Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Updated Post on Nameberry!

Just a little break from my summer break to announce a huge update on a previous post. When I did the post on the most popular names ever (since 1880), I only picked and chose the names included allowing it to be an incomplete list. Since then, I was able to calculate the totals for all names ever given and recorded by the SSA. I am honored to say that Nameberry has published the updated list on its Berry Juice page today... please check it out!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

P Names: Then and Now

letter P
Image by LEOL30 via Flickr

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts. Not all letters have an interesting trend that's visible over the years, and a lot of them just have too many names to work with. Let's see what the letter P has to offer.

The Top 100 in 1880 included four P boy names: Patrick, Paul, Peter, and Philip. These reliable names stayed in the Top 100 for most, if not all, of the next 100 years. Patrick fell out in the 1900s but jumped back in during the 1930s, around the same time the alternate spelling of Phillip became the new thing and entered the top ranks. Oh, and we cannot forget Percy, who was also in the top for a couple of years in the 1890s. The late 1980s brought changes to the Top 100 as the big P4 (5 including Phillip) started to disappear. Philip was first to fall in 1989, followed by Phillip in 1992, Peter in 1997, Paul in 2001, and finally Patrick in 2005. From 2005 until 2009, there were no P boy names in the Top 100. What name broke the fast and still remains near the top? Parker.

That's it for the boys' story. The girls' story is a little more complicated.

The Top 100 in 1880 included only one P girl name: Pearl. Pauline joined in 1888, and those two remained alone until 1915 with Phyllis and 1921 with Patricia. Pearl retired in 1926 to be replaced by Peggy in 1927 and Patsy in 1930. Pauline slipped after 1938, and both Pamela and Paula rose in 1943. Patsy left after 1948, and Phyllis left 10 years later. Peggy fell after 1962, the year Penny started a brief four-year run. Paula faded after 1974, and Pamela dropped out for good after 1983. That left only Patricia, who fell after 1990, the year Paige ascended into the Top 100 and remained the only P girl name until Payton and Peyton broke through in 2008. Paige fell out after 2010, Payton left after 2011, Piper joined in 2012 and finally Paisley and Penelope made their debuts in 2013. So, if you are still with me, the current list of P girl names in the Top 100 are Paisley, Penelope, Peyton, and Piper.

There is not much more to say in terms of trends. The letter P has been more popular at the beginning of girl names than boy names, although the P boy names had more staying power. Out of the names currently in the Top 100, Penelope is the standout; it is the only one that isn't "modern" and yet it surprisingly reached the top ranks only recently. Surprising especially since Penny was ranked as high as #87 in 1963.

Do you see anything trend-worthy?
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Numbers are Cool

Ten percent
Image by John White via Flickr

Just a simple post to show how the #1 names have become less and less popular throughout the years...

