Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Letters and Patterns (2016)

Yeah, analyzing the SSA lists by letter is nothing new (I've done it more than a few times myself already), but I figured out how to process large lists of names in an array, so you're all in for another boring numbers post. :p

It probably comes as no surprise that the most common ending letters are A for girls and N for boys, with about 34% of girls and 32% of boys last year (and if you add in the -ah names for girls, that jumps to nearly 40%).

Starting letter
Ending letter
Girls
A, 16.6%
A, 33.6%
M, 8.2%
E, 16.7%
E, 7.7%
N, 11.4%
S, 6.7%
Y, 10.5%
L, 6.1%
H, 6.4%
Boys
J, 12.6%
N, 32%
A, 9.5%
R, 8.8%
C, 7.4%
S, 6.6%
M, 6.8%
L, 6.2%
L, 6.2%
E, 6.2%

Now, you'd probably think that the distributions are proportional--that is, if you look at both starting and ending letters, the most common patterns for girls would be A____a, followed by A____e, then M_____a, then A___n, and so on, but that isn't quite how it works out. In fact, the 10 most common patterns for each gender are:

Girls
Boys
A___a
J___n
M___a
A___n
S___a
C___n
E___a
B___n
C___e
K___n
L___a
D___n
A___n
C___r
A___e
L___n
A___y
E___n
M___e
J___h

These 10 constructions account for about 30% of all girls born in 2016, and 25% of boys. 
C___e at the girls #5 seems a bit random (C is the 7th most common starting letter for girls), but quite a few of our most common __e names start with C (Charlotte, Chloe, Claire, Caroline). Similarly, J___h ranking at boys' #10 (H is the 6th most common ending letter for boys) is due nearly exclusively to Biblical boys' names like JosephJosiahJeremiah, & Jonah
The absence of M___n names is odd--but after Mason at #4 on the charts, you have to go all the way down to #256 to find Martin, and then Maximilian at #432. 
Also, while E is the 5th most common ending letter for boys, most of those are one-syllable names, which leads to them being much more varied bunch. J___e was the 11th most common boys' name pattern, due largely to the variant spellings of Jace, as well as Spanish names like Jose & Jorge.

Now let's shift a bit to first/second letter combinations. The Top 10 patterns last year were:

Girls
Boys
Combined
Ma___
Ja___
Ma___
Al___
Ma___
Ja___
El___
Jo___
Ca___
Ka___
Ca___
Jo___
Em___
Br___
Al___
Ha___
Da___
El___
An___
Ka___
Ka___
Sa___
Co___
Br___
Ca___
An___
An___
Ad___
Ch___
Ch___
=27% of girls
=30% of boys
=54% of all babies

I'm surprised Ad___ only barely makes the Top 10, but aside from Addison and the dozens of spellings of Adeline, there really aren't that many other Ad-names (Adriana is the next most common, and it's not even in the Top 200). Sa___ also surprised me, but while they aren't "exciting", Sarah, Savannah, and Samantha are still fairly common. 
The profusion of these top patterns seems to be due to them being a mixture of modern & classic names. For Ja___ we have Jayden & Jace, but we also have James and Jacob. Mason and Maddox, as well as Matthew and Max. Carly and Cadence; Caroline and Catherine

And if you wish to see the entire, and probably confusing, charts of name patterns, you can find them here.

I did also try to combine the two above datasets, and sadly, the results were not nearly as interesting, IMO. Here are the top 10 patterns of first/second/last letters:

Girls
Boys
Al___a
Ja___n
Mi___a
Br___n
So___a
Ca___n
El___a
Jo___n
Ma___a
Ka___n
Em___a
Ma___n
Ar___a
Jo___h
Ma___n
No___h
Am___a
Mi___l
Ma___e
Lu___s

In total, those patterns account for about 13% each of girls and boys born last year. Some of the patterns are more diverse: Ja___n is easily the most common (about 3% of boys) with all the various spellings of Jackson, Jayden, Jason, Jaxton, etc; while Al___a (about 2% of girls) is thanks to Alexa, Alana, Alina, Alexandra and so on. 
However, many are the result of only one or two names--So___a is mostly Sophia; No___h almost entirely NoahMi___l is literally only Michael and its international variants. 

I am curious how data from a couple generations ago would stack up, though. We're using a much wider variety of names from wider variety of cultures than we used to. :)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Amanda & Her Sisters

I somehow got sucked into a rabbit-hole of looking up names based on Latin "love", the most familiar of which today are probably Amanda & Amy. It's a nice break from the long line of SSA-based posts, so here we go......

