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Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Social Security Statistics for 2010!

The new Social Security baby names update is here! The new update is here! Now things will start happening to us!

Today's discussion question: What happened this year to your kids' names, or to names you've been considering, or to any name you've been keeping an eye on for whatever the reason? (You don't have to say the actual names if you don't want to.)

Are you happy about it, or sad? It can go either way, I've found. There have been names I liked that seemed too uncommon to use, so then I was happy they went up. Or names I liked because they were A Little Different and then felt a little disappointed that everyone else felt the same way. Or names I was happy to see dip down a bit, because it meant they probably weren't headed for the Top 10 after all. Or names I was sorry to see go down because it meant that other people weren't liking my child's name as much as they used to. And so on.

Of my kids' non-pseudonym names:

One boy name is plummeting, which is a little disappointing. I like common names for boys, so I'm sorry it went up to where I liked it, and then dropped out of that range as if people are thinking they're sick of it.

The other four names stayed about the same. But what I was worried about with one of the boy names is that it would go up for GIRLS, because there have been many predictions that it would---or people saying it was used almost as much for girls as for boys, or that they hear it all the time for girls, or that they think of it as a girl name. Perceptions/claims are one thing, statistics are another: it's still barely used for girls, and going down, while continuing to be common for boys.

50 comments:

Lucy said...

Uh-oh. Huge jump for my daughter's name, Eloise. She was born last year and it went from 913 to 530! Hoping it doesn't continue the upward trend, but thinking it might. My other daughter, Greta, is holding pretty steady in the 600s.

Anonymous said...

A cut and paste from the email (along w/ the link to the names) I received from my baby sis this morning "Am I concerned that William is #5? Yes, yes I am." Poor girl, she is 26 and has had this future son named since she was 11. She has been consistent w/ her top boy name. Now, it is a top 10. Decisions, decisions!

I wondered what the William ranking was from January 2010-October 2010 (pre-Royal Engagement) vs. November and December 2010. Also I wonder if Catherine will rise and specifically Catherine w/a "C".

-ma

Happy Baby Name Update Day to you, Swistle

melissa.cureton said...

When we selected our daughter's name (born 2/4/10), it was not in the top 1000 for any year in the past 100 years. A mis-entry in the site now makes me realize HER name was in the 800-900 range in 1900-1911 for BOYS.

I am a bit stunned as I ususally hate boy names for girls (Have recently encounted Scott, Johnny (spelled that way), Eliot, and Michael - all young girls).

Funny, huh?

kinsey said...

i'm bummed! i'm having a baby in the next two months and we love the name stella, but it moved up from 126 to 85. i'm DESPERATE to find something we love that much that isn't so popular!!!

karintha said...

Yay! My baby girl's name is surprisingly unusual, according to the website:

Afton is not in the top 1000 names for any year of birth in the last 11 years.

Little Afton Rhys will be correcting folks who try to call her Ashton all the time, but she won't share her name with anyone, I don't think =D

Leah said...

I'm pleased that my Dorothy is still uncommon, still hoping that the Jonas Bros. break up asap so my Jonas doesn't end up traumatized by them, and irritated that my Lillian (which I knew was popular but it was a family name so we used it eyes wide open that it was common) has gone up AGAIN.

Kacie said...

My daughter Vivienne (born Dec. 2010) went up a little from 531 in 2009 to 428 in 2010. Wasn't even on the charts in '08! Seems like a pretty big jump in a year, but that's fine. For the record, I loved that name before the Jolie-Pitt twins were born, and I decided we'd still use it because why should she have all the fun? :)

"Vivian" went up a little and is 158 for the year.

My son Jonathan was born in 2008 and it's hovering around the same spot, 28 for 2010.

Trina said...

My daughter Hannah (born 2005) went down to 22. But!! I am here to tell your readers and freaking out parents to be, I had NO CLUE that Hannah was #5 the year before she was born and #7 the year she was born. Swistle always says that popularity doesn't mean there will be a lot kids with the same name around. Hannah has never had another Hannah (or any other variation of the spelling) in any class/group she has ever been in. So we are proof that you can have a very popular name and be the only one around.
My son Rocco (born 2008) his name is still in the top 1000 but hanging around #380(ish).

Jenny Grace said...

Gabriel is still at 21. Up from 24. The year I named him, it was 28 (and it had a three year run there). So I think it's pretty set there.

If I knew a lot of Gabriels in my area, I would be displeased by the popularity, but it happens that I don't, so I'm not. I'm a Jennifer, and touchy about name (over) popularity as a result.

Josie said...