YEAR #1 BOY PERCENTAGE #1 GIRL PERCENTAGE
1880 John 8.1546% Mary 7.2384%
1881 John 8.0981% Mary 6.9989%
1882 John 7.8316% Mary 7.0425%
1883 John 7.9071% Mary 6.6730%
1884 John 7.6478% Mary 6.6989%
1885 John 7.5517% Mary 6.4304%
1886 John 7.5821% Mary 6.4331%
1887 John 7.4190% Mary 6.3620%
1888 John 7.1187% Mary 6.2042%
1889 John 7.1808% Mary 6.1559%
1890 John 7.1027% Mary 5.9892%
1891 John 7.0293% Mary 5.9536%
1892 John 6.8760% Mary 5.8572%
1893 John 6.6498% Mary 5.6758%
1894 John 6.5957% Mary 5.5731%
1895 John 6.5703% Mary 5.4413%
1896 John 6.3055% Mary 5.4806%
1897 John 6.1914% Mary 5.4020%
1898 John 6.1766% Mary 5.2548%
1899 John 6.0678% Mary 5.3222%
1900 John 6.0618% Mary 5.2574%
1901 John 5.9680% Mary 5.1669%
1902 John 5.9571% Mary 5.1673%
1903 John 5.8835% Mary 5.1312%
1904 John 5.8537% Mary 5.1163%
1905 John 5.6261% Mary 5.1850%
1906 John 5.7360% Mary 5.2227%
1907 John 5.6643% Mary 5.2102%
1908 John 5.6151% Mary 5.2651%
1909 John 5.4229% Mary 5.2320%
1910 John 5.4915% Mary 5.4462%
1911 John 5.5704% Mary 5.5203%
1912 John 5.4462% Mary 5.5058%
1913 John 5.4688% Mary 5.5953%
1914 John 5.5531% Mary 5.6927%
1915 John 5.4008% Mary 5.6830%
1916 John 5.4205% Mary 5.6585%
1917 John 5.4052% Mary 5.7207%
1918 John 5.3929% Mary 5.6034%
1919 John 5.2721% Mary 5.6047%
1920 John 5.1699% Mary 5.7055%
1921 John 5.1173% Mary 5.7817%
1922 John 5.0888% Mary 5.7851%
1923 John 5.0754% Mary 5.7196%
1924 Robert 5.2006% Mary 5.6738%
1925 Robert 5.2897% Mary 5.5901%
1926 Robert 5.3353% Mary 5.5149%
1927 Robert 5.3082% Mary 5.7122%
1928 Robert 5.3175% Mary 5.5940%
1929 Robert 5.4012% Mary 5.4867%
1930 Robert 5.5016% Mary 5.4990%
1931 Robert 5.6590% Mary 5.4646%
1932 Robert 5.5158% Mary 5.4122%
1933 Robert 5.3145% Mary 5.3058%
1934 Robert 5.2593% Mary 5.2590%
1935 Robert 5.2856% Mary 5.0681%
1936 Robert 5.4963% Mary 5.0458%
1937 Robert 5.6539% Mary 5.0506%
1938 Robert 5.4806% Mary 4.9246%
1939 Robert 5.2635% Mary 4.8419%
1940 James 5.2667% Mary 4.7582%
1941 James 5.3185% Mary 4.6577%
1942 James 5.4808% Mary 4.5487%
1943 James 5.5183% Mary 4.6105%
1944 James 5.5402% Mary 4.5719%
1945 James 5.4288% Mary 4.4042%
1946 James 5.2990% Mary 4.1829%
1947 James 5.1009% Linda 5.4838%
1948 James 4.9702% Linda 5.5205%
1949 James 4.8213% Linda 5.1845%
1950 James 4.7384% Linda 4.5729%
1951 James 4.5656% Linda 4.0038%
1952 James 4.4113% Linda 3.5264%
1953 Robert 4.3065% Mary 3.3359%
1954 Michael 4.2795% Mary 3.4156%
1955 Michael 4.2272% Mary 3.1514%
1956 Michael 4.2254% Mary 2.9986%
1957 Michael 4.2380% Mary 2.9128%
1958 Michael 4.2036% Mary 2.7043%
1959 Michael 3.9369% Mary 2.6210%
1960 David 3.9670% Mary 2.4748%
1961 Michael 4.0319% Mary 2.2958%
1962 Michael 4.0451% Lisa 2.2737%
1963 Michael 4.0571% Lisa 2.8190%
1964 Michael 4.0774% Lisa 2.7733%
1965 Michael 4.2761% Lisa 3.2981%
1966 Michael 4.4009% Lisa 3.2421%
1967 Michael 4.6323% Lisa 3.0544%
1968 Michael 4.6179% Lisa 2.8975%
1969 Michael 4.6559% Lisa 2.5550%
1970 Michael 4.4766% Jennifer 2.5199%
1971 Michael 4.2678% Jennifer 3.2409%
1972 Michael 4.2647% Jennifer 3.9446%
1973 Michael 4.2039% Jennifer 4.0192%
1974 Michael 4.1443% Jennifer 4.0297%
1975 Michael 4.2181% Jennifer 3.7283%
1976 Michael 4.1012% Jennifer 3.7841%
1977 Michael 3.9549% Jennifer 3.5851%
1978 Michael 3.9299% Jennifer 3.4263%
1979 Michael 3.7808% Jennifer 3.2920%
1980 Michael 3.7032% Jennifer 3.2804%
1981 Michael 3.6928% Jennifer 3.1906%
1982 Michael 3.6151% Jennifer 3.1492%
1983 Michael 3.6506% Jennifer 3.0377%
1984 Michael 3.6108% Jennifer 2.8051%
1985 Michael 3.3742% Jessica 2.6200%
1986 Michael 3.3424% Jessica 2.8551%
1987 Michael 3.2651% Jessica 2.9886%
1988 Michael 3.2043% Jessica 2.6811%
1989 Michael 3.1210% Jessica 2.4045%
1990 Michael 3.0351% Jessica 2.2627%
1991 Michael 2.8687% Ashley 2.1393%
1992 Michael 2.5916% Ashley 1.9188%
1993 Michael 2.4003% Jessica 1.7750%
1994 Michael 2.1825% Jessica 1.6481%
1995 Michael 2.0596% Jessica 1.4546%
1996 Michael 1.9155% Emily 1.3124%
1997 Michael 1.8804% Emily 1.3484%
1998 Michael 1.8066% Emily 1.3512%
1999 Jacob 1.7346% Emily 1.3639%
2000 Jacob 1.6516% Emily 1.3015%
2001 Jacob 1.5736% Emily 1.2657%
2002 Jacob 1.4797% Emily 1.2394%
2003 Jacob 1.4104% Emily 1.2813%
2004 Jacob 1.3201% Emily 1.2415%
2005 Jacob 1.2148% Emily 1.1803%
2006 Jacob 1.1334% Emily 1.0244%
2007 Jacob 1.0962% Emily 0.9150%
2008 Jacob 1.0363% Emma 0.9040%
2009 Jacob 0.9981% Isabella 1.1021%
2010 Jacob 1.0770% Isabella 1.1698%
2011 Jacob 1.0024% Sophia 1.1293%
2012 Jacob 0.9404% Sophia 1.1531%
2013 Noah 0.9043% Sophia 1.1039%

