Is the -Ayden craze over?

Did you know that the baby names Jayden and Aiden are decreasing in popularity?

That’s right. Over the past two years, while the rankings for Jayden and Aiden have increased, the number of babies named Jayden and Aiden has actually decreased.

Babies named JaydenBabies named Aiden
16,861 (rank: 4th)
17,101 (rank: 4th)
17,217 (rank: 8th)
17,105 (rank: 11th)
15,206 (rank:18th)
15,389 (rank: 9th)
15,479 (rank: 9th)
15,976 (rank: 12th)
15,555 (rank: 16th)
13,087 (rank: 27th)

(Over in Scotland, both the numbers and the rankings for Jayden and Aiden are slipping.)

Does this mean the -ayden names have peaked in popularity? Are they on their way down now?

It’s hard to answer these questions without more information. (Who knows — maybe the rest of the name group is still going strong, even if the top two are losing steam.)

So here’s what I did to get a better picture of overall -ayden usage.

According to my big 2009 analysis of -ayden boy names and -ayden girl names, the top two spelling variants for -ayden names are “-ayden” (41.7% of boys; 53.6% of girls) and “-aiden” (22.7% of boys; 9.6% of girls).

I combed through more than two decades’ worth of SSA data and counted up all the babies, male and female, given either an “-ayden” or an “-aiden” name.

The following graph shows how many U.S. babies have been given an “-ayden” name per year since 1991:

"-Ayden" baby name group popularity graph, 1991-2011

And this one shows how many babies have been given an “-aiden” name since 1991:

"-Aiden" baby name group popularity graph, 1991-2011

Interesting, isn’t it?

Babies with -Ayden namesBabies with -Aiden names

These graphs both show that the popularity of -ayden names rose steeply from the turn of the century until about 2008.

After that, though, the numbers plateau.

So is the -ayden craze officially over?

It depends on how one defines “craze.”

The rise certainly seems to be over. The -ayden names are no longer increasing in popularity the way they once were.

But the numbers are still massive. Tens of thousands of U.S. babies continue to get -ayden names every year. And there’s no telling when these numbers will start to decline.

Where do you think -ayden names are headed? How long will the plateau last? When will the numbers start decreasing? Will they fall as quickly as they climbed?

9 thoughts on “Is the -Ayden craze over?

  1. I think they’ll stabilize for a few more years. Also I think the -ayden spellings will take over, for example Ayden over Aiden, Kayden over Kaden. Plus, newer ayden names seem to be rising like Zayden, Rayden, etc, I guess parents are trying to find the unique amongst the saturated -ayden trend.

  2. My prediction is: The -ayden names will turn female soon, and in consequence parents will stop naming boys in -ayden. In the second step, the -ayden will drop to invisibility.

    There won’t be any -aydens in about 20 year from now (tho traditional versions of some names like Jadon or Aidan may survive).

  3. I have an 11.5 year old grandson named Aidan. I have never associated AIDAN with all the names that have the sound of ‘ayden’ or with ‘Aiden’. It is unfortunate that the fine, old name Aidan has been misspelled in every imaginable way and that just about any consonant that will work with ‘ayden’ has been added to it: Jayden, Kaden, Raiden, etc. I think that the -aydens will decline about as quickly as they arose, but I hope Aidan will continue on. Aidan is a fine name with a long history as a given name. There is a church in a nearby town called St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church. The name of that church — and others — reminds us that the name is A-I-D-A-N.

  4. I think the -Ayden craze may have hit a plateau, but Aiden will stick around longer than the others I think. Maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part. I am not a fan of Aidan’s different variations and rhymers. I understand the appeal, but it has gone too far.

    Like Patricia, I prefer Aidan myself, but the more phonetically spelled Aiden has surpassed it. As far as alternate spellings go, Aiden isn’t bad, much better than Adyn, Aidyn, Adin, etc., but Aidan is superior in my mind.

  5. My daughter suggested back in 2001 that they spell their son’s name ‘Aiden’, but her husband would have no part of that. And really, why Aiden, we get along fine with Megan and Susan and others (not Megen and Susen, etc.)? The Aiden spelling makes me wonder if the parents know — or care — about the history of the name, but I agree with Angie that it’s the best of the other spellings. Sadly it has surpassed Aidan. Sigh…

  6. Here are the 2012 numbers for Jayden and Aiden:

    Boys: 16,926 in 2011; 16,013 in 2012 [-913 babies]
    Girls: 1,067 in 2011; 819 in 2012 [-248 babies]

    Boys: 15,447 in 2011; 14,779 in 2012 [-668 babies]
    Girls: 90 in 2011; 86 in 2012 [-4 babies]

  7. My son Aidan was born in 1994. I chose the name because of the local connection. I don’t live very far from Lindisfarne island in the North-East of England. The Christian founder there was Saint Aidan who was an Irish monk credited with restoring Christianity to Northumberland and founded a monastery at Lindisfarne circa AD 635. The beauty of the island matches the physicality & temperament of my footy-mad, quirky, funny son Aidan. A beautiful name without a doubt.

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