An interactive map showing how baby names spread across the US

Illustration for article titled An interactive map showing how baby names spread across the US

Using US census data, creator Brian Lee Yung Rowe has developed an interactive map showing how names have grown and waned in popularity in different states since the early 1900s.

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Inspired by a recent baby name visualization, Yung Rowe wanted to see how a single name spreads across the country based on its prevalence in each state. So, for example, while a name like Brian never tops the list, it still has ebbs and flows of popularity that might be worth tracking.

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The interactive map can be found here.

Just put a name in the box, choose whether you want to look at male or female names, and press Go; there are more than 29,000 names available, including those that appear for both genders. Each state gets highlighted over time according to the proportion of the babies with that name.

One of the more interesting take-away's from this map is how some names are geographically clustered. Take a look at the name "Terrence" and how it has changed from 1946 to 1987.

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Illustration for article titled An interactive map showing how baby names spread across the US
Illustration for article titled An interactive map showing how baby names spread across the US
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"[W]hat is most interesting is to see how some names are popular in a specific geographic region while others are more broadly popular," he writes in a blog post. "Presumably the way names spread are governed by demographics, technology, and media."

Please share your own personal maps in comments!

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DISCUSSION

VerasGunn
Veras Gunn

I've got the unfortunate luck of having Justin as a name(god damn Bieber and Timberlake), and watching that name spread was weird. It's like it was barely used at all until BAM, mid to late 60s and it starts spreading across the country like the Spanish flu, peaks in the late 80s to early nineties then starts to settle.