Popular baby names come and go as often as tech + hair trends do. When we found out a couple of weeks ago exactly how baby names become trendy (spoiler alert: it has to do with our social interactions, duh!) we thought our baby name curiosity was satisfied. But then *this* video visualization highlighting the evolution of girls’ names in the US over more than a century came out, and we knew we had to indulge ourselves in a little baby name history.
By using data from the U.S. Social Security Administration, Abacaba produced a video explaining the evolution of girl names in the US over the last century-plus. Not only did they provide info on the changing popularity of big names in the bubbled up infographic (the bigger the bubble, the more popular the name ;), but the team also included some interesting facts that most likely (i.e. definitely did) influence those major gal names. Press play and check out some of our favorite findings below!
1881: The average girl name length hits an all-time low of 5.40 letters.
1887: Elizabeth is the first non-4-letter name in the top 3.
1890: Marguerite, which means daisy in French, is the first name with at least 10 letters to reach the top 100.
1911: Frances enters the top 10, ending the longest drought of new names in history. That fresh name shortage lasted 6 years (1905-1910).
1913: The ending “-y” becomes more common than “-ie.”
1948: Kathleen is the first top 10 name with a double vowel.
1970: Tracy is the first unisex name in the top 10.
1974: Heather is the first flower name in the top 5.
1978: Sarah re-enters the top 10 after leaving it in 1881. That’s 97 years earlier.
1981: For the first time, the top 2 names (Jennifer + Jessica) start with the same letter.
1989: The average girl name length hits an all-time high of 6.4099 letters.
1996: Alexis is the first top 10 name to have an “X.” Fun fact: “Q” + “W” are the only letters to never be seen in the top 10.
2007: For the first time, the top 100 names cover less than one third of girls names.
Parents of little dudes, have no fear as Abacaba will be releasing an evolution of boy names soon.
What did you find most interesting about the evolution of US girls names? Let us know in the comments.
(h/t Digg, photo via Danny Martindale/Getty)