Names give an interesting look into cultural trends, a person’s background, and sometimes even clues to what was going on in a person’s birth year. The Social Security Administration has released the top baby names for 2013 and it seems that American parents are increasingly favoring old-fashioned monikers. Noah managed to snag the number one spot for boy names and Sophia tops the list for girls.
The Week reports that the last time a name other than Michael or Jacob was the most popular boy name in the United States was in 1960. Although its the year 2014, the clock seems to have been turned back for last year's most popular baby names.
Top 5 Boys Names of 2013
Top 5 Girl Names of 2013
The Power In Names
According to BabyCentre this influx of old-fashioned names is because of the 100-year rule. This rule is closely linked to people’s associations with certain names. Names that were popular with our parent’s generation are still associated with them so new parents find it hard to imagine a child having that name. Older names are less likely to have a living person to associate with and are free from already formed stereotypes. In other words people are less likely to say "I knew someone with that name, couldn't stand them." Parenting describes how many parents believe that a name holds the power to shape a child’s self-esteem and his identity, while also influencing how they are seen and treated by others. Some believe that this heavy influence on names comes from our heightened awareness of the power of marketing. “Your name defines you, it’s your brand, really, for the rest of your life,” explained Gregg Steiner, a Los Angeles talent manager to Parenting.
This importance of names may have a bit of scientific backing as well. It was found that the racial perception of a person’s name can influence their chances of landing a job. A recent study sent out identical applications to more than 5,000 jobs. It was found that applicants with more distinctively African American names, such as Latoya and Rasheed, were 50 percent less likely to receive a job interview than those with less racially defining names like Brad and Sarah. However certain black names seemed to get more respect than others, for example Jermaine and Ebony scored three times as many interviews as Tremayne and Keisha.
Less Babies With The Same Name
What was also revealed from this survey is that not nearly as many babies share the same names, in comparison to years before. For example, as reported by Fox News, in 2013 there were 21,000 baby girls sharing the top name, Sophia. However in 1950, the top name of Linda was shared by more than 80,000 American newborn girls. This may be because parents are more likely to think “outside of the box” when it comes to naming their children. “In the past, most parents were picking from a pretty well-defined set of names. Today, we get names everywhere, Laura Wattenberg, creator of BabyNameWizard.com explained to Fox News.