Are parents giving their kids more odd names lately?

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Uncommon names have been on the rise since the 80’s and saw a big jump in the 90’s:

In an analysis of the first names of 325 million American babies born 1880 to 2007, parents have increasingly given their children less common names, suggesting a growing interest in uniqueness and individualism. The data are from the Social Security Administration’s database of names, a complete survey of Americans with social security cards. Common names decreased in use from 1880 to 1919 and increased slightly from 1920 to 1949 before becoming steadily less popular from 1950 to 2007, with an unremitting decrease after 1983 and the greatest rate of change during the 1990s. The results are similar when controlled for immigration rate and when examined within the six U.S. states with the lowest population percentage of Hispanics. This behavioral evidence of growing individualism complements previous research finding generational increases in individualistic traits on self-report measures.

Source: “Fitting In or Standing Out: Trends in American Parents’ Choices for Children’s Names, 1880–2007” from Social Psychological and Personality Science

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