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Most popular baby girl names

What are the most popular bay girl names? That sounds like a simple question, but like most things, there are a lot of nuances: what year or range of years? should spelling variants or similar sounding names be ignored or merged? what part of the world? what part of the USA? what ethnicity or race? You might have obvious answers to these questions, but your answers might be different than someone else's.

This website currently aims to merge similar names into clusters while sorting by rank. As an example, here is a list of the most popular baby girl names with a "medium" amount of clustering. Thus, the top ten baby girl names (averaged since 1880, with a strong emphasis on recent years) and clustered "medium" is:

  1. Emily: Emelia, Emelie, Emilia, Emilie, Emily
  2. Emma: Em, Emmie, Emmy
  3. Madison: Maddison
  4. Isabella: Isabel, Isabelle
  5. Ava: Ev, Eva, Eve, Evie, Evy
  6. Alexis: Aleksey, Alexa, Alexandra, Alexandria, Alexina, Alexine, Alix
  7. Abigail: Abagail, Abigale, Abigayle
  8. Sophia: Sofi, Sofia, Sofie, Sophie, Sophy
  9. Hannah: Hana, Hanna
  10. Olivia: Olive, Olivya, Olva

However, if the clustering is very lenient with lots of names similar to the main name, then the top 10 list changes to look like this:

  1. Emily: Amal, Amala, Amalia, Amalie, Ameilie, Amela, Amelia, Amelie, Em, Emalia, Emaline, Emele, Emelia, Emelie, Emely, Emelyn, Emilee, Emilia, Emilie, Emiline, Emily, Emmalee, Emmaline, Emmeline, Emmilyne, Emmly, Emyln, Imala
  2. Isabella: (plus ~40 others)
  3. Alexis: (plus ~60 others)
  4. Chloe: (plus many others)
  5. Emma: Aimee, Ama, Amaia, Amaya, Amey, Ami, Amia, Amie, Amiya, Amiyah, Amma, Ammie, Amy, Amya, Ayame, Ayme, Em, Ema, Emma, Emmie, Emmy, Ima, Imo, Oma, Omie, Uma, Umay, Yama, Yumi
  6. Katherine: (plus many others)
  7. Christina: (plus many others)
  8. Anna: (plus many others)
  9. Diana: (plus many others)
  10. Madison: (plus 5 others)

(Note that I did not list all the variants of these names since there are way too many, but you can see them by moving the slider bar in the earlier link nearly all the way to the right).

That's a pretty different list! Chloe, Katherine, Christina, Anna, and Diana all move into the top 10. Why is that? Well, Katherine, for example, was originally at position 24 in the list with medium clustering, but in the strong clustering, Katherine is in the same cluster as other fairly popular names such as Katie, Karen and Karina, which pushes the name into the top 10.

Sometimes, the clustering pulls too many names together. For example, the larger "Chloe" cluster also has "Abigail" and all of its variants in the same cluster. That doesn't make much sense until the whole clustering technique is explained (basically, the name "Gail" sounds like "Chloe" if you assume that Ch and G make the same sound and you ignore the vowels). So, some people might find the strong clustering to be too aggressive and silly for their tastes and stick with the more traditional variants.

Start exploring. Go back to the home page and pick your favorite letter and start moving that slider around until you find a good size cluster. Then, go through each cluster and look at the graphs and charts and think about whether you want the most common or least common name in a cluster by clicking on the graph and looking at the details. If you like the popular names but want something more unusual or original, pick a rare variant of a popular name.

Have fun!


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