Fewer American parents naming their newborn girls “Caitlyn” now than a few years prior, a change possibly attributable to the most famous transgender person in the United States, the former Bruce Jenner.
The Associated Press reported Friday that data from the Social Security Administration show that not only has Caitlyn but the variants Caitlin, Katelynn and Kaitlynn dropped in popularity in 2016.
“It was inevitable,” Laura Wattenberg, BabynameWizard.com founder Laura Wattenberg told AP. “Caitlyn was already falling in popularity. Now it is suddenly controversial.”
Ms. Jenner came out publicly about her transition in 2015 and made the name change official on court records in September of that year, according to E! News.
While correlation does not necessarily imply causation, there historically seems to be a link with significant controversy or tragedy lowering the popularity of certain names.
For example, a search of the Social Security Administration website, popular baby names feature shows that “Katrina” has fallen drastically in popularity in the years after the devastating hurricane by the same name. It finally fell off the charts, so to speak, in 2013, when it no longer registered in Social Security’s top 1,000 names for girls.
Similarly “Monica” fell in popularity subsequent to the Lewinsky affair. The name had consistently placed in the top 100 from 1964 to 1997, before placing 105th in 1998 and proceeding on a generally downward trend after that.
As of last year, “Monica” is only 589th in popularity among newborn girls’ names.
For what its worth, “Donald” saw a drop in popularity from 2015 to 2016, falling 45 places to 488th most popular. But alas, poor “Hillary” hasn’t placed in the top 1,000 since 2008, the year the former first lady first ran for president. “Hillary” landed in 722nd place, a significant jump from the showing the year before (961st place).
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