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Originally male, but now an increasingly popular given name for girls, this is a transferred use of the surname, which comes from any of numerous places in England named with Old English æsc ‘ash’ + lēah ‘wood’. It is recorded as a given name in the 16th century, but its wider use was probably inspired by Anthony Ashley Cooper (1801–85), 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, a noted humanitarian who inspired much of the legislation designed to improve conditions among the working classes. It became one of the three most popular girls' names in North America in the latter half of the 20th century, with a wide variety of spellings.
72nd in the U.S.

Nicknames & variations

Quick facts

Hundreds of thousands
of people in the U.S have this name
776,681
to be exact
827,247
if you include dead people (since the government started keeping track)
Kentucky
has the most people named Ashley per capita
1987
marked the height of its popularity
99%
1%
0.05%
55+
7%
30-54
62%
13-29
30%
0-12

Top state populations

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