The name that parents give to their babies is influenced by many factors. Some families like to pass down names from one generation to the next. There are parents who want to give their babies the most unique name they can think of. Other parents choose a name that is popular at the time. As the years go by, the list of most popular names changes.
The Social Security Administration keeps track of the names given to babies in a specific year. It also has a handy search engine you can use to learn when a particular name was the most popular.
The name Jennifer was the most popular name given to baby girls in 1984. There were a total of 50,562 babies born that year who were given the name Jennifer. Babies that were named Jennifer in 1984 represented 2.805 percent of the total female births that year.
The name Jennifer was the most popular baby name for girls between the year 1970 and 1984. It was rank 1 on the list each and every year within that span of time. It was within the top ten names between 1966 and 1991, and started dropping in popularity in 1992. In 2015, the name Jennifer had plummeted down the list of popular baby names for girls to rank 252.
In 2002, the name Jennifer was rank 28 on the list of most popular baby names for girls. That same year, the name Madison was very high on the list – at rank 2. In 2002, the number of births was 21,772. A total of 1.103 percent of female babies born in 2002 were given the name Madison.
The name Madison stayed within the top ten most popular names for baby girls between the year 1997 and 2014. The name remained popular in 2015, just missing the top ten list at rank 11. In 2015, there were a total of 10,038 babies born that were given the name Madison. That represents 1.103 percent of the total number of female births that year.
Over time, the list of most popular baby names changes. The most popular name for a baby girl in 1984 became much less popular by 2002, when a completely different name for a baby girl was at its peak of popularity. This is how Jennifer became Madison. The name Jennifer was the coolest name for baby girls – until it wasn’t.
But, how, exactly, does that change happen? Some suggest that it is driven by a concept called spontaneous emergence. All of a sudden, for no discernible reason, a bunch of people consider the same baby names as the coolest possible ones for their babies.
Image by Abigail Batchelder on Flickr
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