Sunday, September 22, 2013

There Really Was Something About Mary

As a popular baby name for girls.

The Popularity of "Isabella". (Petty Annoyances, 5/7/2010)

Excerpt:  Most baby names hover at a consistent popularity. A quick tour through the Social Security baby names website reveals that Emily sat in the top spot from 1996 to 2007. Before that, Jessica and Jennifer enjoyed similar long stays at #1.

Retiring Guy's Comment.  A more thorough tour of the Social Security baby names website reveals that girls' names don't have the legs of boys' names.

Here's a table that shows the top 10 most popular boys and girls baby names in 1949, the year that Retiring Guy was born, and their current rank as determined by the Social Security Administration.

Note that 2 of the boys' names, William and Michael, are still in top 10.  Two others, James and David, remain in the top 20.  All but two of the names are in the top 100.

Compare this to the girls' names 63 years later, Mary is the best performer -- at #123. Otherwise, none of the names is in the top 600, and Carol is perilously close to falling off the chart.

How many boys' names have held the top spot?

Although David spent just one year at #1, it has never ranked below #33 since 1880.  It spent 57 consecutive years in the top 10 (1936-1992) and 85 consecutive years, and counting, in the top 20 (1928-2012).  It currently ranks 19th.

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