Newborn's name expresses the yearning and pursuit of intimate, harmonious and orderly interpersonal relationships, and this yearning and pursuit is a eternal theme of human society.
This project uses data visualization, statistical exploration and data analysis to have a glance on how the trend of the baby's name is changing, and the probable social and/or historical reasons behind the scene. The visualization part is following Shneiderman’s mantra: Overview first, zoom and filter, then details-on-demand.
A glimpse on the total births of first 1000 names by sex over the years:
The x-axis corresponds to year, and the y-axis corresponds to total sum of top 1000 names of each year.
The following graph shows the top10 girls' names and boys' names over the years. Among these names, four out of ten girl's names are biblical names, and one of them is Bible related; and six out of ten boy's names are biblical names; which implies that Christianity as a religion plays a huge role in the US society. Usually a baby's name is given by parents or other family members, so it is not necesarily represents the baby's belif; but it certianly implies the family's belif and even the social trends. By statistics, Christian takes up to 70.6% in the US, therefore Christianity life is an important part of social life, and newborn babys' given name is an evidence of that. The name of the religious believer is obviously different from the secular people, most of them are biblical names, which are chosen from Bible; but in the graphs below also shows that the names nowadays are getting more diverse -- there are more choices of babynames other than biblical names.
Mary: Biblical name, meaning Beloved.
Elizabeth: Biblical name, meaning 'My God is an oath'
Patricia: meaning "noble", it is the feminine form of the masculine given name Patrick.
Jennifer: meaning "the fair one"
Linda: meaning "flexible, soft, mild".
Barbara: meaning"strange or foreign"
Margaret: meaning "pearl" or "cluster of blossoms".
Susan: biblical, to be joyful”. Susan, from the ancient Persian Shushun, is the name of a city, which is often mentioned in the Bible. The city is full of beautiful lilies and has a reputation as a city of lilies. Usually the name is given to the girls to wish them love beauty and love flowers.
Dorothy: Gift of God
Sarah: biblical name, Princess.
James: biblical, meaning supplanter, man who follows. A classic boys' name derived from the Hebrew name Jacob.
John: biblical, meaning God is gracious. In addition to its meaning as a considerations another reason is that there are two important figures in the Bible called John, one is "Baptist John" and the other is "Evangelist John".
Robert: meaning "bright fame",
Michael: biblical, meaning "who is like God?".
William: Resolute protector
David: biblical, meaning "beloved"
Joseph: biblical, meaning May Jehovah add/give increase.
Richard: "strong in rule".
Charles: meaning "free man".
Thomas: biblical, meaning 'twin'
The graph below represents the top 1000 name trends for boys and girls over the years, The x-axis corresponds to year, and the y-axis shows an estimate of the central tendency for the year. The shadows represent the confidence interval for that estimates.
The next set of graphs represent the trend of top 10 names over the years from 1880 to 2018; the first set of names are for girs and the second set are for boys.
Surprisingly, there are only 0.81% of names are choosed from Bible, and these graphs above show that all the top 10 names for boys and girls have a decrease tendency, which implies that there are more choices of names nowadays, in another word, the factors of chosing a babyname are getting more diverse. They could be historical event, race, religious belif, backgroud, sexual orientation, political beliefs, or other ideologies. New England naming customs changed between the 17th and the 19th centuries when there was a shift away from Biblical names, clearly reflect-ing the change to a more industrial economy and a less religiously based society (Scott Smith, 1985). 2 Let's have a deeper look on the data and further explore the trends and reasons behind it.
The trends of the proportion of top 1000 names for both boys and girls are getting decreased，implies that there are more choices of names.
The x-axis represents years, the y-axis is the position at the 50th quantile of all newborn names of the year. This graph is designed to show the diversity of the choices of names from 1880 to present.
I picked some names and see the trends over the years, which interestingly matched with some historical events.
'Hillary' and 'Clinton' had a sharp down around 1992, that was the year that Mr.Clinton prepare the presidential election, and he was accused with some sexual scandal with Gennifer Flowers. 'Elvis':
Elvis Aaron Presleya (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known mononymously as Elvis, was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King". His music career began there in 1954, recording at Sun Records with producer Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African-American music to a wider audience.
With these examples I could conclude that the choices of names are also affected by some historical events, political belifs, and social trends.
Now let's have a look the how on the names are changing over the years.
The last character of the names draw my attention:
The two graphs below show the the trend of last character of the names. The most popular last-characters for boys are: 'd','e','n','s','y', and not-that polular characters are:'h','l','m','r','t', and the top choices for girls are: 'a','e','n','y'.
There is the difference between boy's and girl's name in the use of the characters. Generally speaking, when we come into seeing a new name, we could often guess the gender, and mostly could get the correct answer. Besides the noticable differences on the names, unisex names also becomes a trend.
Take Lesley as an example, the 'lesl-likeness' name has a sharp turning point around 1945, which more girls and less boys use this name. Silimar to the name 'Taylor', 'patric-likeness' names, and etc.
Nowadays a person's name is one of the most important identity, and also reveals how the expectation the person's family hold. I believe there are much more insights hidden behind the names and the dataset, which requires more social-data analysis on it, and that's my goal in the next step.