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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Dominance of "Top 10" names...not so much anymore?

    We all keep talking about increased popularity and worrying about our children being "one of 7" during grade school, presumably because many of us grew up being "one of 7." In reality, most of us have probably met very few children who truly share the same name, because according to the charts, the "popular" names don't carry half the weight that they did when we were growing up.

    I remember when I was in high school there had to have been half a dozen kids named Ashley, Jessica, Michael or Matthew. I remember having to refer to people as "Ashley M" or "Matt C." It was definitely frustrating. But I don't see that anymore. Not at all. So I looked at the numbers...see for yourself:

    In 1990 Jessica was the #1 name for a girl...and that name was given to 46,451 little girls! 2.26%
    That same year 65,270 boys were named Michael. That one is just over 3%.

    Now look at this years data. Sophia is the #1 name, given to 22,158 baby girls. 1.15%
    Jacob, the No1 boys name, was given to 18,899 baby boys for a total of 0.94%

    In 1990 the Top 10 Girl names accounted for 14.85%, the Top 10 Boy names accounted for 18.6%
    In 2012 those numbers were 7.9% for girls and 8.35% for boys.

    In 20 years the dominance of Top 10 names has been cut in half (or more, in the case of the boys!).

    I know everyone talks about "oh another Sophia" or "how many more Jacobs do we need," but truth be told...the most common name I've come across on children over the last few years has been Neveah. And I've only met is 5, one is 4 and one is 5 months. Two Isabellas. Only one Sophia. I know one Jacob, one Jayden and one Mason. I also know a Jayden who is 13. I don't know a single Emma, Ava, Noah, Liam, Mia, Olivia, etc. under the age of 10.

    Honestly, how many have you met? Does your little Sophia have three others in her class, the way we always had 3 Jessicas? Does your son baby Jacob share his name with 4 other boys on the soccer team? I'm not judging or accusing, I'm merely curious. Because I find it odd that these names are so "grossly overused" and yet the numbers are down quite significantly compared to the past.

    So I guess what I'm saying is...for everyone who insists on the necessity to avoid the "one of 7" we honestly, really and truly need to keep making up names for our kids to ensure that they "stand out from the crowd?" Because the numbers say it...the "one of 7" argument is losing steam. You don't have to name your child Nymphadora Eucalyptus for her to be unique. She's probably just fine as a Claire or Addison. And yes, probably even a Sophia.

    (this doesn't mean i'm AGAINST unique or uncommon names. i mean look at mine. i'm simply questioning the validity of the argument that a name has to be uncommon --or cannot be in the top 10-- even if you like it because you don't want your child to share their name with 7 other people)

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Flyover Territory
    It's actually pretty crazy to me that I know as many children as I do with the top names, because statistically it doesn't seem like I should. But I actually know of at least 3 sibsets including a Sophia/Sofia/Sophie AND an Isabelle/Isabella in the same family. And if It's not Isabelle/a, it's Olivia. I know at least 3 Avas, 2 Masons, a Mia. At least 5 college friends have named their sons Liam, and it seems like every other little boy I meet is named Jacob, Noah, or Jack/son. Let's just say that it was refreshing to meet a little Louisa and Eleanor at the playground recently
    Tara, proud mama to a Honey Badger
    ... and a Badger in Training

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Western Australia
    I'm an Ebony a top 100 name since the 80's but I've never met another. I also know three Ciara's it doesn't rank yet two of them were in the same classes last year. It is mostly chance that you have another person with your name just because Sophia is number one doesn't mean your daughter will be lost in a crowd of billions of Sophia's but she would only really be one of two or three.
    Isobel | Eloise | Matilda | Lucia | Alice | Eleanor | Amelia | Felicity | Phoebe | Eilidh | Rosalia | Zoe | Azalea | Genevieve | Tallulah | Everleigh | Rebecca | Leila | Harper | Grace | Zara |
    Eamon | Hayes | Tiago | Cooper | Lawson | Archer | Lincoln | Asher | Alfie | Baxter | Taylor | Flynn | Lewis | Fletcher | Jack | Harley | Brooklyn | Regan | Oscar | Spencer |

  4. #7
    sunshine kid Guest
    Although the percentages are small, there can be double ups/flukes of the most common names. Its possible. But yes, I agree. There is no need for this fear. However I do see the appeal in choosing a name that is more uncommon, only if you love it of course. Same goes for a common name.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    It's more accurate to look at your own state and not at the national data. The top names in my state are Jayden & Isabella and yes, I've come across several. The year I was born, they were Christopher & Jennifer. Again, I've known several.

    Some people may choose an uncommon name because they don't want their child to be one of many but I doubt that it's most people. It's more acceptable to have uncommon names so parents feel more free to use them. In the 80s, all my parents had were a few baby name books with mostly classic European names. Now the internet has expanded our options and parents can choose from a wide variety of names from around the globe

    Fox * Rohan * Jade * Shea * Blaise * Greer
    Lotus * Noor * Tallulah * Jasper * Linden * Arden

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