Regional Outlier Names

Although we here are aware of the regionality of names, I thought it was nice to see that phenomenon getting some wider recognition--and some nice visuals too!. This blogger tracked the most regionally popular names of each decade and then offers state-by-state maps to demonstrate their popularity. Thought people here would enjoy!


November 22, 2013 3:45 AM

Thanks for posting.  The name Alexis for boys in 2000 jumped out at me.  

November 22, 2013 8:38 AM

Wow. That's fascinating. I'm tempted to draw a parallel between Ohio's lack of outlier names and its perennial status as a political swing state, but I'm afraid that after the night I had, my attempts to be coherent would fall flat. I'll leave that to someone with a clearer head.

November 22, 2013 10:55 AM

An interesting pattern I saw is how in the past the South had a lot of names that were outmoded for the time still fairly popular - for example Emma in 1950 and Dorothy/Ruby in 1960 (as the maps showed). From when I played around with NameMapper myself I noticed the same with Charles and Henry (for example) on the boy's side in the 1960s. Today this pattern is probably masked by the fact that it's now many high-immigrant areas that are most prone to stick with names that are considered dated, although you'll still see now that Mary is quite a bit more popular in many Southern states than elsewhere. My hypothesis is that the South is big on honoring people and naming after family members, so names like these continue to be recycled there (strangely enough that may also explain how many "gone girl elsewhere" names continue to be semi-popular for boys there).

November 22, 2013 4:33 PM

I found the whole thing fascinating. To me, one of the most fascinating things was how little WA state was affected by the whole thing. We tend to have a large variety of names at all times so that even our name spikes are shallow compared to other place. Obviously, Ohio being even less innundated with outlier names, but is that because they have wide variety or do they "play it safe" with names?