Sunday, May 8, 2016

TOP 20 NAMES OF 2015

Many thanks to the Social Security Administration for giving us this data.

The top 20 names are:

Popularity in 2015
RankMale nameFemale name
1NoahEmma
2LiamOlivia
3MasonSophia
4JacobAva
5WilliamIsabella
6EthanMia
7JamesAbigail
8AlexanderEmily
9MichaelCharlotte
10BenjaminHarper
11ElijahMadison
12DanielAmelia
13AidenElizabeth
14LoganSofia
15MatthewEvelyn
16LucasAvery
17JacksonChloe
18DavidElla
19OliverGrace
20JaydenVictoria

For comparison, here are the top 20 names of 2014:

Popularity in 2014
RankMale nameFemale name
1NoahEmma
2LiamOlivia
3MasonSophia
4JacobIsabella
5WilliamAva
6EthanMia
7MichaelEmily
8AlexanderAbigail
9JamesMadison
10DanielCharlotte
11ElijahHarper
12BenjaminSofia
13LoganAvery
14AidenElizabeth
15JaydenAmelia
16MatthewEvelyn
17JacksonElla
18DavidChloe
19LucasVictoria
20JosephAubrey

The biggest changes are that Joseph and Aubrey dropped out of the top 20 names this year and Oliver and Grace both entered the top 20 at 19, plus the changes with the top 10... Harper and Benjamin rising and Madison and Daniel dropping into the bottom half of the top 20. The other big change was that Jayden dropped 5 places, from 15 to 20

I thought it might also be nice to consider the longterm history of these names. Emma, for instance, has been number 1 for 2 straight years in a row. She may have been that popular in the 1800s. but the SSA data does not go back any further than 1880, when she was ranked 3rd, after Mary and Anna. Victoria, at the bottom of the list, has spent 2 straight years in the top 20. Even though dropping to 20 from 19 may indicate she's on her way out of the top 20 names, the last time she was ranked this high for 2 years in a row, last year's high school seniors were brand-spankin' new in the hospital nursery.

On the boy's side, let's take a look at William, a perennial classic for, well, hundreds of years now. It has been ranked 5th since 2009, except for 1 year at #3 (in 2011). It has fallen as low as 20th, but it has never fallen lower than that. It was not this popular, though, for a long time, by which I mean, it was not in the top 5 names, from 1950 until '09. But before 1950 it was 4th for 2 1/2 decades, and #3 before that, and #2 before that, in fact, as far back as the SSA data goes. 

And Matthew. Though he's at 15 right now, his luck has varied somewhat, from being ranked 2nd in the mid-90s to 209 in 1931. He only entered the top 100 60 years ago in 1956, which surprised me a bit, as I thought Matthew had always been as popular as he was when I was growing up, which is about when he joined the top 10 names. Only since 2008 has he fallen out of the top ten. Matthew is one of my all-time favorite names, so I hope he stops dropping and climbs right back up on top. He's never been #1 and I think it's high time he was!

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