My favorite girl's name (Daphne) has been hovering steady between the low 600's & the High 400's for the past 10 years....just where I'd like it! No big rises or falls.

Callum, my favorite boy's name is hanging around the bottom (mid 900's) for the US anyway, it seems to be a bit more popular up here in Canada (in BC anyway)

M.Amanda said...

The boy name my husband has been in love with for more than ten years is still climbing steadily. If our next child is a boy, I won't be able to talk him out of that name and it will irritate me to no end if we end up hearing all the time, "oh, I know another boy (or two boys) with that name."

Sarah said...

My kids are Thomas, Anna, and Henry. Thomas has been declining a little bit, Anna seems to be holding pretty steady, and Henry continues his slow climb. It's pretty much what I expected, though I am a little surprised that Thomas is dipping a bit.

I'm just fine with all this, though I'll be nervous if Henry makes a huge spike and then declines sharply. Gradual motion over decades is just fine with me!

Anonymous said...

My current favorite, Ada, rose twenty spots to 552, but that's still nowhere near too common in my book. I, seemingly like the rest of the United States, have fallen in love with older-sounding names like Ava, Evelyn, and the like. Luckily for me, it seems Ada still might be a bit too "grandma" for other people's tastes!

I died a little inside when I saw that my favorite boy's name, Theo, finally hit the top 1000. It hasn't been this popular since 1945! I guess I shouldn't be too upset, though, since my husband flat-out refuses to name his son Theo.

Melissa E said...

My son's name, James (born 2003) went from 19-18. It's been holding steady for the past 10 years. Also, we know of one other James in his entire school.

I'm pregnant and due in September, and our girl's name, Audrey, went from 49-52. But our boy's name, Miles? It saw a pretty good jump from 162 to 137. :(

Anonymous said...

I have a 7 week old who we had thought we'd name Archer. Right towards the end of my pregnancy though I got this feeling that it was going to be much more popular than my other son's names and I'm quite sure my family thought I was weird for not naming a baby based on something I thought might happen. Well Archer went from not being in the top 1000 in 2008 to 550 in 2010. I'm glad I didn't go that route!
My other two boys and my newest little ones nickname went from not being in the top 1000 in 2009 to being in the 800-900 range...bummer.

Annika said...

Sam's name (Samuel) has been in the 20s for at least a decade (that's as far as I checked) and is still there. Grace has been in the teens for at least a decade and is still there.

J said...

My son's name, Mason, rose considerably from 35 in 2008 when he was born, 34 last year and now 12!! I've been hearing it a bit more so I thought it may be more popular. I was comfortable with a name in the mid 30's but not almost a top 10! It suits him so well though. :)
A name we are considering for our second boy (due in July) seems to be rising steadily as well from 84last year to 76 this year.

StephLove said...

My son's name (Noah) was #28 when he was born in '01 and is now #7, up two spots this time around. Luckily, I really don't mind. He's never had a Noah in his class, though we've known a few others.

My daughter's name (June) was not in the Top 1000 when she was born in '06. It made its appearance in '08 in the 800s, then it was in the 600s in '09 and is up to # 597. Both the kids' names were chosen for sentimental reasons, thus the wide diversity in popularity. I love the meaning behind them for us but I do feel a little twinge about my daughter's name being less and less unique. (There's even another little June down the street from us). No regrets, though. I can't imagine them named anything else.

Marla said...

My future kids names are shooting up the charts making me very annoyed.

Quinn (my husband's middle name) went from 487 to 253. It's still not super popular, but that's a big jump. If we ever have a boy, I am sure we will still use it because it is a family name.

Luckily, my other favorite boy name, Theodore, went from 294 to 276 to 263 in the last three years. I like the slow shift...

My favorite girls name Lillie Elizabeth, after my great grandmother Billie Elizabeth, is really bothering me. I mean, Lily is 17th, Lilly is 107, and Lillie is 453. Does that make it as bad as Aden/Ayden/Adyn? Ugh. Even if it's super popular, it doesn't seem trendy to me though. Plus, it feels like a family name to me and I love it. If I had a baby girl tomorrow, I would probably still use the name, but it would stress me out.

My other favorite girl name, Coral, isn't even in the top 1000 names. Yay. :)

Ms. Key said...

I wonder if it really matters for those who have children named certain names, that the name goes up on NEW BABIES in 2010... as far as "oh no, now my child's name is TOO popular".

I always find that for the most part, my name ends up compared to my own peer group (babies born in 1985 like me). That's when names seem to matter, in the school classroom which is done by birth year.