  • Amabilis / Amabilia--"lovable". Modern forms include Mabel (English), Amable (masc., French), Amabile (unisex, Italian), and Amábile (fem., Portuguese). 
  • Amadeus / Amadea--"love of God". Modern forms include Amédée (masc., French), Amadeo (Italian), Amadeu (Portuguese), Amade (fem., Basque), and Amadej/Amadeja (Slovenian).
  • Amandus / Amanda--"needs to be loved". Other forms include Amandine (fem., French), Amandina (fem., Dutch, Portuguese), and Amando (masc., Spanish). 
  • Amantius / Amantia--"loving". Modern forms include Amancio/Amancia (Spanish & Portuguese) and Amanzio/Amanzia (Italian). 
  • Amator / Amatrix--"lover" [not used as a name in Latin]. Medieval French & Spanish form was Amador (masc.).
  • Amatus / Amata--"beloved". Modern forms include Aimé/Aimée (French), Amy (English), Amado/Amada (Spanish), Amate (fem., Basque), and Amato/Amata (Italian). 
  • Amicitia (fem.)--"friendship" [from Roman mythology]. Modern English form is Amity
  • Amicus / Amica--"friend" [not used as a name in Latin]. Medieval forms included Amicia/Amice/Amis (fem., English) and Amice (fem., French). 
  • Amor (masc.)--"love" [from Roman mythology]. Modern feminine forms [all quite rare] include Amora (English, Spanish) and Amorina (Swedish, Portuguese).

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Unisex Names--SSA (2016)

Love 'em or hate 'em, you can't deny that unisex (or "unisex") names are a big part of baby-naming in the US right now. It's been a couple years since I analyzed the unisex names in the SSA data, and I'm interested to see what names have shifted.

