Sunday, August 7, 2011

Brits are more likely to use a top name than Americans

Recently I got to playing around and doing some comparisons between the US and UK stats (links are at the bottom of the post). To make the numbers comparable, I multiplied the UK (in this case the England + Wales) stats by the ratio of the US's population to that of the aforementioned areas. As it turns out the ratio falls between about 5.5 and 6; when using my figuring to base the statements below they are approximations (if I could use the actual birth rate stats rather than that of the whole population the ratio would probably be a bit higher since if I'm correct the US birth rate is higher than the UK one).

A difference I noticed between the two countries is that the top names make up a lower proportion of births in the US than across the pond (in other words there is more "name conformity" in the UK). For example, the percentage of babies given the top name is higher in England/Wales than in America (with the boys having a larger effect). When comparing the complete top 10 lists similar results show up.

Taking the 2010 stats here's the respective names and numbers for the top 10 (raw numbers, not adjusted like I did to make true comparisons):

US Top 10:
Jacob 21,875 Isabella 22,731
Ethan 17,866 Sophia 20,477
Michael 17,133 Emma 17,179
Jayden 17,030 Olivia 16,860
William 16,870 Ava 15,300
Alexander 16,634 Emily 14,172
Noah 16,281 Abigail 14,124
Daniel 15,679 Madison 13,070
Aiden 15,403 Chloe 11,656
Anthony 15,364 Mia 10,541

England/Wales Top 10:
Oliver 8,427 Olivia 5,279
Jack 7,031 Sophie 4,469
Harry 6,862 Emily 4,310
Alfie 5,478 Lily 4,257
Charlie 5,410 Amelia 4,227
Thomas 5,307 Jessica 4,102
William 5,256 Ruby 3,961
Joshua 5,217 Chloe 3,883
George 4,542 Grace 3,722
James 4,351 Evie 3,469

US stats:
UK stats: (outdated link)


  1. Note: The link to the England/Wales statistics no longer works.

  2. To find the England/Wales statistics I used, search the site ( with the terms ("baby names" 2010) and you should find the applicable Excel files that I got the numbers from.