Global Study of Names
Top Names by Country
Why conduct a global study of names?
A couple of months back, we were reading a Reddit thread about what kind of biases and pre-conceived notions people have about different first names and it was quite intriguing to see how people, albeit in some cases unconsciously or from a previous good or bad experience, had formed strong opinions about people with certain names. This is one form of stereotyping that happens all the time. Psychologists have long since concluded that even the most open-minded people have unconscious negative stereotypes and beliefs. Our brain needs to create such mental shortcuts to deal with an increasingly complex world. But what are the implications of such unconscious biases in the real world? In today’s connected world, we increasingly communicate and work with people whom we have never met in person but over emails and IMs. What kind of first impression do they have of you if the only thing they know about you is your name? Are our hidden biases affecting how we judge someone who came to interview for a job?
Being a data-driven organization, we wanted to analyze the data on how such unconscious biases take a hold and probably foster a discussion so that all of us can be more aware of it and not let it color our judgement for people with certain names. We realized that we didn’t have any data on the unconscious biases but we do process millions of social data points every day. So we decided to analyze the 45 million social media profiles of users that we have processed to see if there was anything interesting that we would find with respect to names. As it turns out, most of the names are probably shared by thousands, if not millions, of people across the world. So, trying to judge somebody named ‘Jennifer’ or ‘Michael’ based on a few people, you might know, with that name has the probability of less than 0.01% to be accurate.
Along with this study, we are also releasing a free application where you can try your own name as well as other names and see all kind of interesting insights like which are the most popular last names for your first name, which cities, states and countries is your name most popular in and color preferences for people with your name etc.
And if you are looking to find interesting insights about your name then you can try our free app -
Freakonomics, a very popular book which was on NYTimes best-seller list for a long time, contained analysis of 16 million baby names from California and the authors uncovered really interesting insights like how names get re-cycled every few decades. We decided to run the same experiment on our dataset to see if the same conclusion holds true for our global dataset of 45 million users. And it seems like the insights gathered from our data does have a striking resemblance to the insights uncovered by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, the very accomplished authors of Freakonomics.
If you happened to read Freakonomics, the authors mentioned most popular white girl names from 1960 to 2000. The names that were popular in 1960′s had lost steam in 2000. Similarly, in 1980, Jennifer was the most popular name, but Sarah became more popular in 2000. Even though our study is conducted almost a decade after the book was published, it seems their thesis on names still holds true.
As for males, there isn’t much statistics to compare, but names such as Michael, James and David which were popular in 1990′s were on a all time low in 2000 on social media.
John & Sarah are the most common names online
These are the most common male names on social media
And here is a tag cloud of the most popular male names
And the ten most popular female names on social media are
Top female names on social media
Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory is wrong as far as social media users are concerned. Muhammad is not the most popular first name neither is Lee the most popular last name.
And here we have mashed up the most popular male and female names in a single tag cloud
Here are the top names for the top 10 countries on social media -
Michael and Jennifer are the most popular names on Social Media in USA
David, Paul and Chris are most popular british male names
Sarah, Emma and Laura are most popular british female names
Who wins the battle of influence – Males vs. Females?
We picked up the most popular male and female names and analyzed their number of friends and followers on Twitter. Again, the males seem to outperform their counterparts with a better friends to followers ratio.
Some observations about most popular names
Here are interesting tidbits about the most popular male and female names
What about your name? You can try our name analytics application to find interesting insights about your name
Rest of the Countries
We hope you enjoyed our report and if you liked it, give us a thumbs-up.
An organization that originated in 2008, Beevolve is committed to providing the best and most cost-effective social media monitoring and measurement platform for marketers. The inspiration behind the name ‘Beevolve’ comes from the symbiotic relationship that bees have with flowering plants and how they have evolved together over thousands of years. Similarly, at Beevolve, we strive to build intelligent software products that learn from human interactions and improves themselves.
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