#1 Girl Names Over Time

Nothing that we don't already know, but the animated map is quite entertaining. 



October 18, 2013 11:02 PM

That's kind of fun to see it by state though. :-)

October 19, 2013 10:30 AM

It would be interesting to see the same done with the boys. As has been observed on here before, while there is more variation with girls' names over time compared with the boys, in terms of variance between locations there tends to be more variety with the boys. Or to put it another way, while girls' names are more likely to be tied to a particular generation, boys' names are more likely to be correlated with a particular region. (I've seen this apply both within the U.S. and internationally.)

A practical use for what I mentioned is that if you're trying to avoid a "duplicate name" in your child's class, the state and regional stats are even more important for boys. Just as we tend to overestimate the popularity of names common when we were growing up and underestimate what is common now for babies, a name that seems common or uncommon nationally may be more or less so where you live (and vice versa). While both points apply for both genders, the former shows a more dramatic effect on the pink side and the latter on the blue side.

October 19, 2013 10:33 AM

P.S. Laura Wattenberg, I think the NameMapper could use some updates (I know you and your crew is busy, but it's just a thought). Whenever I run the Java application it gives me a security warning. In addition, as I've touched before, it hasn't been updated since the 2009 names came out and the scope could be extended with the extended state-by-state lists (now available back to 1910 and down to names with at least five uses per gender within each state).

October 20, 2013 11:55 PM


October 24, 2013 9:41 PM

There is now a similar map up for the boys. As I predicted, although there are only three different names that held the top spot nationally, there is more geographic variety (especially in the more recent years) than with the girls (with there being numerous cases of a state's #1 boy's name not even being in the Top 10 nationally, while it's rarer for that to happen on the girl's side).