Name trends

Boy-2012 copy Girl-2010 copy Girl-1973 copy Boy-1964 copyWell we made it. It's baby week! That is to say, little Baby B is due to be born THIS WEEK. On Friday, to be precise. If not before. I haven't divulged it online, but we already know the gender. AND we have already picked out a name. Could it be David or Jennifer? If so, our little bubs would be in good company. Did you see those "most popular names by State" maps doing the rounds of the Internet a little while back? Watching the maps evolve, I found it fascinating to watch name trends start small and spread across the entire USA.

The maps are based on Social Security Administration data. They were then developed by the folks behind the website Jezebel, who said:

Baby naming generally follows a consistent cycle: A name springs up in some region of the U.S.—"Ashley" in the South, "Emily" in the Northeast—sweeps over the country, and falls out of favor nearly as quickly. The big exception to these baby booms and busts is "Jennifer", which absolutely dominates America for a decade-and-a-half. 

And this is interesting, and a bit sad: in 1964, in the wake of JFK's assassination, "John" was the most popular name for boys in eleven states and was very nearly the most popular name in the country, just 0.15% behind Michael.

Here are the maps:

Watch this: Six Decades of the Most Popular Names for Girls

And this: Six Decades of the Most Popular Names for Boys