Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Naming babies after Game of Thrones characters got even more popular last year

So many parents are naming their kids after Khaleesi. Photo courtesy of HBO.

A month ago, we tracked a handful of names from fantasy and sci-fi series (Khaleesi and Arya from Game of Thrones, Hermione, Sirius, and Draco from Harry Potter, and Katniss from The Hunger Games); unsurprisingly, the names' popularity tracked that of the series they come from pretty well.

Today, the Social Security Administration released name data from last year, and Khaleesi and Arya are doing as well as ever. There were 241 Khaleesis born in 2013, up from 146 in 2012 (a 65 percent jump). That puts the name above the likes of Stacy, Pamela, Janet, and Joan:

Frequency_of_khaleesi_and_other_female_baby_names_in_the_us_in_2013 Arya also grew impressively, going from 756 (girls only) in 2012 to 1,135 in 2013, a 50 percent jump. That may not be entirely attributable to Game of Thrones, especially as the Eragon series featured a main character named Arya, but given how much more popular Game of Thrones was last year it seems fair to credit the show (and to some extent the books). Arya tied with Madeleine and bested Amanda, Phoebe, Helen, and Karen:

Frequency_of_arya_and_other_female_baby_names_in_the_us_in_2013 There was somewhat less action on the Hunger Games and Harry Potter fronts. There were 17 Katnisses in 2013, compared to 12 in 2012; that' s a big jump in percentage terms, but it's from a very low base. There were 47 Hermiones, barely different from the 52 in 2012, while Draco fell from 51 to 27 and Sirius rose from 15 to 22. Still, all of those are well above the numbers before the first Harry Potter book. Draco and Sirius don't show up in the database until the late '90s, while Hermione saw some use in the 1910s and 1920s before mostly disappearing until 2001.

If you want to play with the data yourself, I put together a CSV file of all of the Social Security Administration's national name counts from 1880 to 2013; check out the SSA site for state-level data. Keep in mind that names used less than 5 times in a given year will be omitted for privacy reasons.

Update: One more for you - Daenerys, the actual first name of the Khaleesi from Game of Thrones, also had a good year in 2013. It first showed up on the names list in 2012, when there were 21, but it more than tripled to 67 last year.

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