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First Name
5.1m
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
249k
in the U.S.
in 2010

James

Girls
Boys
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Last
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How to Pronounce James

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How popular is the baby name James in the U.S.?

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born Ranking
1880 5,949 22 5,927 #3 boy name
1881 5,465 24 5,441 #3 boy name
1882 5,910 18 5,892 #3 boy name
1883 5,248 25 5,223 #3 boy name
1884 5,726 33 5,693 #3 boy name
1885 5,201 26 5,175 #3 boy name
1886 5,384 29 5,355 #3 boy name
1887 4,787 19 4,768 #3 boy name
1888 5,607 45 5,562 #3 boy name
1889 5,046 26 5,020 #3 boy name
1890 5,130 33 5,097 #3 boy name
1891 4,547 31 4,516 #3 boy name
1892 5,420 22 5,398 #3 boy name
1893 5,052 23 5,029 #3 boy name
1894 5,135 25 5,110 #3 boy name
1895 5,369 34 5,335 #3 boy name
1896 5,235 28 5,207 #3 boy name
1897 5,143 30 5,113 #3 boy name
1898 5,350 29 5,321 #3 boy name
1899 4,625 27 4,598 #3 boy name
1900 7,286 41 7,245 #3 boy name
1901 4,765 30 4,735 #3 boy name
1902 5,622 30 5,592 #3 boy name
1903 5,508 28 5,480 #3 boy name
1904 5,882 27 5,855 #3 boy name
1905 6,077 35 6,042 #3 boy name
1906 5,945 37 5,908 #3 boy name
1907 6,752 45 6,707 #3 boy name
1908 7,044 32 7,012 #3 boy name
1909 7,646 52 7,594 #3 boy name
1910 9,258 63 9,195 #2 boy name
1911 10,020 69 9,951 #3 boy name
1912 17,725 81 17,644 #3 boy name
1913 20,926 95 20,831 #3 boy name
1914 26,370 107 26,263 #3 boy name
1915 33,932 155 33,777 #3 boy name
1916 35,734 166 35,568 #3 boy name
1917 37,521 182 37,339 #3 boy name
1918 42,333 212 42,121 #3 boy name
1919 42,580 192 42,388 #3 boy name
1920 48,164 249 47,915 #4 boy name
1921 49,980 231 49,749 #4 boy name
1922 50,053 239 49,814 #4 boy name
1923 50,745 279 50,466 #4 boy name
1924 53,214 275 52,939 #4 boy name
1925 53,048 365 52,683 #4 boy name
1926 53,567 359 53,208 #3 boy name
1927 54,052 389 53,663 #3 boy name
1928 53,174 427 52,747 #3 boy name
1929 52,518 397 52,121 #2 boy name
1930 54,365 419 53,946 #2 boy name
1931 51,546 345 51,201 #2 boy name
1932 52,239 320 51,919 #2 boy name
1933 51,400 299 51,101 #2 boy name
1934 54,501 262 54,239 #2 boy name
1935 55,229 238 54,991 #2 boy name
1936 54,903 229 54,674 #2 boy name
1937 56,803 251 56,552 #2 boy name
1938 59,368 275 59,093 #2 boy name
1939 59,898 268 59,630 #2 boy name
1940 62,732 259 62,473 #1 boy name
1941 66,976 255 66,721 #1 boy name
1942 77,460 282 77,178 #1 boy name
1943 80,523 271 80,252 #1 boy name
1944 77,187 237 76,950 #1 boy name
1945 74,695 246 74,449 #1 boy name
1946 87,673 250 87,423 #1 boy name
1947 95,020 257 94,763 #1 boy name
1948 88,839 251 88,588 #1 boy name
1949 87,107 257 86,850 #1 boy name
1950 86,518 252 86,266 #1 boy name
1951 87,456 258 87,198 #1 boy name
1952 87,337 261 87,076 #1 boy name
1953 86,236 236 86,000 #2 boy name
1954 86,493 226 86,267 #3 boy name
1955 84,379 246 84,133 #3 boy name
1956 85,107 249 84,858 #2 boy name
1957 84,538 281 84,257 #2 boy name
1958 78,975 252 78,723 #3 boy name
1959 78,895 296 78,599 #3 boy name
1960 77,152 289 76,863 #3 boy name
1961 76,193 286 75,907 #4 boy name
1962 72,833 262 72,571 #4 boy name
1963 71,642 311 71,331 #4 boy name
1964 73,369 317 73,052 #4 boy name
1965 68,018 303 67,715 #4 boy name
1966 65,485 297 65,188 #3 boy name
1967 62,006 312 61,694 #3 boy name
1968 61,042 312 60,730 #4 boy name
1969 60,264 329 59,935 #3 boy name
1970 62,138 354 61,784 #2 boy name
1971 54,913 302 54,611 #2 boy name
1972 47,387 299 47,088 #3 boy name
1973 43,209 317 42,892 #4 boy name
1974 41,614 251 41,363 #5 boy name
1975 39,848 253 39,595 #4 boy name
1976 38,563 253 38,310 #5 boy name
1977 40,330 273 40,057 #5 boy name
1978 40,181 269 39,912 #5 boy name
1979 39,631 261 39,370 #5 boy name
1980 39,583 271 39,312 #5 boy name
1981 38,578 272 38,306 #7 boy name
1982 39,184 317 38,867 #6 boy name
1983 36,623 282 36,341 #6 boy name
1984 36,083 238 35,845 #7 boy name
1985 36,130 287 35,843 #7 boy name
1986 34,302 273 34,029 #7 boy name
1987 32,877 246 32,631 #8 boy name
1988 32,737 244 32,493 #9 boy name
1989 32,871 176 32,695 #9 boy name
1990 32,459 115 32,344 #8 boy name
1991 30,597 95 30,502 #7 boy name
1992 28,572 70 28,502 #9 boy name
1993 26,324 75 26,249 #14 boy name
1994 24,831 67 24,764 #14 boy name
1995 22,784 57 22,727 #17 boy name
1996 21,217 62 21,155 #17 boy name
1997 20,441 42 20,399 #17 boy name
1998 19,728 45 19,683 #18 boy name
1999 18,590 40 18,550 #19 boy name
2000 18,018 40 17,978 #18 boy name
2001 17,108 42 17,066 #19 boy name
2002 16,984 31 16,953 #18 boy name
2003 16,923 34 16,889 #18 boy name
2004 16,551 95 16,456 #17 boy name
2005 16,147 26 16,121 #17 boy name
2006 16,274 46 16,228 #16 boy name
2007 15,981 33 15,948 #15 boy name
2008 15,190 32 15,158 #17 boy name
2009 14,232 51 14,181 #18 boy name
2010 13,890 29 13,861 #19 boy name
2011 13,266 30 13,236 #17 boy name
2012 13,421 28 13,393 #14 boy name
2013 13,555 28 13,527 #13 boy name
2014 14,425 42 14,383 #9 boy name
2015 14,743 38 14,705 #7 boy name

