Are some names more closely associated with crime than others? To find out, we combed through 30,000 Mugshots.com arrest records and compared them with the Social Security Administration’s list of top names over the past century in order to rank the most common names of criminals.
We tackled this project because we found ourselves fascinated by a question: Among tens of thousands of arrest records, which names recur at the highest rates? Let's be clear: We don't claim our work is predictive of crime, and we won't even try to parse the mix of complex factors that contribute to our conclusions. Instead, we're hoping to share the facts we've found in the spirit of curiosity and fun.
While you may want to take these results with a grain of salt, one thing’s certain: You’ll have some good material to use when ragging on your buddies Jeremy, Johnny, Randy, Terry, and Bobby. Want to learn more? Read on to see if your name ranks among America's most criminal!
What's The Most Criminal Name In Your State?
In every state, we ranked the name most commonly associated with crimes committed. Interestingly, the same names crop up multiple times. Juan and Jeremy each appear in a whopping seven states apiece – the Midwest is most common for Jeremy, while the East is Juan’s predominant region. Jesse, Johnny, and Randy make three appearances each.
Which names top the criminal list in only one state? Eric is the top name in New Hampshire, Howard takes the top spot in North Dakota, and Jason is the winner in Maine. And not every name belongs to a man: Theresa tops the list in Vermont, and Melissa claims No. 1 in Delaware.
20 Common Names For Criminals
Based on arrest numbers, people with the 20 names above have the most crimes committed per 100,000 people with these names. All are male (or gender-neutral, in Terry’s case). Notice any other similarities? Interestingly, 9 of the 20 names start with a “J,” and 9 of the 20 end with a “y.” And both feature in the top two names: Jeremy (with nearly 120 arrests per 100,000 Jeremys) and Johnny (with 114 arrests). The majority contain two syllables – only Jeremy, Timothy, Joshua, and Christopher have three.
Which Names Fit The Crime?
Looking at separate types of crime paints an interesting picture. Good old Jeremy sweeps two categories: robbery and driving-related offenses. Johnny’s a bit rough around the edges too, thanks to a penchant for assault and fraud. Alan is No. 1 for murder arrests, Randy tops the list for drug offenses, and Wayne has the most parole/court date violation arrests.
Crimes by Name: Who Commits What?
Among the top 10 criminal names (from Jeremy to Joshua), the most common crime committed by every name is assault. Robbery takes second place for 7 of the 10 names, while the other three are drug-related crimes. The chart has a few surprises. Murder only makes the top 5 crimes for one name: Terry. Fraud only makes the top 5 for Johnny, Jason, and Jerry. Johnny has the most parole/court date violations but the fewest robbery arrests.
Do You Have a Criminal Name?
Select a name from the drop-down menu to see how commonly each type of crime is committed by people with that name.
Research has shown that first names may predict a person’s behavior at school, employment prospects, and even success in certain fields. And though the jury’s still out on how strongly names correlate with a life of crime, you can’t deny there are some interesting trends.
Names that start with “J” and names that end with “y” dominate the top 20 list of criminal names. And while people with some names commit multiple types of crimes, others appear to be destined to commit a specific type.
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We analyzed data from 30,000 unique arrestees and gathered information on their first names and their criminal charges at the time of their arrest. We then matched the names with the Social Security Administration’s Top Names Over the Last 100 Years in order to determine general name popularity.