A couple of weeks ago, Rachel asked a great question: “I wonder which names are the most Canadian? That is, which have the greatest popularity differentials between Canada and the US?”
In this post and the next, we’ll try to come up with lists of both the “most Canadian” and the “most American” baby names using two different methods.
Second, we’ll look at the names that appeared in both sets of data, focusing on how proportionally popular each name was in each place. For the girl names below, I calculated the proportions by dividing each name’s U.S. usage by the total number of girls born in the U.S. last year (1,784,437) and each name’s Canadian usage by the total number of girls born Canada last year (170,916).
Top Canada-only girl names
The 2022 Canadian data included 270 girl names that were not in the U.S. data. Below are the 10+ most popular Canada-only girl names.
|Number of girls (Can.)||Rank (Can.)|
|10. Megane||36 (tie)||740th (tie)|
|11. Oceanne||36 (tie)||740th (tie)|
Most of these are French, of course, and the usage was primarily in Quebec:
- Flavie: 182 of 184 born in Quebec
- Ophelie: 163 of 169
- Romane: 114 of 114 (all)
- Lea-Rose: 54 of 59
- Lauralie: 55 of 57
- Morgane: 41 of 42
- Louane: 41 of 41 (all)
- Leane: 35 of 37
- Megane: 35 of 36
- Oceanne: 31 of 36
The name Sifat, on the other hand, was not used in Quebec at all.
Girl names particularly popular in Canada
Now let’s look at the more than 3,340 girl names that appeared in both sets of data. Of the girl names used more frequently in Canada than in the U.S., the 10 below had the largest pro-Canada differentials. (I added the rankings for both countries as well.)
|Differential (Pro-Can.)||Rank (Can.)||Rank (U.S.)|
Top U.S.-only girl names
The 2022 U.S. data included 14,319 girl names that were not in the Canadian data. Below are the 10 most popular U.S.-only girl names.
|Number of girls (U.S.)||Rank (U.S.)|
Similar to the way the Canada-only list featured names used by French speakers, this U.S.-only list includes quite a few names used by Spanish speakers.
Girl names particularly popular in the U.S.
Now back to the names that both countries had in common. Of the girl names used more frequently in the U.S. than in Canada, the 10 below had the largest pro-U.S. differentials. (And, again, I added the rankings.)
|Differential (Pro-U.S.)||Rank (U.S.)||Rank (Can.)|
Of course, this analysis is necessarily a bit lopsided: Canada has fewer people than the U.S. does, and also releases a relatively limited set of baby name data.
Still, it’s fun to see the results. :)
What are your thoughts on the names above?
- Canada: First names at birth by sex at birth, selected indicators (Number) – StatCan, The Daily – Births, 2022 – StatCan, List of Baby Names – Retraite Québec
- USA: Beyond the Top 1000 Names – SSA, Social Security number holders – SSA
Image by Redd F from Unsplash