Douglas, and Michael J. Fox, whose careers were taking off during this time, this name was extremely popular. According to Social Security, it was the top boys’ name that decade, with 707,458 baby Michaels being registered.


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A classic name for boys, David remained a popular choice in the 1970s, favored for its strong sound. With biblical origins, the name carries historical significance, and as a result, there have been constant influential figures by the name of David.


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Seeing a significant rise in popularity during the 1970s, Michelle became one of the favorite choices for newborn baby girls. Originating in France, the name is associated with elegance and sophistication, contributing to its appeal throughout the decade.


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Celtic in origin, the name Brian was a popular choice in the 1970s, aligning with the era’s preference for names that conveyed strength and character. The name’s strong yet approachable sound, as well as the influence of various public figures going by the name, ensured it maintained its popularity.


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According to The Bump, the name Melissa saw a period of popularity in the 1970s, remaining in the top 25 girls’ names for the whole decade and ranking at number 10 in 1979. The name’s appeal was partly due to its melodic sound.


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Surging in popularity during the 1970s, the name Nicole was embraced for its French elegance and the trend toward chic, cosmopolitan names. Favored for its sophisticated sound, the name’s popularity can be somewhat attributed to the influence of notable personalities named Nicole.


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Irish in its origins, the name Kevin became a widespread choice for parents of newborn baby boys in the 1970s. Strong yet friendly in its sound, the name was made popular by the presence of celebrities and public figures named Kevin.


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Heather was a popular choice for newborn baby girls in the 1970s and reflects the era’s interest in nature and natural beauty. Gentle and melodic, the name’s appeal may have been amplified by its simplicity and serenity, which align with the counterculture movement.


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A top choice for boys in the 1970s, the name’s popularity could be attributed to the way it blends tradition with modernity. According to Verywell Family, “In the U.S., the name has been in the Top 500 names since 1900.” This represents society’s preference for versatile names with a timeless quality.


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Remaining a popular choice in the 1970s, this classic name shows the era valued strong, traditional names that were adaptable to modern times. There were also multiple influential Stevens at the time who would have contributed to the name’s popularity.


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Timeless, elegant, and with strong royal connotations, the name Elizabeth was a favorite choice for parents of newborn baby girls in the 1970s. Influenced by its historical significance and the presence of notable Elizabeths, the name reflects the 1970s trend toward names that offered classic beauty, sophistication, and strong cultural heritage.


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The 1970s, like many other eras, favored names with biblical connotations, and as a result, the name Matthew saw a rise in popularity during the era. There were also various public figures named Matthew at the time, which would have influenced parents.


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In a decade that preferred concise and melodic-sounding names, Lisa was a popular choice. According to Country Living, there were “228,690 Lisas born in the U.S. during this decade.” It reflects a trend of the time to move away from the more elaborate names of previous generations.


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Becoming increasingly popular in the 1970s, the name Angela has a lyrical quality and reflects the 1970s trend for soft, melodic sounds in names. The presence of influential Angelas at the time would have also contributed to its popularity.


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With a timeless quality, the name Thomas remained a popular choice for new parents in the 1970s and demonstrated the era’s preference for classic, strong names for boys. Historically significant and holding biblical connotations, there were also a number of prominent figures named Thomas at the time, which would have helped to increase its popularity.


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Emerging as a popular choice for baby girls in the 1970s, the name Laura reflected the era’s trend for names that are simple yet elegant, with a classic appeal. There were a number of public figures and literary associations with the name, and this may have influenced parents of the time.

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