Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Red states, blue states: The Jacob factor

Hi-De-Ho Rene,

Here’s a weird fact: In 2000, in every one of the 30 states won by George W. Bush, the name Jacob was among the Top 5 names given to infant boys. In fact, Jacob was the No. 1 name in 22 of the 30 “red states.” In the 21 states (including D.C.) won by Al Gore, Jacob was in the Top 5 in 15, and No. 1 in 10 – or just less than half of the “blue states.”

The six that didn’t have Jacob in the Top 5 were California, Connecticut, D.C., Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. In each one, Gore trounced Bush. (See state-by-state results here.)

What does this mean? Is it statistically or sociologically relevant? Ideas, anyone? I have a few somewhat-educated guesses, but I’m interested in your hypotheses.

UPDATE: In 2002, Jacob continued to hold on to its chart-topping position by about the same margin over second-place Michael. At #5 with a bullet was Ethan, which jetted up from #17 in 2001 and #25 in 2000.

By 2002, Kari slipped all the way to #999 in infant girls’ names, behind the likes of #998 Nyasia, #948 Journey and #932 Unique (well, not exactly). Rene, you may be surprised to learn, ranked #417 among names for newborn boys, right behind Holden and Graham.

Kari (#999 and falling…)


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