Remember when the names Jessica and Ashley reigned supreme? Well, now you won’t be able to forget, thanks to an incredible map that Reddit user u/V1Analytics posted on the popular subreddit r/DataisBeautiful. The map, a map of the contiguous United States as well as the Hawaiian islands and Alaska, displayed the most popular baby names in each year from 1950 to 2018 in every single state. The biggest takeaway? What’s popular in one state is usually just as popular in nearly every other state: the baby name trends are huge, basically all-encompassing, and homogenous. The Southeastern seaboard in 2018, for example, loved the name Ava for baby girls, where at least 10 states had ‘Emma’ as the name to beat in 2018.
It’s fun to watch the names change over time — and namely remember that in 1950, there were basically three names: Mary, Linda, and Susan, and see the trends of names come and go. Debras, Karens, Susans, Loris, and Lisa’s all had their time in the sun, with Lisa being the most popular name in every single state for just about three years in a row. Then, Jennifer reigns supreme, with Jessica and Ashley beginning to take over in the 1980’s, and Emily, it turns out, having a bonkers level of longevity, being one of the most popular names in many states for nearly a decade from the mid-90’s to the mid 2000s.
But while none of his information is particularly surprising or new, it’s super fun to see it portrayed in map data, even if it does make us feel a little less special than we thought we were when it comes to naming our baby daughters.