Friday, May 31, 2013

Fastest-Falling Names of 2012

by Vera Kratochvil
Maybe you've noticed it, maybe you haven't, but there was a naming phenomenon that swept the country for the past decade until now. In 2011, more than 700,000 American baby boys had names that ended with the letter N. Maybe you haven't thought about it, but now you're able to recall all the little Aidens, Masons, Ethans and Jaydens that you know.

With all the recent data released for 2012, it looks like the "era of the -n" is finally starting to wind down. The 5 fastest falling boy names last year all ended with N.

1. Jaden - Dropped by 40 ranks. (It went from #100 in 2011 to #140 in 2012.)
2. Rylan  -Down by 33 ranks. (#146 in 2011 to #179 in 2012.)
3. Ashton  -Fell 32 spots (#109 in 2011 to # 141 in 2012.)
4. Hayden -Moved down 19 spots.  (#90 in 2011 to #109 in 2012.)
5. Justin - After 40+ years of popularity, it finally fell 15 ranks.  (#59 in 2011 to #74 in 2012.)

Jaden has embarked on its journey down the chart due to most parents choosing Jayden as their standardized spelling. Jayden actually also fell since last year from #4 in 2011 to #7 in 2012.  Ashton has finally seen its day; perhaps partial blame is on Mr. Kutcher's name being splashed all over the news in the past couple years?  Justin has notoriously been a "cute-boy" name, from Timberlake to Bieber, parents are finally weening off of it after a long run of popularity.

As for the girls, 3 of the 5 the fastest-falling names were trend-based celebrity names:

1. Dulce - Dropped a whopping 159 ranks! (#415 in 2011 to #574 in 2012.)
2. Danna - Fell an impressive 125 spots!  (#365 in 2011 to #490 in 2012.)
3. Audrina - Another big mover, 122 ranks down! (#318 in 2011 to #440 in 2012.) 
4. Alexis - Fell 14 spots after years of usage at the turn of the century. (#26 in 2011 to #40 in 2012.) 
5. Alyssa - Only fell 7 spots but it's notable after its huge popularity. (#37 in 2011 to #44 in 2012.)

The top 3 names were the celebrity-inspired names that lost popularity along with the "stars" they were named after: Dulce MarĂ­a, Audrina Partridge, and Danna Paola.  The reason Alexis and Alyssa are noteworthy on this movers-and-shakers list is that they've both seen mega popularity in the 1990's and 2000's. It seems as though their day has come to an end. While the names will remain on the Top 1000 for many years to come (perhaps forever), their decreased usage puts a time stamp on them.

What do you think of these names? Are there any other big-movers that are worth mentioning? Let me know in the comments below!

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