Name trends in Virginia are reflecting the cultural and demographic changes in the state. As Erica Mokun with Associated Press notes, with the data the Social Security Administration (SSA) has released, we can see how the people and the land have changed over the years. The new generation of Virginia residents are no longer the same as their grandparents!
While baby names are fun things to think of, they actually tell us a lot about society. Parents usually name their children after significant cultural influences in their lives like music, TV shows, and celebrity crushes. They also tell a lot about the area’s ethnic identity, connections to media, and the level of education. All of these were observed with Virginia’s baby name statistics.
Virginia is starting to show more signs of diversity. Spanish names are on the rise in the area, and traditionally American names like “Betty” and “Robert” (which used to be the most popular names in the 1930s) are on the decline. “Mateo” is now the 46th most popular name in the state; last year, 179 baby boys were born with that name.
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Despite this, there are names that are so loved by the area that they stand the test of time. “James” has been on the top-10 names every year, and it ranked fourth in Virginia last year. Other than that, statistics showed the rapid decline of previously popular names like “Shirley,” “William,” and “Liam.” However, it’s important to note that parents believe they have more choices for names than they had in the early 1900s. the SSA data shows that parents who had girls chose a name from a pool of only 300 options, but in recent years, the agency recorded over 1,400 different girls’ names.
The name trends also showed which state has a similar trajectory as Virginia. Mississippi, Ohio, and Washington D.C. all showed similar baby name trends to Virginia. For example, all states had “Ava” as the most popular girls’ name last year. This shows that the residents of all states share a common connection to culture and may have similar demographics. With all this, it’s become clear that those who follow baby name trends aren’t just obsessed with baby names—they’re contributing to important national statistics research!