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How Popular Are My Facebook Friends?

I knew I’d get your attention.  More precisely, how popular are my Facebook friends’ names?

A recent blog by Allison McCann about the popularity of baby names got me thinking.  How popular was my name in 1960, the year I was born?  Well, “Dino” was ranked #404 that year, which, coincidentally (or maybe not) was the absolute high water mark for that particular name in the past 100 years.

Many, if not most, of my Facebook friends were born in the same year.  While I don’t have all that many Facebook friends, those that were there all served as a rich source of data about the popularity of our names in 1960.  I took the liberty of combining variatuions of name where it made sense to do so.  For example, “Susan” reflects the combination of Sue and Susan.  But “Marcella” reflects Marcella only, because she’d kill me if I referred to her as “Marci.”

And here are the results.  Where do you rank?

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Among the girls, Susan, Linda, and Lisa dominated that year, and have remained pretty popular ever since.  Roxann had many variations.  There wasn’t a Kym, so the data for Kim will have to suffice.

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David, Robert, and William, the usual suspects, were most the popular names among boys in 1960.  Sorry Arthur, but “Scooter” didn’t make the list.  And I find it somewhat interesting that the two lollygaggers in the bunch–me and my friend Geoff–happened to be born on the exact same day.  Coincidence? You decide.

You can kill off the better part of an afternoon paying around with this data.  Thanks to the Social Security Administration for spending our retirement dollars on such fun data mining applications.  Knock yourself out at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames.