Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Midwestern Names

Perhaps someday I should redo this entire series, but using the same year's data for all. :p
So far, we have "Southern" names (2014), "Surfer" names (2015), and "Cowboy" names (2016). Today we have Midwestern names (IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI), and I promise I will try to get around to New England names sometime this year. ;)

Up first, here are the "most Midwestern" names (by % of babies given that name) in the Midwestern states' combined Top 1000:

Boys:
  • Abdirahman
  • Abdullahi
  • Brecken
  • Jakub
  • Henrik
  • Huxley
  • Kolten
  • Crosby
  • Otto
  • Ayub
  • Briggs
  • Bo
  • Sullivan
  • Emmitt
  • Zakariya
  • Dane
  • Leighton
  • Amarion
  • Hussein
  • Gus
So, for clarification, Abdirahman, the "most Midwestern" boys' name, is about 3.5x more common in the Midwest than in the US in general.

Girls:
  • Letty
  • Greta
  • Luella
  • Jersey
  • Maren
  • Vada
  • Elsie
  • Mara
  • Bexley
  • Vayda
  • Berkley
  • Monroe
  • Emersyn
  • Oaklyn
  • Tenley
  • Brynlee
  • Macy
  • Lucille
  • Brynn
  • Nora
I am pretty surprised to see so many Arabic names on the boys' list. Also interesting that there aren't any on the girls' (Safa comes in at #22). The girls' list is also quite a hodgepodge of styles!

Plenty of these names are still pretty uncommon, so here are the "most Midwestern" names from the midwestern Top 500:

Boys:
  • Brecken
  • Henrik
  • Huxley
  • Crosby
  • Otto
  • Briggs
  • Bo
  • Sullivan
  • Emmitt
  • Emmett
  • Keaton
  • Hank
  • Mohamed
  • Ahmed
  • Reid
  • Beckett
  • Graham
  • Griffin
  • Ryker
  • Nash
Ah, that's more like what I was expecting.

Girls:
  • Greta
  • Luella
  • Maren
  • Elsie
  • Mara
  • Monroe
  • Emersyn
  • Oaklyn
  • Tenley
  • Brynlee
  • Macy
  • Lucille
  • Brynn
  • Nora
  • Evelynn
  • Oakley
  • Lainey
  • Cecelia
  • Gracelynn
  • Thea
"Old lady names", unisex surnames, lyns, and lees. That's like the current US naming culture, in microcosm. :p

Finally, down to the most popular names. Here are the names most disproportionately common in the Midwestern states, from their combined Top 100:

Boys:
  • Emmett
  • Ryker
  • Bennett
  • Lincoln
  • Theodore
  • Everett
  • Bentley
  • Maverick
  • Owen
  • Henry
  • Braxton
  • Weston
  • Sawyer
  • Nolan
  • Harrison
  • Leo
  • Easton
  • Parker
  • Hudson
  • Oliver

Girls:
  • Nora
  • Quinn
  • Lydia
  • Vivian
  • Norah
  • Josephine
  • Cora
  • Hadley
  • Eleanor
  • Clara
  • Willow
  • Piper
  • Lillian
  • Claire
  • Everly
  • Harper
  • Paisley
  • Addison
  • Lucy
  • Violet

Anyone else think these lists read like those "Hottest Baby Names of 2017!!" articles?  :p

For comparison, here are the Midwestern Top 10 and the National Top 10. 


Midwestern
National
1.
Liam
Liam
2.
Oliver
Noah
3.
Noah
William
4.
William
James
5.
Henry
Logan
6.
Logan
Benjamin
7.
Benjamin
Mason
8.
Mason
Elijah
9.
James
Oliver
10.
Owen
Jacob


Midwestern
National
1.
Emma
Emma
2.
Olivia
Olivia
3.
Ava
Ava
4.
Charlotte
Isabella
5.
Amelia
Sophia
6.
Harper
Mia
7.
Evelyn
Charlotte
8.
Sophia
Amelia
9.
Isabella
Evelyn
10.
Nora
Abigail

If you wish to see the entire Midwestern Top 1000, it is up here, on Google Sheets.


And now for the really fun part: the most representative names of each state. These are the names most disproportionately common in that state compared to the US in general (data limited to the top 40% or so of names, since rare names confuse things). 

IL: Jakub, Maddon, Addison, Syed, Dakari (boys); Aleksandra, Nell, Jaylani, Klara, Zaina (girls)

IN: Lyndon, Briar, Crew, Bentlee, Branson (boys); Addelyn, Hadleigh, Haisley, Gracelynn, Jovie (girls)

IA: Kinnick, Huxley, Hank, Bo, Kohen (boys); Bexley, Estella, Tenley, Everlee, Oaklyn (girls)

KS: Bo, Hayes, Wade, Pierce, Brock (boys); Bristol, Kimber, Macy, Lainey, Emberly (girls)

MI: Hussein, Saleh, Hadi, Henrik, Cartier (boys); Zahraa, Layan, Malak, Ellery, Ayah (girls)

MN: Muad, Abdullahi, Abdirahman, Salman, Ayub (boys); Maryama, Sundus, Maida, Siham, Sumaya (girls)

MO: Truman, Gatlin, Kolten, Augustus, Boone (boys); Emberlynn, Kimber, Rosalee, Karlie, Vada (girls)

NE: Brecken, Huxley, Briggs, Hayes, Barrett (boys); Lennon, Sloan, Adley, Emersyn, Willa (girls)

ND: Mohamed, Rhett, Ryker, Lane, Nash (boys); Adley, Elsie, Kinley, Thea, Brynlee (girls)

OH: Marty, Abdirahman, Cartier, Colson, Bentlee (boys); Jersey, Bexley, Denver, Aubrianna, Carmella (girls)

SD: Briggs, Oakley, Hayes, Porter, Kane (boys); Hattie, Oakley, Aspen, Mya, Brynlee (girls)

WI: Cashton, Jordy, Bronson, Brecken, Henrik (boys); Greta, Luella, Marcella, Veda, Sylvia (girls)

Yes, that is Oakley on both the boys' and girls' lists in South Dakota. And it's all about one-syllable names for Kansas boys! Actually single-syllable names are all over the boys' lists; I guess there's more than a little 'cowboy' in the Midwest as well.
Kinnick (IA) and Marty (OH) seem so random! There just has to be a local influence.

But really, the most interesting thing about this data, IMO, is how you can tell where immigration is strongest. Pretty cool!

If you want to see beyond the top 5 for each state, it's also up on Google Sheets (same link as above, different sheet).


So, what names are the "least Midwestern"? Easily, Latinate names for both genders, especially Spanish ones (Pablo, Rodrigo, Roberto, Alessia, Fernanda, Renata, etc), but also softer/unisex boys' names (Morgan, Noel, Alexis, Eden, etc) and, in an oddly specific anti-trend, Jaz-names for girls (Jazmin, Jazlyn, Jazmine, etc).

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