Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Baby Names for the Future - by Lezah

University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt's bestseller Freakonomics (which I've mentioned before) is a book that looks at trends and links them with the economics that create these trends.  

One phenomenon he investigates is baby names.  What he has discovered is that trendy names start with those of higher income, and then there is a trickle down effect through the lower stratums of the economy.  As this trickle down effect occurs and the popularity of the name spreads in the lower economic ranks, the rich adopt new names and the cycle begins anew.

Now baby names are something I've written about before, too.  I just find it fascinating (and maybe this is a sad comment on me!) that names ARE so trendy.  I read somewhere that during the war years, Mary was the most popular name - so much so that many derivations were concocted for it as a school class could easily have half of the girls in it with the handle Mary.  Likewise, when I went to school there was a whole generation of Brenda and Debbies before me (and for some odd reason, they were usually sisters!). I went to school during the reign of Lisa and Karen, Kevin and David.  As a matter of fact, the one PE class at my school had 17 Kevins in it, including two Kevin Smiths!  Now elementary schools are filled with Jamies and Coles, Madisons and Masons.

According to Levitt, by 2015, some of the most popular names will be these:  
        for girls - Aviva, Avery, Ella, Flannery, Linden, Maeve, and Quinn
        for boys - Aiden, Ansel, Carter, Cooper, Harper, Sander, and Sumner.

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