The Truth About Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth
The Daily Mail wonders whether Queen Elizabeth, who “received a lot of exposure last year, due to the Jubilee celebration of her 60-year reign, as well her presence at the London Olympics,” has anything to do with the baby name Elizabeth being back in the U.S. top 10.

I can’t speak to the Queen Elizabeth part — perhaps she did influence a lot of expectant parents here last year — but I’d like to throw in my two cents about the top 10 part.

Because “top 10” makes it sound like the name Elizabeth has become more popular.

It hasn’t.

Usage actually went down last year.

Relative popularity increased, but absolute popularity decreased. For the second year in a row, in fact:

  • 2012: 9,596 baby girls named Elizabeth [rank: 10th]
  • 2011: 10,024 baby girls named Elizabeth [rank: 11th]
  • 2010: 10,225 baby girls named Elizabeth [rank: 12th]

Notice how the rankings go up, and yet the numbers go down.

This illustrates why it’s so important to look at rankings and raw numbers to get the full picture on baby names.

Source: Top U.S. baby names inspired by…the Queen? Elizabeth creeps back onto list, while Jacob and Sophia remain number one
Image: Sergeant Adrian Harlen, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012


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