To start off with, the most popular names given to both genders in 2016, with their gender ratios.
(Only the most common spelling for each gender is given, but all spellings [as best as I could figure] were counted.)
  1. Jackson / Jaxyn, ≈242 boys per girl
  2. Aiden / Ayden, ≈120 boys per girl
  3. Noah / Noa, ≈36 boys per girl
  4. Mason, ≈44 boys per girl
  5. Riley, ≈6 girls per boy
  6. Kayden, ≈25 boys per girl
  7. Jayden, ≈16 boys per girl
  8. Grayson / Gracyn, ≈19 boys per girl
  9. James, ≈185 boys per girl
  10. Michael, ≈316 boys per girl
  11. Elijah / Alijah, ≈160 boys per girl
  12. Carter, ≈11 boys per girl
  13. Avery, ≈5 girls per boy
  14. Cameron / Kamryn, ≈4 boys per girl
  15. Logan, ≈12 boys per girl
  16. Dylan, ≈11 boys per girl
  17. Evelyn, ≈1473 girls per boy
  18. Aubrey, ≈76 girls per boy
  19. Madison, ≈192 girls per boy
  20. Harper, ≈37 girls per boy
Now, just because these names are used on both genders, doesn't mean they're exactly common for both genders!
Here are the most unisex names in the Top 2000 for both genders, given to about an equal % of boys and girls:
  1. Layton / Leighton
  2. Khari / Kari
  3. Hollis
  4. Briar
  5. Payson
  6. Nikita
  7. Storm
  8. Ridley
  9. Harlan / Harlyn
  10. Armani
  11. Justice
  12. Scotty / Scottie
  13. Sonny / Sunny
  14. Lonnie / Lani
  15. Indiana
  16. Murphy
  17. Britton
  18. Finley
  19. Frankie
  20. Francis / Frances
Many of those are still pretty darned uncommon (Scotty / Scottie, for instance, was given to 63 boys and 72 girls). So, here are the most unisex names in both the girls' and boys' Top 1000:
  1. Layton / Leighton
  2. Khari / Kari
  3. Briar
  4. Harlan / Harlyn
  5. Armani
  6. Justice
  7. Sonny / Sunny
  8. Finley
  9. Frankie
  10. Francis / Frances
  11. Rhys / Reese
  12. Rene / Renee
  13. Lennon
  14. Rory
  15. Rylan
  16. Lennox
  17. Dakota
  18. Royal
  19. Oakley
  20. Corey / Kori
And just to completely overload everyone with lists, here are all the unisex names in both the boys' and girls' Top 1000, from most --> least masculine:
(if you wish to browse the entire list of unisex names, you can find it here)
  • Mason, ≈44 boys per girl
  • Noah / Noa, ≈36 boys per girl
  • Kayden, ≈25 boys per girl
  • Hunter, ≈23 boys per girl
  • Tyler, ≈20 boys per girl
  • Grayson / Gracyn, ≈19 boys per girl
  • Ezra, ≈18 boys per girl
  • Bentley, ≈17 boys per girl
  • Jayden, ≈16 boys per girl
  • Alex, ≈13 boys per girl
  • Austin / Austyn, ≈12 boys per girl
  • Adrian / Adrienne, ≈12 boys per girl
  • Logan, ≈12 boys per girl
  • Carter, ≈11 boys per girl
  • Camden, ≈11 boys per girl
  • Dylan, ≈11 boys per girl
  • August, ≈9 boys per girl
  • Kai, ≈9 boys per girl
  • Ashton, ≈8 boys per girl
  • Cody / Kodi, ≈8 boys per girl
  • Kyrie, ≈7 boys per girl
  • Lane / Laine, ≈6 boys per girl
  • Carson / Karsyn, ≈6 boys per girl
  • Zion, ≈6 boys per girl
  • Aaron / Erin, ≈6 boys per girl
  • Spencer, ≈6 boys per girl
  • Ryan, ≈5 boys per girl
  • Angel, ≈5 boys per girl
  • Micah, ≈5 boys per girl
  • Devin / Devyn, ≈5 boys per girl
  • Jesse / Jessie, ≈4 boys per girl
  • Cameron / Kamryn, ≈4 boys per girl
  • Elliot, ≈4 boys per girl
  • Drew, ≈3 boys per girl
  • Sawyer, ≈3 boys per girl
  • Parker, ≈3 boys per girl
  • Ellis, ≈3 boys per girl
  • Blake, ≈3 boys per girl
  • Quincy, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Chandler, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Colby / Colbie, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Dallas, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Danny / Dani, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Remington, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Andy / Andi, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Milan, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Daylen / Dailyn, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Kamari, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Jordan / Jordyn, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Phoenix, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Joey, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Baylor, ≈2 boys per girl
  • River, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Amari, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Rowan, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Hayden, ≈2 boys per girl
  • Corey / Kori, about equal
  • Royal, about equal
  • Lennox, about equal
  • Rylan, about equal
  • Rory, about equal
  • Sonny / Sunny, about equal
  • Justice, about equal
  • Harlan / Harlyn, about equal
  • Layton / Leighton, about equal
  • Khari / Kari, about equal
  • Briar, about equal
  • Armani, about equal
  • Finley, about equal
  • Frankie, about equal
  • Francis / Frances, about equal
  • Rhys / Reese, about equal
  • Rene / Renee, about equal
  • Lennon, about equal
  • Dakota, ≈2 girls per boy
  • Oakley, ≈2 girls per boy
  • Sutton, ≈2 girls per boy
  • Remy / Remi, ≈2 girls per boy
  • Landry, ≈2 girls per boy
  • Shiloh, ≈2 girls per boy
  • Tatum, ≈2 girls per boy
  • Taylen / Taelyn, ≈2 girls per boy
  • Shea, ≈2 girls per boy
  • Azariah, ≈2 girls per boy
  • Casey, ≈2 girls per boy
  • Sage, ≈3 girls per boy
  • Charlie, ≈3 girls per boy
  • Emerson, ≈3 girls per boy
  • Robin / Robyn, ≈3 girls per boy
  • Alexis, ≈3 girls per boy
  • Jamie, ≈3 girls per boy
  • Ren / Wren, ≈3 girls per boy
  • Eden, ≈3 girls per boy
  • Reign, ≈3 girls per boy
  • Quinn, ≈3 girls per boy
  • Peyton, ≈4 girls per boy
  • Lyric, ≈5 girls per boy
  • Avery, ≈5 girls per boy
  • Taylor, ≈5 girls per boy
  • Skyler / Skylar, ≈5 girls per boy
  • Morgan, ≈6 girls per boy
  • Emery, ≈6 girls per boy
  • Ariel, ≈6 girls per boy
  • Teagan, ≈6 girls per boy
  • Riley, ≈6 girls per boy
  • Kendall, ≈7 girls per boy
  • Marley, ≈11 girls per boy
  • Cadence, ≈11 girls per boy
  • London, ≈11 girls per boy
  • Sidney / Sydney, ≈12 girls per boy
  • Nova, ≈13 girls per boy
  • Reagan, ≈17 girls per boy
  • Harper, ≈37 girls per boy

Now, with all these 'unisex' names you might be wondering 'holy crap, are there no gender-specific names left??' Of course! Here are the most common names given to at most 4 babies of the opposite gender (because the SSA doesn't publish the names given to fewer than 5 babies) :)

Liam
Sophia
William
Olivia
Jacob
Emma
Lucas
Adeline
Benjamin
Ava
Alexander
Isabella
Ethan
Mia
Matthew
Amelia
Oliver
Charlotte
Daniel
Emily
David
Zoey
Joseph
Abigail
Isaac
Madelyn
Samuel
Aria
Sebastian
Layla
Caleb
Chloe
John
Ariana
Henry
Elizabeth
Luke
Aaliyah
Anthony
Lily
(And again, if you want the whole list of "gender-specific" names, you can look here.)


