The Top Baby Names of the Decade Revealed!
In my top secret Baby Name Cave, I've been crunching numbers, calculating formulas, and mixing potions. At last, I emerge with the revelation all of America has been waiting for, the top baby names of the 2000s decade! And the names were...umm...Emily and Jacob, the names that ranked #1 year after year after year. Obviously.
With Jacob in particular on a decade-long run, how could it be otherwise? Yet I felt compelled to bang the gong on this subject after reading a series of news reports with names like Aiden, Emma and Madeline crowned champions of the decade.
As usual, the problem is that reporters take a company's press release about the top names of its customers at face value. In one particularly egregious example, Reuters ran a whole story reporting name stats based on a press release of a personalized gift company. If you read the company's release carefully, they never even claimed the stats were about BABY names -- just the names that their customers chose to be printed on custom CDs.
So here are the facts. Even without knowing the 2009 numbers, I can report authoritatively that Jacob and Emily were the top names of the decade. They would win the honor easily, even if zero Jacobs and Emilys were born in 2009. What's more, Emma -- the top name of 2008 -- isn't even #2 for the decade.
The key to understanding the decade-long stats is that the top of the curve has continued to drop as parents try to avoid popular names.
What Emma won in 2008 was a war of attrition. The number of Emmas born that year was down significantly from the name's peak, and would only have been enough to rank the name #4 back in 2000. Meanwhile Madison never reached the #1 spot, but hung around at #2-3 long enough in the earlier "fat" years to earn the second overall spot for the decade. Michael has been the steady #2 for boys.
It's too early to predict the name champions of the 2010s, but one forecast looks solid: whatever they are, they'll be less popular than Jacob and Emily were this decade, and an afterthought compared to the once-upon-a-time heights of John and Mary.
p.s. I'm still looking for name-locked parents to participate in a video project, pass it on!