In 1950 the average name in America was 6.0 letters. In 2017 the average length was 5.9 letters. Name length has not changed much at all. If you were just interested in the answer to the title of this article, you can click away now.
The data is a bit more messy and interesting. Names have not been constant for the last 68 years. In 1975 the average length got as high as 6.9 letters. In 1960 it was as low as 5.0 letters. While 1.9 letters does not sound like a lot, that means names got 20% longer in just 15 years.
The main fluctuation has more to do with individual names than a preference towards long or short names. Some names like Christopher change the average significantly as they are popular and abnormally long. You can use the animated widget above to view how lengths have changed over the years. While you can see it is not constant, it is very unpredictable.
Girl names are on average 0.2 letters longer than boys. While it is a small difference it is consistent. There has never been a year where boy names were longer than girl names.