Interestingly, more boys have "unisex" names than girls--49% of boys vs. 24% of girls. This is likely because parents are more likely to consider popular/traditional boys' names for their daughters than popular/traditional girls' names for their sons. For the most part, once a name gets common for girls, parents of boys drop it. :/
That's not to say that tons of parents are choosing masculine names for their daughters--only about 4% of girls last year got names that are currently more common on boys. However, only about 2% of boys got names that are more common on girls (and I'm willing to bet most of those are recently unisex names, like Riley, Avery, & Charlie).

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Prediction Checks (2016)

So, a couple weeks ago I averaged the data change over the last 5 years, and tried to use that to predict rankings this year. I was sometimes successful.
Let's see them.


My prediction
Actual 2016 Top 20
1.
Emma, #1, no change
Emma, #1, no change
2.
Olivia, #2, no change
Olivia, #2, no change
3.
Sophia, #3, no change
Ava, #3, +1
4.
Ava, #4, no change
Sophia, #4, -1
5.
Mia, #5, +1
Isabella, #5, no change
6.
Isabella, #6, -1
Mia, #6, no change
7.
Charlotte, #7, +2
Charlotte, #7, +2
8.
Abigail, #8, -1
Abigail, #8, -1
9.
Harper, #9, +1
Emily, #9, -1
10.
Emily, #10, -2
Harper, #10, no change
11.
Amelia, #11, +1
Amelia, #11, +1
12.
Sofia, #12, +2
Evelyn, #12, +3
13.
Evelyn, #13, +2
Elizabeth, #13, no change
14.
Avery, #14, +2
Sofia, #14, no change
15.
Elizabeth, #15, -2
Madison, #15, -4
16.
Madison, #16, -5
Avery, #16, no change
17.
Scarlett, #17, +5
Ella, #17, +1
18.
Victoria, #18, +2
Scarlett, #18, +4
19.
Aubrey, #19, +2
Grace, #19, no change
20.
Grace, #20, -1
Chloe, #20, -3


My prediction
Actual 2016 Top 20
1.
Noah, #1, no change
Noah, #1, no change
2.
Liam, #2, no change
Liam, #2, no change
3.
Mason, #3, no change
William, #3, +2
4.
William, #4, +1
Mason, #4, -1
5.
James, #5, +2
James, #5, +2
6.
Jacob, #6, -2
Benjamin, #6, +4
7.
Ethan, #7, -1
Jacob, #7, -3
8.
Alexander, #8, no change
Michael, #8, +1
9.
Benjamin, #9, +1
Elijah, #9, +2
10.
Michael, #10, -1
Ethan, #10, -4
11.
Elijah, #11, no change
Alexander, #11, -3
12.
Aiden, #12, +1
Oliver, #12, +7
13.
Oliver, #13, +6
Daniel, #13, -1
14.
Daniel, #14, -2
Lucas, #14, +2
15.
Logan, #15, -1
Matthew, #15, no change
16.
Lucas, #16, no change
Aiden, #16, -3
17.
Matthew, #17, -2
Jackson, #17, no change
18.
Jackson, #18, -1
Logan, #18, -4
19.
Carter, #19, +5
David, #19, -1
20.
David, #20, -2
Joseph, #20, +1

So, not terrible. I thought Chloe & Ella would fall further, and that Aubrey & Victoria would gain instead of falling.
Likewise, for boys, I predicted Carter jumping ahead of Joseph, but alas, it did not.

Now my predictions for the ins & outs of the Top 100:

Predicted:
Actual:
(in)
Elena
Adeline
Eliana
Elena
Hadley
Eliana
Kinsley
Kinsley
Luna
Luna
Willow
Willow


Roman
Bryson

Greyson

Leonardo

Roman
(out)
Alexis
Alexis
Alyssa
Alyssa
Ashley
Ashley
Brianna
Annabelle
Gianna
Isabelle
Khloe
Khloe


Nathaniel
Blake

Kayden

Nathaniel

Ryder

Hey, I didn't do too bad, especially for girls! :D


I made a lot of Top 1000 predictions, and the results were more mixed (and quite a bit too involved to list here concisely): 74 of the 139 names I predicted to shift in or out did, which on its own is about 50%--not bad. However, of the 180 names that actually moved in/out, I only predicted 74 of them (40%).
My methods worked best with names that moved steadily (whether quickly or slowly, as long as the rate stayed consistent), and were surrounded by names that also moved steadily. Names that jumped or tanked suddenly (thanks mostly to pop culture) are ones that messed me up. :)