Can You Spot Baby Name Trends? Join the Annual Baby Name Pool!

Apr 13th 2016


You know baby names. Even if you've never named a baby, or your babies are all grown up, you notice name trends changing. Maybe two different family friends have just named daughters Piper. Maybe the wave of Braydens you remember from a few years back has suddenly subsided. Or maybe, when you heard the name of newborn Princess Charlotte, you immediately thought "that name is going to be everywhere." Well, have I got the contest for you.

The annual BabyNameWizard Name Pool lets you pit your baby name acumen against the whole name-loving public. The game couldn't be simpler: just pick three names you think rose in popularity last year, and three you think fell. When the U.S. government releases its official 2015 name stats in May, I'll tally the results and announce the year's baby-naming champions.

If you haven't played before, you can read more details and check out the fastest rising (boys, girls) names of the previous year to get a sense of how name fashions operate. Then convince your friends and coworkers to enter and compete against you. This is an equal-opportunity contest, by the way -- we've had male and female winners.

All entries must be received by April 30, 2016.

Ready to go? Fill out your ballot now!

Comments

1
By Spam
April 18, 2016 1:57 AM

Do the names have to start and end in the top 1000 or do the rising names only have to end in the top 1000 (the 2015 stats that are released May 2016) and the falling names only start in the top 1000 (from the 2014 stats)?

Also, why does the top 1000 link take us to the 2013 list?  Shouldn't we be using the 2014 list?

2
April 19, 2016 9:08 AM

Good questions! Yes, to make sure we're looking at significant trends, all names should rank in the top 1000 for 2014 and/or 2015. (I've clarified the rules page.) And here are the current rankings:

http://www.babynamewizard.com/the-top-1000-baby-names-of-2014-united-states-of-america

3
April 19, 2016 3:28 PM

In the rules, you state "To even the playing field for popular and unpopular names, change will be calculated as a function of both absolute and percentage change." What formula will you use?

4
April 20, 2016 9:00 AM

The official Baby Name Wizard Hotness Formula is square root of the absolute change in frequency, times the percentage change. I.e.

(sqrt |2015N-2014N|) * (2015N-2014N)/2014N

Note that in calculating each Pool participant's final score the falling predictions are weighted, since rising totals are typically much higher. (A name can rise by vast percentages, but it can't fall by more than 100%.)

5
April 21, 2016 9:06 AM

Hi Laura, how exactly do you reweight the negative entries when tallying the final score for a given ballot?  Thanks!

 

6
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