Fun Facts about the name James

  • How many people with the first name James have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2015, the Social Security Administration has recorded 5,144,205 babies born with the first name James in the United States. That's more than enough people named James to occupy the country of Norway with an estimated population of 5,025,600 (as of July 27, 2012).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named James? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 5,949 new born babies.
  • When was James first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name James is Friday, March 1st, 1805.
  • What year had the most people named James born? The highest recorded use of the first name James was in 1947 with a total of 94,763 babies. That's a lot of babies named James!
  • Random James Factoid: According to the 1927 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name James ranks 6th in popularity as a baby boy's name in Iowa. Imagine that, 711 babies in Iowa have the same name as you in 1927.
  • Weird things about the name James: Your name in reverse order is Semaj. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Smaej. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name James? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 249,379 people with the last name James.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of James? James was ranked as the 85th most popular last name but is still less than 0.1% of the population!

Where is the name James popular?

View popular names by state or region.

Popularity of James as a first name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name James as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in Mississippi, West Virginia, or Alabama.

Popularity of James as a last name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name James as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in South Carolina, Alaska, or Mississippi.

Common last names for James

  • Smith
  • Williams
  • Johnson
  • Brown
  • Jones
  • Davis
  • Wilson
  • Miller
  • Moore
  • Taylor
  • White
  • Thompson
  • Martin
  • Thomas
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • Anderson
  • Clark
  • Walker
  • Robinson

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity James U.S.
  White 51.58% 64.26%
  African American 38.86% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 1.27% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 2.58% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.64% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 3.08% 16.26%

Of Last Name James

People with the last name James are most frequently White or African American

Entire United States

Meaning, Origin, Inspirations, and Associations

Have you been wondering what does the name "James" mean? The list below shows the origins of James as well as things modernly associated with the name James such as celebrities named James.

