Baby Name Popularity Charted by Gender

Complete list of names and charts available
 Here is the main content of this project: 254 names charted by gender 
 popularity from 1970 to 2005.  A list of all the charts allows you to view 
 one chart at a time or multiple charts side-by-side.  It is also possible 
 to simply view all the charts on one page.  More details follow.

These pages contain 254 charts that compare the popularity (in the United 
States) of several baby names given to boys and to girls.  I pulled the names 
from the top-1000 baby name lists available from the Social Security 
Administration website, generating charts for all baby names that appeared 
in both genders' lists in at least one year from 1970 to 2005.  When I was 
processing the data and generating the charts, 2005 was the most recent year 
available.  Gaps in a name chart indicate that the name was not popular enough 
for one or both genders to make one or both top-1000 list that year or series 
of years.  Please take a look at the SSA Popular Names Background Information 
for more details about the data behind these charts.

Each image has the same data charted twice at different scales.  The top chart
is drawn at the same scale in every image to better compare relative popularity 
between names.  The bottom chart is scaled to fit the data for each name to 
better display each name's popularity trends.  With some very popular names 
(e.g. Jennifer), the data is partially or entirely beyond the scale of 
the upper chart, and must be shrunk to fit in the lower one.

The lower chart features more detail.  The blue dot indicates the most recent 
year of available data for each name.  A hollow blue dot represents the year 
2005 in particular (the end of available data at the time the charts were 
generated).  A hollow black dot represents the year 1970 (the earliest data I 
considered).  All other years are shown as a simple black dot.

For example, take a look at 'Jordan' below.  Jordan first appeared as a 
top-1000 name for both genders in 1978, grew in popularity for a while before 
beginning to decline again.  During this time, Jordan was always given 
predominately to males.  Compare this with 'Guadalupe', a predominately female 
name and one of only a few names that was in the top-1000 for both genders in 
every year from 1970 to 2005.  Guadalupe's popularity appeared to be stable 
for quite a while after 1970, gained sharply as a name for females (but 
remained about as popular as before for males) and again appears to be fairly 
stable.  However, the more male 'Jordan' remains the more popular of the two 
names, even for females, and even as its popularity appears to decline.

Now, go ahead and start browsing the charts.

Here are a few selections of names that might be interesting:

  Names that have been losing popularity since at least 1970:
    Dana, Kerry, Leslie, Lynn, Robin, Shannon, Shawn, Stacy, Terry

  Some gender-balanced names that have become popular more recently:
    Avery, Cameron, Dakota, Hayden, Jordan, Riley, Taylor

  Names with multiple spellings:
    Devan, Devin, Devon, Devyn
    Payton, Peyton
    Casey, Kasey
    Jaime, Jamie, Jayme (Jaime has been surprisingly consistent for males)

  "Placeholder" names, apparently put on birth certificates when the parents 
  hadn't picked a name yet:
    Baby, Infant, Unknown

I will turn these names into links tomorrow some time.  I also intend to fix 
up the php that's displaying the images to make it easier to compare several 
charts with each other. [finished 2007-07-11]

All charts were generated using R.  I don't feel like the charts are really 
"finished" yet, but I am not likely to go back and work on them more in the 
future.  In particular, I would like to have the values for the initial and 
final years of each chart, but none of my attempts were satisfactory.  Also, 
haveing year labels at points of interest (shifts in popularity) would be 
very nice to see, but doing this automatically is not trivial for me, and 
doing it by hand for every chart is certainly not trivial either.  Some flaws 
in the charts stem partially from my inexperience with R.  I had not used it 
before starting this project, and in some ways it shows.  If you have 
questions, comments, or recommendations about this project, feel free to send 
email to evan at nixsyspaus dot org.

[2007-07-29] I updated the images to correct the web address at the bottom, 
and removed some extraneous information from the filenames while I was at it.

Evan Hall



A text-only list of charts is available in addition to the page full of 
images.  Both pages are ordered alphabetically.  There are 254 names/charts.



For a page full of name charts, see the image directory.  More information 
is forthcoming.




The contents of this page and the name chart images may be distributed freely 
and unconditionally.  If you wish to reproduce the chart images on your web 
page, please host them locally rather than linking to them here.