Thursday, January 10, 2013

Telegraph 2012 First Name Top 10s

Here are the top 10s for the Telegraph 2012 birth announcement names.

Female first names:

First Name Total % of total female first name Position in England and Wales charts (2011, ONS)
Florence 21 3.26 43
Matilda 16 2.48 48
Elizabeth 14 2.17 44
Isla 13 2.02 15
Sophie 13 2.02 6
Alice 11 1.71 37
Beatrice 11 1.71 126
Charlotte 11 1.71 21
Jessica 10 1.55 4
Rose 10 1.55 76

I've put the % of total female first names and position in England and Wales charts there to show just how divergent the Telegraph names are. Amelia, the #1 name in England and Wales national stats in 2011 (2012 stats aren't out until the summer) comprised 1.4% of total births. Only two of the names in the top 10 are from the England and Wales top 10. The top 3 are all in the 40s of the national stats.

Male first names:
First name Total % of male first names Position in England and Wales charts (2011, ONS)
George 28 3.91 12
William 27 3.77 10
Henry 26 3.63 28
Charles 24 3.35 60
Harry 24 3.35 1
Arthur 23 3.21 68
Edward 23 3.21 40
Alexander 22 3.07 23
Frederick  21 2.93 96
Thomas 21 2.93 6

Unlike Florence in the female names, there is no clear leader in the male names - George, William and Henry are all separated by one birth. I guess that Harry is probably the most popular name here - a decent number of the 26 Henrys will probably be known as Harry.

Although there are a larger number of male birth announcements (717 compared with 645 female birth announcements), there are fewer different names on this list (190 compared with 253), and the top 10 makes up a much larger percentage (31% compared with 16%). As I mentioned on the word clouds, male naming patterns for Telegraph birth announcers remain conservative, focussng on a narrower selection of first names for males than females.

Male middle names:
Middle Names Total
James 55
William 49
John 47
Edward 37
George 33
Charles 28
Alexander 27
Henry 25
David 24
Robert 23

This includes all middle names so in James Frederick Alexander then both Frederick and Alexander were counted (unlike yesterday's word cloud, where I only did first middle name). I haven't done percentages for these, but there were 405 different middle names given, out of 1063 total middle names so 33% of male middle names given were in the top 10 (but not necessarily to 33% of births because there could be someone with three middle names all in the top 10 meaning that he would be counted three times).

James is at the top, with William not far below. James is #11 for first names. John, David and Robert (#=29 and 1 and 2 births respectively in the first names list) all appear. David and Robert were both popular throughout the 20th century but have reduced in popularity in recent years. Their presence in this list may represent naming after a brother, father, grandfather or friend. Only six males were given Harry as a middle name, this may show that Harry is seen as too informal for a middle name - the most popular nickname as a middle name is Jack with 12 births.

There is also a trend of giving a surname as a middle name - lots of parents seem to have chosen a surname as a middle name, probably a family name - but as there are so many different family names then this trend isn't shown in the top 10. It's also hard to tell whether a family chose, for example, Campbell because it was a family surname or because they like the sound and are buying into the unrelated surnames trend.

Female middle names:
Middle Names Total
Rose 60
Elizabeth 49
Mary 39
Florence 30
Grace 28
Alice 25
Beatrice 13
Charlotte 12
Catherine 10
Jane 10
May 10

There were 864 total middle names so the top 11 (as Catherine, Jane and May all had 10 instances) makes up 33% of the names. -ce or -se seems to be a what makes an attractive middle name for parents - as seen in Rose, Florence, Grace, Alice and Beatrice (and also Louise which is #=13). Unlike the male names, there seems to be less of an instinct to honour a family member - Elizabeth, Mary and Catherine may represent that trend, but they've all also been popular middle name elements since the 19th century.

There are fewer instances in the girls names of surnames - there seems to be a trend towards more males getting surname middle names than females, are surnames seen as more masculine as they are passed down the male line?

On average, males had 1.5 middle names whereas females had 1.33 - this can be attributed to males getting a family surname added on at the end of their name, whereas females just get personal names.