The baby names Jubilee and Marian

Jubilee, 1975

Within the next few years, it’s very possible that the baby name Jubilee will enter the girls’ top 1,000:

  • 2015: 229 baby girls named Jubilee [rank: 1,117th]
  • 2014: 167 baby girls named Jubilee [rank: 1,382nd]
  • 2013: 156 baby girls named Jubilee [rank: 1,440th]
  • 2012: 160 baby girls named Jubilee [rank: 1,424th]
  • 2011: 104 baby girls named Jubilee [rank: 1,918th]
  • 2010: 94 baby girls named Jubilee [rank: 2,101st]

The jump in 2012 was thanks to Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee (thank you, Fiona, for reminding me to mention it!).

Though Jubilee is seeing a good amount of birth-certificate usage these days, it only began popping up in the U.S. baby name data relatively recently, in 1975:

  • 1977: 6 baby girls named Jubilee
  • 1976: 8 baby girls named Jubilee
  • 1975: 9 baby girls named Jubilee [debut]
  • 1974: unlisted
  • 1973: unlisted

I don’t think that year is a coincidence; it lines up perfectly with one of the Roman Catholic Church’s more recent jubilee years.

Speaking of special Roman Catholic years…the church has also celebrated a total of two Marian years, the first of which was in 1954. That year, the baby name Marian saw a sharp rise in usage and nearly returned to top 100:

  • 1956: 1,249 baby girls named Marian [232nd]
  • 1955: 1,497 baby girls named Marian [208th]
  • 1954: 4,014 baby girls named Marian [104th]
  • 1953: 1,366 baby girls named Marian [217th]
  • 1952: 1,246 baby girls named Marian [221st]
Graph of the usage of the baby name Marian in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Marian

The other Marian year lasted from mid-1987 to mid-1988 and had no effect on the name.

Which of these two names do you prefer, Jubilee or Marian?

Update, Oct. 2020 – I spoke too soon regarding Jubilee! Turns out peak usage was in 2015-2016 — likely because of the Catholic Church’s “Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy” that was announced in early 2015 and lasted from late 2015 to late 2016. After that, usage began dropping:

Graph of the usage of the baby name Jubilee in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Jubilee

Sources: Jubilee in the Catholic Church – Wikipedia, SSA

Top image: Montespertoli, targa giubileo1975, famiglia romei by Sailko under CC BY 3.0.

6 thoughts on “The baby names Jubilee and Marian

  1. Hello. Is it possible that Marian is just an alternative spelling for Marion or Marianne?

    I wonder if Jubilee may be linked to Queen Elizabeth II’s jubilee?

  2. Yes — most sources define “Marian” as either a variant of Marion or as a blend of Mary and Ann, in fact.

    In 1954, though, it looks like the majority of parents were influenced by the Marian Year specifically.

    Queen Elizabeth has had three jubilees so far — 1977 (Silver), 2002 (Golden), and 2012 (Diamond) — and it does look like the last one had an influence on the name. (I should add this to the post, in fact. Thank you for mentioning it!)

  3. Yes, looks like a woman named Jubilee Sharpe was on 2 shows — The Bachelor and a spin-off called Bachelor in Paradise — both this year. Makes it even more likely the name will hit the top 1,000 soon…

  4. When I was gathering data from the Irish civil registration indexes, I noticed that Marian had saw a similar if not much bigger spike in numbers. I can only find 307 birth AND death records for Marians born in 1953 (adding up to around 0.7%), but fast forward a year and you get 4,884 records (adding up to around 8.5%) – representing a spike of around 1,491%.
    When I compared to other top names of that time, it seems as if Marian became the 2nd most popular name in Ireland for 1954 only – just over 300 records shy of top name, Mary – before coming back down to 428 records (around 0.8%).

  5. Impressive! Thanks so much for sharing your data/calculations. :)

    Marian possibly reaching the #2 spot in Ireland that year is pretty impressive, though maybe we should have expected it, given how Catholic Ireland still was during the 1950s…

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