I hardly think it matters much if a name rises, but your child is already four years old, and it became a top ten name on NEW BABIES now.

I just don't think it matters that much for kids who are older, to be worried that their name is "too popular" on new babies. It isn't their peer group, they'll rarely really be placed in life with a ton of others with their name unless they WERE born the same year (and even then, you've seem Swistle's math about how popular names really are, regardless of their ranking).

Just the way I view it. But I know some stuff bugs people in different ways. :-)

(Also, I'm a popularly named person who would name my kids a top ten name in an instant, so I think I have a particular perspective; I *like* that everyone can spell and recognize my name, and I've never cared that my best friend and I have the very same name -- in fact, we love it!)

Diana said...

First off, I just wanted to say that when I head that on NPR this morning, I first thought how excited you would be! Which is weird, since I don't know you or anything. My older son's Irish, but easily pronounceable, name has never been in the top 1000 and still isn't. My second son's name is Brendan and is falling slowly in the 200's after a high in 1990 of about 100. I have recently begun the hankering for another baby, so now I have some new data to play with, yay!

Joanne said...

My son's name is Anthony (2005) and it's been in the top 20 for the last ten years, it's up to 10 from 11. I am from NJ but live in IN and I think all the people naming their sons Anthony live on the east coast, maybe, because I know a TON of Anthonys in NJ but none here. He has never been in a class with another Anthony or anything. So it doesn't bother me, it's an old school name so I don't care. My daughters are Maria and Veronica and they are 86 and 295, respectively, both trending downward. I have to admit I was a little worried about Veronica, she was born in 2009 and it seemed like as soon as I chose the name I kept hearing it everywhere! I am having another this fall and I like Felicity for a girl, which is 764 so even if it FLIES up in popularity, it won't be super popular. I also like Alaina, which is 207 with a bullet. I am pretty safe, I think. It's funny, though - I have a 19 year old nephew named Parker and a 15 year old nephew named Aidan and both those names have been moving up, up, up since the year they were born. My SIL keeps saying in 70 years, they're going to be 'old man names', which I never think of.

Marcie said...

I don't have children yet, but all the girl names I was considering (that sound "normal" in a German speaking environment) are in the top 5. And I was somehow surprised that my own name (Andrea) is #80 in the US...

-R- said...

My son's name has remained in the 450-500 range for the last 10 years. And yet we just met another little boy his age in our neighborhood with the same name. It doesn't bother me- popularity isn't that important to me- but it does underscore your point that the ranking of a name doesn't always indicate whether he'll end up as one of three in his class or the only one in his whole school.

British American said...

That's fun that this is your question today, as the first thing I did with the new stats is to look up my own three children's names to see what they were doing:

Rose: rose slightly, but still 6 spots less popular than when we picked it in 2005.

Henry: rose slightly, as expected.

George: most interested in this one, as we just picked this for our 7 week old son. He dropped 1 place down - so still continuing the downward trend but only slowly. And I saw that that means 2344 baby Georges born in 2010, which still sounds like a lot. But maybe not so many when you compare to the 6330 Henrys born in 2010.

I also looked up Lucy, as that was to have been George's name, had he been a girl. Not surprised to see that one jump 26 spots into the top 100 at #75.

Also looked up another favorite of mine: Dorothy - am surprised that still isn't in the top 1000.

British American said...

Oh and I'm happy that George's name is headed downward and that Rose's name isn't spiking upward either. I'm fine with Henry's name sneaking up the charts too though.

Anonymous said...

I admit I don't usually look at lists at all - as evidence we named our oldest Emily and only later learned it was #1 that year (and has been in the top 10 for 20 years). Still doesn't bother me at all because she hasn't met many other Emily's and the name totally fits her. Though it helps her elementary is very international, to the point I don't know how to pronounce over half of the names!

We named our youngest April, which we loved and never bothered to check its ranking either. (She was born in June BTW!) I was very surprised to see April has been ranked higher than I would have thought. Not that 200 to 300s is high, but I have yet to meet any other little girls named April. Several adults though!

Giselle said...

Joanne-

I live in PA, just near the NJ border...and there are 3 Anthony's on my son's baseball team (my son was born in 2003)! Out of a team of 13!

So, yes, these numbers tell one thing...but you have to be really savvy about your regional trends. Just because a name is climbing in the ranks doesn't necessarily mean it is in your area. I say, pick a name you like and don't eliminate it just because it has been assigned a certain number!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how you would judge the popularity of a name in my situation? My son's name is Zain but we pronounce it like "Zen" and NOT like it rhymes with pain or train. So when I look up Zain (or Zane) I still feel like it's not really showing the true popularity for my son's name since his name is actually in some strange my-parents-can't-spell nebula between Zain (#784) and Zen (unlisted)

-Anonymous for now, since I'm divulging actual names and such.

