Wednesday, May 17, 2006


The US has released their stats on names for 2005. I found a link there via some blog or other, and went back to check on my name the year I was born (I wasn't born in the US, but I wasn't born in Australia, either). I reckon from my own personal experience, that Jennifer was the most popular name in Australia in 1967. In my residential college at university, 8% of the women were called Jennifer (or Jenny or Jen). But in the US, Jennifer was only the 10th most popular name in 1967. It only became number 1 in 1970, and then stayed there for another decade.

Freakonomics has a interesting section on baby names, where he reckons you can trace the class system in action by watching a baby name move from the upper classes down to the middle classes, and to the working classes, and then out of fashion.

I wonder whether the names Australians are likely to choose (of all classes) are ahead of the US? Or am I guilty of over-analysing my (admittedly sparse) data. Strangely enough, we never managed to export Kylie to anywhere else.


At 1:38 pm, Blogger Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Well, so you're just a bit older than me. I was born in '71 -- the height of the "Jennifer" era. Whenever I post anywhere that you post I feel like I ought to clarify: "Jennifer from Oregon" or "Jennifer Ponderosa" or something.

At 8:51 pm, Anonymous Jennifer V said...

I'm sure I have seen a list somewhere that showed Jennifer as the top girl's name for 1968 in Australia, and Andrew (which was my parents' choice for a boy) as the most popular boy's name. I was doomed to be common as muck whichever sex I turned out to be!

Of course, my parents then over-corrected and gave my younger sister a very unusual name, which she hates. So you can't win.


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