Hebrew

Origin and Meaning of James

The name "James" is of Hebrew origin, and it means "Supplanter". It's a name commonly given to both boys and girls.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun James
Senses
  1. William James, an American psychologist and philosopher (1842-1910). He was the brother of Henry James.
    synonyms: William James.
  2. Henry James, an American novelist and critic, born 1843, died 1916. He was the brother of William James.
    synonyms: Henry James.
  3. Saint James the Apostle, a disciple of Jesus; brother of John; author of The Epistle of James in the New Testament.
    synonyms: Saint James, St. James, Saint James the Apostle.
  4. The James River, a tributary of the Missouri River.
    synonyms: James River.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A New Testament book attributed to Saint James the Apostle
  2. A river that rises in North Dakota and flows southward across South Dakota to the Missouri
  3. A river in Virginia that flows east into Chesapeake Bay at Hampton Roads
  4. (New Testament) disciple of Jesus; brother of John; author of the Epistle of James in the New Testament
  5. Writer who was born in the United States but lived in England (1843-1916)
  6. United States pragmatic philosopher and psychologist (1842-1910)
  7. United States outlaw who fought as a Confederate soldier and later led a band of outlaws that robbed trains and banks in the West until he was murdered by a member of his own gang (1847-1882)
  8. The first Stuart to be king of England and Ireland from 1603 to 1625 and king of Scotland from 1567 to 1625; he was the son of Mary Queen of Scots and he succeeded Elizabeth I; he alienated the British Parliament by claiming the divine right of kings (1566-1625)
  9. The last Stuart to be king of England and Ireland and Scotland; overthrown in 1688 (1633-1701)
  10. A Stuart king of Scotland who married a daughter of Henry VII; when England and France went to war in 1513 he invaded England and died in defeat at Flodden (1473-1513)
Wiktionary

The English New Testament form of Jacob, from Old French James, from Vulgar Latin Iacomus, spoken and altered pronunciation of Latin Iacobus, from Ancient Greek Ἰάκωβος (Iákōbos), from Ἰακώβ (Iakṓb), from Biblical Hebrew יַעֲקֹב (Yaʿăqōḇ).

  1. (biblical) The twentieth book of the New Testament of the Bible, the general epistle of James.
  2. One of two Apostles, James the Greater and James the Less, often identified with James, brother of Jesus.
  3. A male given name popular since the Middle Ages. Also a common middle name.
  4. An English patronymic surname​.

Notable Persons With the Name James

James Mattis

James Mattis is a military person. His military service ended in 2013.

Popularity:

James Franco

James Franco is an actor and filmmaker. His ongoing career started in 1997. James was given the name James Edward Franco on April 19th, 1978 in Palo Alto, California, U.S.

Popularity:

Sir Paul McCartney

Sir Paul McCartney is a musician. His ongoing career started in 1957. Paul was given the name James Paul McCartney on June 18th, 1942 in Liverpool, England.

Popularity:

James McAvoy

James McAvoy is an actor. His ongoing career started in 1995. James was born on April 21st, 1979 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

Popularity:

James Comey

James Comey is a 7th Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Deputy Attorney General, and United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. James was born on December 14th, 1960 in Yonkers, New York.

Popularity:

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey is an actor, stand-up comedy, screenwriter, film producer, stand-up comedian, and producer. Jim was given the name James Eugene Carrey on January 17th, 1962 in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.

Popularity:
  • James Corden
    (actor)
  • Jamie Dornan
    (actor)
  • Sir Jimmy Savile
    (dj)
  • James VI and I
    (royalty)
  • James Cameron
    (filmmaker)
  • Jimmy Kimmel
    (comedian)
  • James Stewart
    (actor)
  • James Dean
    (actor)
  • James Madison
    (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives)
  • Jimmy Fallon
    (musician)
  • Jim Morrison
    (musician)
  • James Marsden
    (actor)
  • Jim Parsons
    (actor)
  • Iggy Pop
    (musician)

Notable Persons With the Last Name James

LeBron James

LeBron James is a basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association. He was most prominent from 2003 to present. LeBron was born on December 30th, 1984 in Akron, Ohio.

Popularity:

Lily James

Lily James is an actress. She was most prominent from 2010 to present. Lily was given the name Lily Chloe Ninette Thomson on April 5th, 1989 in Esher.

Popularity:

Theo James

Theo James is an actor and musician. He was most active from 2010 to present. Theo was given the name Theodore Peter James Kinnaird Taptiklis on December 16th, 1984 in Oxford. Theo is also known as Taptiklis and Theodore Peter James Kinnaird.

Popularity:

Jesse James

Jesse James was a crime and criminal. He was most active from 1866 to 1882. Jesse was given the name Jesse Woodson James by his parents Robert S. James and Zerelda James on September 5th, 1847 in Kearney, Missouri, U.S. Jesse is also known as James and Jesse Woodson. He passed away on April 3rd, 1882.

Popularity:

Kevin James

Kevin James is a famed somebody. Kevin was given the name Kevin George Knipfing on April 26th, 1965 in Mineola, New York, U.S.

Popularity:

Mickie James

Mickie James is a country music musician. Mickie was born on August 31st, 1979 in Richmond, Virginia.

Popularity:

What does the name James mean?

Jis for jewel, the sparkle in your eye.

Ais for accord, the harmony you spread.

Mis for marvelous, which is how others see you

Eis for easy going, no ruffles here.

Sis for serious, not always joking.

Name poster for James

Name poster for James(click to save the high quality version)

Most Popular Names

Also see our other name lists.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain). U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain). 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License). Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License). Wiktionary: Titles and License. Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.

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