Taylor R. said...

I have a William #5...its just a great name. Its always been great! I love it and am glad others do too.
I have an Annabel #628 so of course I added the # of babies named Annabelle, Annabel, Anabelle, and Anabel to find the "actual" ranking. The new ranking is 65! Also, all the spellings are increasing in popularity but Anabel, which stayed the same. The multiple spelling thing is a little annoying, but she typically goes by Annie so that's easy to spell!
And Henry. He's steadily climbing up there!
I'm happy with their names. I guess I'd rather Will not be so popular but I knew it was when I named him. I'm glad they won't feel like they have "weird" names, and I hope they won't feel their names are too trendy.

Swistle said...

Anon 1:52-- Oh, interesting, yes, that would be hard to figure out. Not sure it's even POSSIBLE to figure out! I wish there were more advanced forms on the S.S. site---like, I'd like to be able to search by state, too.

lifeofadoctorswife said...

I don't have kids but I loved looking at the names. Although it makes me feel critical toward parents who named their kids names that *I* think are weird or misspelled. And then I feel bad, because those parents obviously LOVED that name and chose it specially for their beloved child.

Also, my name is not in the top 1000. Which may be the reason no one seems to be able to spell it, even though *I* think it's easy to spell.

The Author said...

I'm frustrated to see the jump in popularity. When I named my little girl Isla last year nobody had heard of it and I'm still fighting people to say it right. BUt it is is jumping, fast, in just three years. Boston is a little less popular which makes me happy. But in general I feel bad that in my effort to give my kids less common names (I was one of seven of my name in just one class) I have given them fairly common names.

Fail.

Bird said...

Interesting. My daughter's name, Beatrice, moved up 20 spots but is still in the 800s. But it *feels* way more common because people are always telling me about another baby named Beatrice that they know. My son's name hasn't broken 1000 yet and probably never will. However, in our ethnic community its like John- every one knows it, no one uses it, still feels common. We almost named him Jacob but I was afraid it was too popular and I'm feeling pretty good about that decision.

Elizabeth said...

My first daughter's name (Adriana) has fallen from 115 the year she was born to 129. My second daughter's name (Lyra) still hasn't made the top 1000. Of course, we know another little Lyra born just 10 days after ours, and only one other Adriana.

Slim said...

One kid has a family name (as in last name first name). Never makes the top 1000. Shocker.

The other two have names that were more popular a hundred years ago. There have been some blips throughout the century, but they're definitely not common, and I'm thinking that if you're in the second 500, a move of 20-50 means not much in absolute terms. Like 2 or 3 babies more have it. Or less.

So I'm happy about that. People know how to pronounce my kids' names, but my kids don't have to use their last initials to distinguish themselves from their classmates. (I did. Sucked.)

Katie said...

Rebecca's name is at 137, down from 39 ten years ago. That is a big plummet. It makes me happy, though....because it is a classic name, obviously a girl, no weird spelling--that will take her from childhood to womanhood easily .

I'm not really religious, but I want biblical names for my kids...I guess I figure that is insurance against them going out of style.

Andrew, unfortunately, is number 14. That is way too high up the chart for my comfort level, but I had him named back in the 90s when I used to make out name lists in high school for my future children.... Just my all time favorite boy name. Also classic, good for boy or man, etc. But it is #7 overall in the last decade. So, that bothers me more than it should.....

My problem, really, is that i don't like either of my kids middle names. Rebecca's is a surname after someone in our family....rhymes with Henderson and Andrew's name is similar to the guy in the princess bride (don't want to type it out). It is from the place where his dad and I met. So that's kind of weird. I don't know. I wish I had named them Rebecca Grace and Andrew John. But....oh well. I'm happy with their first names!

Suzanne said...

Both my daughter's name (Caroline) and my son's name (Evan) dropped exactly one spot. Both are still in the top 100 most popular but not in the top 30 most popular. I'm totally OK with all of that. I like that they both fall in a similar area of popularity. It would be strange if one kid was named something SUPER common and the other something super UNcommon.

Caroline has actually been steadily declining (which BAFFLES me, it's such a great name! Classic! Elegant! There's a Neil Diamond song!) for the last 10 years so I think I picked the right time to use it.

Lynnette said...

