The Names, They Are A-Changin’

In the table below, I offer a morsel of cultural history. The table compares the popularity of baby names in 1940 (the modal birth year of members of my high-school graduating class) with the popularity of the same names in 2011.

Also shown are the names that have replaced the names of my classmates in popularity. Michael, for example, is number 6 in 2011, replacing Charles, the number 6 of 1940. Michael, as it happens, was number 18 in 1940.

As might be expected, the turnover among female names is greater than the turnover among male names. For example, 6 of 40 male names dropped out of the top 1000 between 1940 and 2011, as against 20 of 39 female names. And 11 of 40 replacement names for males were not in the top 1000 in 1940, as against 21 of the 39 replacement female names.

Source: This search tool at the website of the Social Security Administration.

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