I'm Brett Slatkin and this is where I write about programming and related topics. You can contact me here or view my projects.

11 November 2017

Baby Names

A dataset I've been playing around with recently is the list of names from the US Social Security Administration, which goes from the year 1880 through 2016. I loaded the data into BigQuery and then made this visualization using Data Studio. It's been interesting looking up the names of my friends and family to see just how popular their names are now versus the time they were born. Here are some of the most interesting patterns that I've found in the data:

The Diva effect

When a pop star starts getting famous, people name their kids after them for the first few years. But at some point they become such a big deal that nobody uses that name anymore.

The Olympics effect

Most people have never heard of the name "Bode", but every four years during winter we get to see Bode Miller dazzle us all with his amazing skiing skills on TV, leading to a corresponding bump in names:

The Disaster effect

People stop naming their kids after anything associated with a disaster, be it natural or man-made. My prediction is the name "Harvey", which has had a recent resurgence, will significant decline after this year's hurricane.

Trendy names

There are many names that become extremely popular for a decade and then significantly decline. Some of these names come from movie characters or actors at the time.

Here's the link to the visualization again. Let me know if you find anything interesting!
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