I love that the Social Security Administration releases so much baby name data to the public. But I’ve always had mixed feelings about that 5-baby threshold for inclusion. (Due to privacy concerns, the government doesn’t release names given to fewer than 5 babies per gender, per year.)
Part of me appreciates the threshold. For instance, I like that it adds significance to the pop culture-inspired debut names I’m always posting about, as these names had to hit a certain minimum level of usage in order to register in the data.
But the other part of me? The other part just really, really wants to see those rare/crazy names at the bottom of the list.
So I get excited when I find U.S. data from an official source that does go down to single-instance usage. Up until recently, I only knew about Sonoma County and Los Angeles County, but recently I discovered that Iowa (an entire state!) also releases down-to-1 baby name data. Yay!
But before we get to the rare names, let’s look at the state of Iowa’s top baby names of 2016:
If you decide to dig through the data, leave a comment and let me know what you spot!
And if you’re friends with any expectant parents in Iowa, tell those lucky ducks that they have access to full sets of baby name rankings for their state. Either send them a link to this post or to one of the pages below…
In South Korea, parents are slowly moving away from traditional methods of choosing baby names.
Name decisions used to be made either by a grandfather or by a professional baby namer (who would use the Chinese zodiac to spot “weaknesses” in the baby’s fate and choose a name to help counter those weaknesses). While many parents still consult with professionals, the belief that choosing a name via astrology can affect a baby’s fate is less common than it once was.
So how are parents in Korea choosing names these days? In various ways…
Some are choosing names based on how easy they are to pronounce in English, avoiding tricky Korean syllables such as “Eun” and “Eo.”
Some are looking to pop culture (especially celebrities and reality TV) for names.
Some are taking a more creative route, turning Korean words into names. (One woman interviewed by Arirang News mentioned her son’s name was Ara, from the Korean word for “sea.”)
Some are going for a unisex sound with syllables like “ji” and “bin.”
According to Arirang News, the most popular baby names in South Korea from 2008 through most of 2013 were Seo-yeon for girls and Min-jun for boys: