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.
(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 babies per year have been given an “-ayden” name since 1991:
And this one shows how many babies have been given an “-aiden” name since 1991:
Interesting, isn’t it?
|Year||-ayden names||-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?