Getting Kreative

Click to enlarge.

In a previous post, I talked about how common names today are not as popular as the popular names decades ago.  Names like Mary, John, James and Linda were huge during their prime time and could account for as high as 8% of all names that year. Popular names today often only account for 1-3% of all baby names. The chart above shows the distinct number of baby names given out each year since 1880*. If you go to this post, you can see how many babies were born each year for reference. About the same number of babies were born in 1961 and 2013, so obviously from the above graph you can see that there are way more names given out these days- about triple the number between the 1950s and 2000s despite there not being more babies born. Parents want their kids to have more unique names, either by picking something they’ve never heard before or coming up with a new spelling. Like the name Ashley? Why not go with Ashleigh so they can stand out? People started doing things like substituting “ie” for “y” in names like Kellie, Bailie, and Haylie. The letters “ae” also work instead of “a” or “ay” like in Caeden and Kaelyn. I could go on and on…

It’s also interesting to note how the line goes downward in the last couple years. Did we hit a peak? I think there started to be a lot of talk and articles out there about goofy baby names and people started poking fun at them, making parents more cautious.

*Source is the Social Security Administration and only names that occur at least 5 times a year per gender are included in the data set.

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