Friday, March 8, 2013

Names Over Three Generations


If you follow me on Facebook, you have already seen this graphic. It's a captivating look at how popular names have changed over three generations in England and Wales. How would a similar graphic look using the 15 most popular names in the United States in 1944, 1974, and 2004? Unfortunately, I cannot make a cool graphic like the one above without taking a class, so instead I will just write it out.

Names that Cross All Three Generations (1944, 1974, and 2004)
David
Joseph
Michael
William

Names that Cross 1944 and 1974
James
John
Robert
Mary

Names that Cross 1974 and 2004
Christopher
Daniel
Matthew
Elizabeth

Names Only in the Top 15 in 1944
Charles
Donald
Gary
George
Larry
Richard
Ronald
Thomas
Barbara
Betty
Carol
Carolyn
Judith
Judy
Linda
Margaret
Nancy
Patricia
Sandra
Sharon
Shirley
Susan

Names Only in the Top 15 in 1974
Brian
Eric
Jason
Jeffrey
Kevin
Amy
Angela
Christina
Heather
Jennifer
Julie
Kimberly
Lisa
Melissa
Michelle
Nicole
Rebecca
Stephanie

Names Only in the Top 15 in 2004
Alexander
Andrew
Anthony
Ethan
Jacob
Joshua
Nicholas
Ryan
Abigail
Alexis
Alyssa
Ashley
Emily
Emma
Grace
Hannah
Isabella
Madison
Olivia
Samantha
Sarah
Sophia

Believe me, I know this would look a whole lot more impressive in a cool graphic, but alas.

In comparison to the Guardian study, top names in the US have slightly more staying power than top names in England and Wales. Only James was present in all three generations in England and Wales, while four names hold that honor in the US. All of them are boy names. Six more boy names cross over two generations, compared to two boy names in England and Wales. As for the girls, no girl name crosses all three generations in both England and Wales and the United States. Less drastically, but not by much, there are two girl names in the United States that cross generations. All other names are unique to their generation's Top 15.

It is fascinating to see how generations claim their own names. We can all wonder (or guess) what names will be in the Top 15 in 2034.

Photobucket

1 comment:

  1. This is fascinating. I looked at the original graphic, not realizing it was for the U.K. at first. I thought, "Wait Amy and Emma are supposed to be switched!" And, "Colin is supposed to be in the blue (2004) circle. What's it doing in the red (1945) circle?"

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