thanks brig’s linking to the social security administration’s name distribution data, i now have an answer to one of the questions that tends to keep me awake at night – just exactly how popular is my first name?

i mean, i’ve known an “eric” or two over my life and many people i know claim that they’ve also happened upon other “eric’s”, but how close has the name come to capturing the most popular name award? inquiring minds now know.

i messaged the ranking data to output a “popularity index” which shows how close the name has come to capturing the top spot over the past century. sadly, the name appears to have reached it’s popularity zenith in the 70’s and has been steadily losing ground over the decades.

it may be a statistical fluke, but the data appear to show a decrease in popularity from the 1900’s to the 1910’s – perhaps the the name was actually coming off a huge wave of popularity in the late 1800’s? yeah, i’ll bet that’s it.

but alas, it looks like there’s no hope from recovering anytime soom from the hegemony of jacob, michael, josua and matthew. and who says we’re a nation of infidels – by the looks of the popular names, we’re a nice lot of old-school, god-fearin’ folks.

the name game

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