While starting out as less so, the boy names used are becoming more and more diverse. Only nine out of every 1,000 boys was named Noah in 2013, which is why we were surprised to hear it is #1.

The popularity of Isabella and Sophia have made it not as various on the girls side, after Emma took over with a "low" percentage in 2008, but there is still a general movement away from top names.

Another way to make the point...

1 Noah 0.9043% Sophia 1.1039%
2 Liam 0.8999% Emma 1.0888%
3 Jacob 0.8986% Olivia 0.9562%
4 Mason 0.8793% Isabella 0.9161%
5 William 0.8246% Ava 0.7924%
6 Ethan 0.8062% Mia 0.6844%
7 Michael 0.7681% Emily 0.6832%
8 Alexander 0.7384% Abigail 0.6449%
9 Jayden 0.7326% Madison 0.5515%
10 Daniel 0.7068% Elizabeth 0.4895%
8.1588% 7.9109%

The total percentages of use of the Top 10 boys and girls in 2013 are almost the exact same percentages of use of 1880's #1s John and Mary alone.

Yay for numbers! And yay for variety!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

THE Most Popular Names Ever (Since 1880)


Ever wonder which name has been given the most overall? Ummm... I did yesterday. ;) To satisfy my curiosity on the matter, I totaled the raw numbers of the top names since the data has been collected (1880). By top names, I include all the #1 names, the names that have always been in the Top 100, the names that have almost always been in the Top 100, and other names that I thought would have a big total (names that, at their height, were above 2% in usage). So, take note that these lists are not complete and there may be other names that fit in between. But what I have gathered is pretty interesting!

