Vol. 57 No. 1 (2009)
Research Article

Increased Competition and Reduced Popularity: US Given Name Trends of the Twentieth and Early Twenty-First Centuries

Published 2009-03-01





In this paper, I identify changes in the naming of children in the US from 1880 to 2006. I identify the frequencies of the most popular given names in this period, and provide graphs of the male and female populations by names ranked in order of popularity, together with graphs showing the cumulative percentage populations for name rank for both the twentieth century and the first six years of the current century. It seems that parents are increasingly and deliberately avoiding selecting known popular names for their children, resulting in a decline in the absolute population share of these names. The irony of this is that there is hot competition within the top echelon, which comprises the population previously held by the single most popular given name.


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