My daughter's name, Juliana, seems to be holding steady from 157 in 2008 when she was born, to 145 in 2010. I don't care if it falls off the charts or shoots to #1 next year - I love her name. Giuliana, however, has climbed from 886 to 376 in that time. People have assumed we spell it with the Gi beginning, though that is the more complicated version, to my brain. I took a lot of Italian and sang opera, so the Gi spelling seems very Italian to me, and I am very not.

I have a very uncommon, though not obscure name that has never been in the top 100, and hasn't been in the top 1000 in a long time. Suits me fine. My husband Andrew has a quite common name that is very suitable for him, and he doesn't meet very many people with the same name.

Karen L said...

Adam is continuing its steady decline from its 1970s peak, but is still top 100. Naomi has arrived in the top 100, climbing about 10 spots per year for 20 years. Not a worrying rise, but still, I liked it better when it was out of the top 100.

Our (uhm, my) leading contender for number three, due in July, is still John, which is of course quite high (#26) but not deviating much from its very slow descent. I don't mind how high it is because I know that many of those Johns do not go by John, they're going by Jack or it's an unused family name.

Also, Swistle, the little bits you're divulging about your kid's names are tantalising. I have a guess for the boy name that is staying boy, despite rumours and predictions. But I don't think you want to play that game, so I'll keep it to myself.

Slim said...

OK, how many of us checked out the SSA's "Not in the top 1000" list? FamilyName name is not the rarest of the rare, but it is surrounded by names that had me raising my eyebrows. (Sometimes at the weirdness, sometimes because I was surprised a name wasn't more popular.)

Am becoming a baby name dork. I blame Swistle.

SM said...

Swistle, you can search names by state on the SS Web site. The link is on the lower left side.

Swistle said...

SM- What I'd like to be able to do is see a breakdown of names (Top 1000 and not), to see how many children were given the name in each state.

Katie S. said...

Oh my gosh, I have not read the whole post, or the new list, or even all the comments, because of the very first comment. MY 2010 daughter's name is Eloise, gosh darn it. It is the most perfectest of names and even though I have been telling everyone to go forth and name their children Eloise I didn't really want them to listen, because I wanted to keep it all to myself. Sigh. Oh well. I suppose I'm not the only one with such fabulous taste. :)

Erin said...

My children are Jonathan "Jono", Hazel, and Charles "Charlie". Both of my boys' names are popular and stable (top 100). Hazel is still slowly climbing, but remains relatively unpopular--mid 200s. I didn't choose my names based on popularity, and I have no strong feelings about their rankings. Their names are all very "them" though, they fit perfectly, so I'm happy. :D

Lauren said...

What a fun topic! We named my daughter Meara (pronounced Mee-ra like the Irish last name) in 2006 and it continues to not make the list. The more common spelling Mira is always in the 8-900's. I have been very happy with it because even though it's unusual it doesn't feel totally unfamiliar.

My son Colin has a popular name because I couldn't talk my husband into anything unusual for a boy. But they make a nice Gaelic sibling pair, Meara and Colin.

The Author said...

I searched the popularity of my kids' names by state on the baby name wizard. Which only made me more mad. Again, I tried to not name my kids something that was typical of our homestate, only to find out that the names I used are most popular in my homestate than anywhere else. So much for breaking out of the mold.

Swistle said...

The Author- I TOTALLY did that with one of my kids' names. I LIKE common boy names, but I thought I was giving him a name in the 40s---and in our home state it was top ten. TOP TEN. Top Ten is not the kiss of death, but I like to go into Top Ten with my EYES OPEN.

Abbe said...

Well, my daughter's name, Ellis, still isn't in the top 1000 for girls. My Ethan is still #2 (it was 89 the year he was born, but if I'd known to check the trend line, I would have known what the huge upward swing meant).

The most disturbing news is that according to the Baby Name Wizard Blog, my son Quinn's name is the second fastest riser for GIRLS. Yikes. It's pretty evenly balanced between boys and girls just now (girls 253/boys 276), but still, I can't say I'm pleased.

Nicole Trager said...

I look at this list like my life depends on it.. I am a Nicole born in '84 when it was #7 and had to grow up as Nicole A in every class, sport everything.. and i vowed never to give my children top 100 names.
Our current list is
Juliet: who climbed from 319 to 285 and I cringe every time it moves up but it is still in the not very popular range

Phoebe: who also climbed a few spots from 322 to 309 but only had around 1000 babies named, so again not too bad

Heath: has dropped from 682 to 763 which only represents 209 babies named Heath in 2010.. which makes me happy

Overall I am ok with the standings, I just hope Juliet never climbs into the top 100