Symbols:
* Has been #1
+ Has been in Top 100 every year since 1880

GIRLS
Mary* 4112231
Elizabeth+ 1591239
Patricia 1570091
Jennifer* 1461125
Linda* 1450258
Barbara 1432454
Margaret 1237972
Susan 1120028
Dorothy 1105244
Sarah 1055682
Jessica* 1038686
Helen 1015038
Betty 998601
Lisa* 963508
Anna 867903
Ashley* 831067
Ruth 818934
Carol 815573
Emily* 795955
Amanda 780639
Deborah 738854
Shirley 684422
Amy 682371
Katherine 621623
Emma* 572797
Debra 560043
Sophia* 268598
Isabella* 257611

Mary at #1 is no surprise, but the amount of Marys in comparison to the rest of the names might be. Elizabeth is #2, even though she has never ranked #1. She is, however, the only girl name that has been in the Top 100 every year since 1880. But what about Patricia!? She never ranked higher than #3 in the SSA rankings and hasn't been consistently near the top the entire 134 years, but still comes in at #3. Jennifer at #4 is pretty astounding considering the name wasn't even used until 1916. Ashley also wasn't consistently given until the 1940s. And am I the only one shocked that Katherine is so low? She has been in the Top 100 since 1880 save only a few years, however is a constant without ever making it big.

BOYS
James*+ 5090707
John*+ 5073505
Robert*+ 4789390
Michael*+ 4293031
William+ 4038015
David*+ 3564806
Joseph+ 2557478
Richard 2552110
Charles+ 2356638
Thomas+ 2275664
Christopher 1984039
Daniel+ 1854313
Matthew 1539934
George 1451300
Donald 1408009
Anthony 1391262
Mark 1341435
Edward 1278445
Andrew+ 1244448
Brian 1155323
Ronald 1074791
Jason 1008848
Frank 906308
Jacob* 858101
Samuel+ 706532
Henry 638295
Harry 419412
Noah* 298307

I was shocked to see James ahead of John! They have both been at the top pretty consistently, but I guess John has fallen slightly harder than James. Quite frankly, this entire list is a bit astonishing. The boys have a lot of names that have been in the Top 100 every year since 1880, but you see Richard well ahead several of those names (Richard was firmly in the Top 100 until it fell out after 2007). Brian is relatively high considering it wasn't even given in the United States until 1900, and Samuel is another constant name that just never spiked.

All of this is also more proof that parents are choosing a more variety of names nowadays; #1 names are not as widely used currently as they were in the past. And if you compare the girls numbers with the boys numbers, it also shows that parents are much more willing go with a different name for their daughter than for their son.

What do you think? Anything particular surprise you?

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2013 Playground Analysis


My playground analysis for 2013 is now on Nameberry! No change on top for the girls, but while the SSA #1 and #2 for boys changed drastically, this analysis shows no difference from last year. Make sure to check out the "real" Top 50!

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Friday, May 9, 2014

New to Top 100



The 2013 Popular Baby Names list is out! My quick analysis...

Names completely new to the Top 100:

Mila
Paisley
Penelope

Camden
Jase
Jaxson
Lincoln

Returning to the Top 100 after a few to many years of absence:

Nicole (out since 2008)
Nora (out since 1906)
Ruby (out since 1946)
Sadie (out since 1911)

Dropped out of the Top 100:

Andrea
Bailey
Jasmine
Kimberly
Molly
Reagan
Trinity

Alex
Bryson
Carlos
Ryder
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Shortest Names Found in the Top 100

Inch worm
Image by Vincent Tsai via Flickr

Last week, I highlighted the names in the Top 100 (historically) with the most letters. Today, I will list the shorter names...

Believe it or not, there have been two-letter names in the Top 100. For girls, Jo was in the Top 100 from 1933-1958 and for boys, Ed ranked from 1880-1898 and again in 1900. As for three-letter names, there have been several...

Ada
Amy
Ann
Ava
Eva
Ida
Kay
Kim
Mae
May
Mia
Mya
Sue
Zoe

Ben
Bob
Dan
Don
Eli
Guy
Ian
Ira
Jay
Jim
Joe
Jon
Kim
Lee
Leo
Max
Ray
Roy
Sam
Tim
Tom

So, it turns out that "very short" names (those with 2 or 3 letters) are more rare on top than the longest names... on the girls side. Out of the 466 girl names that have been in the Top 100 since 1880, only 15 of them have been "very short" names (3%). However, on the boys side, there are slightly more "very short" names as there are "long"... out of the 352 boy names in the Top 100 since 1880, 22 of them have been "very short" names (6%).

Do you have a favorite short name? Has it ever made the Top 100?

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