Thursday, September 03, 2009

90s names (US, Australia and Europe)

I wanted to compare certain regions on names - looking at whether they were rising or falling at the same time. I considered using 2000 data - enough time to see sufficient change in the popularity of names, and then realised that the amount of data was so much that I would get lost under it all. So I downscaled, back to 1994, where data is scarcer but trends can still be seen.

So the aim was to see whether various regions, with similar (European) naming cultures, experienced the same popularity of names at the same time, or at least influenced on another, leading to names rising or falling popularity.

The countries I chose (due to there being available data) were UK (England and Wales, at least), USA, France (La cote des prénoms by Besnard), Victoria in Australia, Austria, Denmark and Norway.

I took the top 10 girls names for each region in 1994, except Norway - as it was not available, and France - where I had to take the 1990-4 data, and then compared whether the names were rising or falling in the other regions.

Some notable names:

Amanda - while it was #8 and falling in the USA and had fallen off the popularity charts in UK, it was rising in the other places it appeared - Victoria, Denmark and Norway.

Anna - rising in popularity in USA, Victoria, France and Denmark - though Anna was not in the top n20 in any of these countries. Austria - where Anna was in the top 10, at #8, had Anna falling, as did the UK, where it was #49 - having peaked in 1970s and 80s at #40. In Norway, there was little change in Anna's popularity in the years preceding and succeeding 1994.

Charlotte - peaking in France and Norway, but falling or staying in a stable position everywhere else. It was #4 in UK.

Elizabeth - falling or having little change, #9 in USA.

Emily/Emilie - rising in USA (#3), Denmark and Norway, but little change in UK and Victoria. Emilie was unfashionable in France.

Emma - rising in USA, Victoria, France and Denmark but falling in UK (discussed in previous post about Emma).

Jessica - #1 in USA and Victoria but falling, #3 in UK and rising, unfashionable in France but rising in Austria.

Laura - falling in the English-speaking countries but rising in France, Austria and Denmark.

Lisa - falling for some time in USA, UK and recently in Austria, where it was #2, but rising in France, Victoria and Norway.

Samantha - falling in English-speaking countries and France.

Sarah - falling in USA, UK and Austria, but rising everywhere else. Its lowest numeral position is in UK, where it was #12.

Sophie - rising in USA, UK, Victoria and Austria but falling in France, where it is seen as unfashionable.

Stephanie - falling in all countries where it ranked (not Austria or Norway).

Some themes:
France is generally a little more independent of the other countries included in this study. Julie, Laura, Sarah and Melanie in its top 10 are found in other countries' top 10s, but other names from its 10 - Marine, Camille, Elodie, Marion, Pauline and Anais are not really found elsewhere. Also it bucks the rising trend with Sophie (which is, in essence, a French name!), Jessica and Emilie/y are popular elsewhere but unfashionable in France, and shares peaking Charlotte with Norway. Just looking at the popular names on for 2006, France still seems to maintain its mix of international and independently French names - international such as Emma, Sarah and Jade, and French names - Lea, Manon, Camille and Oceane.

The English-speaking countries share more names in common than the non-English speaking countries. Especially seen with Laura, Samantha and Sophie. USA and UK tend to have more in common with each other than Victoria, Australia. Share top 10 names Emily and Jessica, and top 20 names Sarah, Samantha, Lauren and Hannah.

Most of the names found from other countries in Norway are rising. Only Cecilie, Christina, Katrine and Elizabeth are falling.