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July 10, 2008

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Guy Davis

For true long tail stats on baby names you need to go outside the US which only records the top 100 in each state and the top 1000 nation-wide. Some regions such as Scotland and Alberta, Canada record the name of every baby born so even names used only once in a year show up on the list. This map of popular baby names is a neat way of viewing this data.

DAvid Goldenberg

Hey Chris
In an article a couple of years ago, we broke down a few more baby name numbers and showed how the name tail keeps on growing...
http://www.gelfmagazine.com/gelflog/archives/keeping_up_with_the_jacobs.php

Here's the relevant data:
2005
Most Popular Boy Name
Jacob (1.2%)
Most Popular Girl Name
Emily (1.2%)
Percentage of Boys given a Top 100 Name: 48.0%
Percentage of Girls given a Top 100 Name: 34.2%

1985
Most Popular Boy Name
Michael (3.4%)
Most Popular Girl Name
Jessica (2.6%)
Percentage of Boys given a Top 100 Name: 67.1%
Percentage of Girls given a Top 100 Name: 51.6%

1965
Most Popular Boy Name
Michael (4.3%)
Most Popular Girl Name
Lisa (3.3%)
Percentage of Boys given a Top 100 Name: 72.7%
Percentage of Girls given a Top 100 Name: 57.9%

1945
Most Popular Boy Name
James (5.4%)
Most Popular Girl Name
Mary (4.4%)
Percentage of Boys given a Top 100 Name: 75.4%
Percentage of Girls given a Top 100 Name: 65.8%

Thought your readers might be interested
Thanks
David Goldenberg
www.gelfmagazine.com

Oscar

i read an U.S name guide o 1994, where they made a ranking of the names...
i remember that the "worst" male name was "René" and the best girl name was "Brittany"

interesting...

Nathan Zeldes

I recall that the French took an active approach to this matter by simply truncating the tail - not sure they're still doing it today, but until recently they had this law that mandated baby names must be chosen from a rather short list of "properly French" names. I'd be interesting in the data for that country...

Douglas Galbi

The flattening of the given name popularity distribution has been ongoing for about two-hundred years.

Jason Armstrong

The tail would be truncated in the States too, but for the relatively recent top-down, media-driven taboo against personal name criticism. It functions like a personal name subsidy, flooding the market with so many handles that a signal, the one where parents indicate what values they wish to instill in their children, is scrambled, and their message is lost. Yes! The only ones who have any business inculcating values in children are the state, the child's peers, the child's teachers, and any other stranger with whom the child is legally allowed contact.

Jordan Deatherage

I have long loved this fun tool! What I especially like is seeing how tv shows and movies may have influenced name popularity: check out Ariel, Ursula, and Emma (Rachel's baby on Friends).

HL

I'd like to know how many baby names appear in baby name books each year and if that number fluctuates or has any influence on the concentration of popular baby names. Or if online baby name tools becoming more popular (or coming into existence) have some sort of influence on helping people choose a more diverse set of names in the past few years.

Baby Girl Names

i think it's one of the best programs to check the popularity of the names.

Sergiy Grynko

New Zealand is also truncating the tail: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7522952.stm

But in those cases, it's for a very good reason, and I don't think they're truncating enough. Apparently, the name "Number 16 Bus Shelter" survived a legal challenge. Geez.

Sergiy Grynko

New Zealand is also truncating the tail: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7522952.stm

But in those cases, it's for a very good reason, and I don't think they're truncating enough. Apparently, the name "Number 16 Bus Shelter" survived a legal challenge. Geez.

baby bows

I have a question for all this top baby names listings.
Are all names from around the world being considered?

komik nickler

I have long loved this tool.

pet names

Yes I agree eith this one, thanks.

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Tidbits

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

FREE was available in all digital forms--ebook, web book, and audiobook--for free shortly after the hardcover was published on July 7th. The ebook and web book were free for a limited time and limited to certain geographic regions as determined by each national publisher; the unabridged MP3 audiobook (get zip file here) will remain free forever, available in all regions.

Order the hardcover now!