Thanks to FiveThirtyEight, you can tell how old a person is just by learning their name. The news outlet compiled data from the most official source of all, the Social Security Administration, to figure out just how old Gertrude is (hint: OLD) compared to Ava (hint: BABY). And sure, there are some exceptions like Anna and Joseph, which have popularity spanning four decades, but with newer names like Joshua and Ashley, and more vintage names like Betty and George, you can reasonably tell what generation someone grew up in.
You can see there are no Ethels, Bettys or Lucys here. Instead Madisons, Isabellas and Sophias will be the ones to take over the next generation.
Some names like Mark and Andrew have a shorter reign, but Michael and William have a much longer life expectancy.
Women’s names seem to change popularity more often than men’s names, but names like Anna, Laura and Elizabeth make an exception to the longevity rule.
So the next time you’re looking at the person who could either be an incredibly old-looking 40-year-old or an incredibly young-looking 60-year-old, you now have a source to do some sleuthing — unless her name happens to be Violet, Lola or Stella.
We’d love to hear from you — are you young with an old name or vice versa? Let us know where you land.