Saturday, November 12, 2016

Very International Names (girls)

I'm amazed at how trends can spread across the globe. Yeah, Sophia is popular here in the US, but how is it also popular in like 14 other countries in the western world? Out of 16 countries I found current (2014 or 2015) data for (US, England & Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Belgium), only Iceland did not have a form of Sophia in its Top Names list. Most countries had more than more than one! What is it about Sophia?

Anyway, I set out to find which "name families" are most popular right now, and also see which country has the most unique names. :)
(this is compiled from the Top Names lists only--which are either Top 50 or Top 100, depending on the country--so for instance, if there's a variant of Mary at #51 on the Finnish charts, it wasn't counted)

  • Mary/Marie/Maria/Mia/Marion/Molly/etc--45 instances
    Lists without: Finland
  • Anna/Ana/Hannah/Nancy/etc--39 instances
    Lists without: none
  • Sophia/Sofia/Sophie/etc--35 instances
    Lists without: Iceland
  • Elizabeth/Elise/Elsa/Lisa/Eliza/etc--32 instances
    Lists without: none
  • Sarah/Sara/Sadie/etc--27 instances
    Lists without: none
  • Eva/Eve/Evie--25 instances
    Lists without: Norway, Sweden, Hungary
  • Isabella/Isabelle/Isabel/etc--25 instances
    Lists without: Finland, Norway, Belgium
  • Lily/Lilly/Lili/Lilja/Lilla/etc--24 instances
    Lists without: Spain, Italy
  • Ella/Ellie/etc--21 instances
    Lists without: Iceland, Spain, Italy, Hungary
  • Emily/Emilie/Emilia--21 instances
    Lists without: Spain
Julia, Alice, Katherine, Charlotte, Emma, Olivia, Helena, Amelia, Maya, and Rose round out the overall Top 20. 
There were approximately 408 "name families" total, although many are inter-related (Isabella is a form of Elizabeth, for instance, but they're generally treated as distinct names; same with Caroline and Charlotte. Ella/Ellie could be from Elizabeth, but it can also be from Helena/Ellen or Eleanor).


The country with the most unique names ('unique names' in this case being shorthand for "names without any variants appearing on any other top names lists") was by far Iceland, with nearly 1/2 of the Top 50:
Hekla, Birta, Sóley, Helga, Katla, Guðrún, Þórdís, Ingibjörg, Embla, Sigrún, Harpa, Hrafntinna, Steinunn, Unnur, Aþena, Fanney, Iðunn, Arna, Hrafnhildur, Snædís, and Vigdís. 

Spain's Top 100 is about 1/3 'unique' names:
Daniela, Valeria, Alba, Carmen, Ainhoa, Aitana, Marina, Candela, Laia, Ainara, Leire/Leyre, Nerea, Rocio, Vega, Jimena, Abril, Triana, Nuria, Aroa, Manuela, Mar, Mara, Africa, Naia, Noelia, Nahia, Naiara/Nayara, Elia, Arlet, Yanira, Fatima, Erika, and Mireia.

Finland's Top 50 is about 30% 'unique' names:
Venla, Aino, Helmi, Enni, Kerttu, Pihla, Hilla, Minea, Iina, Vilja, Sanni, Lumi, and Seela.

While Hungary, Sweden, and Italy are all around 1/4 'unique' names.
Hungary (Top 100): Boglárka, Csenge, Réka, Petra, Zselyke, Regina, Kinga, Szonja, Emese, Tímea, Tamara, Fruzsina, Eniko, Virág, Hanga, Dorottya, Dalma, Kinsco, Vanda, Kira, Zita, Ramóna, Bíborka, Boróka, Patricia, and Dzsenifer.
Sweden (Top 100): Ebba, Alva, Signe, Nova, Edith, Elvira, Tyra, Juni, Felicia, Meja, Moa, Livia, Stina, Lykke, Svea, Cornelia, Joline, Lo, Tindra, Novalie, Philippa, My, Hilma, and Linn.
Italy (Top 100): Gaia, Ginevra, Ludovica, Gioia, Asia, Serena, Benedetta, Ilaria, Federica, Cecilia, Flavia, Gloria, Diletta, Sveva, Lucrezia, Virginia, Agata, Celeste, Lavinia, Sabrina, Teresa, and Anastasia. 


On the other end, New Zealand has zero unique names. England & Wales has 2 (Aisha and Bethany), Australia has 3 (Indiana, Chelsea, and Eloise), while Scotland and N. Ireland each have 4 (Eilidh, Skye, Iona, and Hope; Eimear, Cora, Cassie, and Farrah; respectively).
Although it's not terribly surprising that the English-speaking countries all have a lot in common. :)