It turns out that Democrats prefer certain first names, and Republicans prefer others. We encountered this phenomenon while building the name metrics for the Nametrix baby names app.
Of male names that are at least fairly common, the most Democratic are Jonah and Malik, and the most Republican are Delbert
For females, the most Democratic are Natasha and Maya, and the most Republican are Bailey and Brittney.
When you break out the male and female names, you can clearly see the political gender divide. Here are just the male names:
And here are the female names:
So, where does this phenomenon come from? Are our views significantly influenced by our names? That doesn't seem all that likely. More likely, Democrat parents prefer certain names (e.g., Noah), Republican parents prefer others (e.g., Trent), and their children inherit some of their politics.
That said, parents don't necessarily have the last word. Take the incoming Senate Majority Leader, for example. Addison Mitchell "Mitch" McConnell, Jr. is a Republican, but Mitchell is most often a Democratic name, and Addison is only slightly to the right. What about Mitch, the name he goes by, though? Solidly Republican.
Something else that's kind of interesting here is that the male name distribution tends to be shaped like a fish, with the Democrat side having a long tail that consists of names that are way more Democratic than Republican. If parents tend to pass down their political affiliations, maybe Republicans tend to be more conservative with male name choices (i.e., choices that have broader appeal). The female distribution is more symmetrical, so perhaps there's an equal desire for distinctive girl names by both parties.
The political affiliations are pulled from Federal Election Commission data, and the images were generated via D3.js (thanks to the visualization foundations laid by mbostock).
Here are the images in a sharper format (png rather than jpeg). Note that they don't show up properly on some mobile devices due to their width.
Search filter. Search by popularity, trends, location, and more.
Siblings. What brother/sister names go with this one?
Tags. What are some interesting characteristics of the name?
App Store Description
Fun, unique, and powerful - an incredible baby names app!
• View origins & meanings
• Hear pronunciations
• View countries where each name is most common
• See similar names (e.g., you might like Sophia if you like Isabella)
• 100-year popularity graphs
• Name rankings by year
• Names for brothers/sisters
• Name variations
• Tags (e.g., Unisex, On Fire)
• Interactive popularity heat map
• Political party leanings
• Profession leanings
• Stripper name or not?
• Save and sort your favorites
• Share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Nametrix is chock full of real-world, data-driven analysis unrivaled by any other app, website, book, or anything else.
A sampling of what you'll find:
• Emma's most commonly found in Sweden, the UK, and Australia
• In the US, popularity peaked in 2003, but it's peaking again now
• It's currently the most popular name for girls in the US
• It's a vintage name, first popular in the early 1900s
• Other names you might like: Hannah, Abigail, Olivia, Lily
• Potential names for brothers: Samuel, Aiden, Noah, Marcus
• Variants include Ema, Emmah, Emme
• It's currently most popular in the southeastern part of the US
• Emmas have historically gravitated to creative professions such as Singer-songwriter
• Emmas have historically tended to be Democrats in the US
• Emma is not at all a "stripper name"
Top names for plumbers:
Top names for playwrights:
As for other professions, can you guess what Lexus, Stormie, Chastity, and Bambi have in common?
Featured on Good Morning America, Freakonomics.com, New York Times, Babble, Mashable, Disney Baby, Babyology, Parents.com, CafeMom, USA Today, The Daily Dot, and many more.
Apple has just approved version 2 of Nametrix, and it's now available in the app store. It's a relief that Apple didn't have an objection to the "P-star Quotient" feature... though they might have if it were called the "Pornstar" or "Stripper Name" quotient.
App Store Link
The snazzy new landing page is here:
P-star Quotient. This new feature could be a bit controversial. It essentially tells you how much of a "stripper name" a given name is. It's based on ratios of actors in adult films vs. non-adult films and is pretty interesting stuff...
Related Names. I'm frankly amazed at how well this works. It uses geographic popularity matrices to determine which names are closely related. Think of it along the lines of "parents similar to those who chose the name Lexus wound up choosing these other names (Madyson, Kaylyn, ...)."
UI Overhaul. Both the iPhone and iPad user experiences are now way better.
Name Search. Users clamored for this name search feature.
Bookmarks. You can now bookmark names.
2014 Data. The app is now built upon the latest available data. For popularity info, that means it has up through the end of 2013.
Here are some factoids uncovered while playing around with the app with the latest data.
Top 5 names for several professions
These names are most disproportionately common in these professions (not to be confused with the most common). For example, "Trey" is the #1 guitarist name, which means that Trey shows up very often in that profession relative to Trey's overall popularity.
Top Republican names
Some of the names that are disproportionately common among Republicans:
Top Democrat names
Some of the names that are disproportionately common among Democrats:
Top Stripper Names (Male)
Some of the names that are disproportionately common among actors in Adult movies:
Top Stripper Names (Female)
Some of the names that are disproportionately common among actresses in Adult movies:
Jaylynn, Jaelyn, Jaylyn
Neveah, Nevaeh, Heaven
Stormy, Stormie, Windy, Rayne, Sunny
London, Paris, Aspen, Chyna
Stats for some of the most popular names
Most popular boy's name in 2013. Most popular it's ever been (gained popularity in the mid-90s).
Most popular in the Midwestern US.
Noahs are disproportionately in the film industry (editors, actors, screenwriters, producers, directors).
Noahs have tended to be Democrats, as they've disproportionately contributed to the Democratic party.
Geographic popularity analysis reveals that these names are similar: Ethan, Joshua, Nathaniel, Brandon, Jordan, Jacob, Samuel, Jonah, Aiden, Dylan
Most popular girl's name in 2013. Popularity peaked in 2012.
Most popular in the Northeastern US.
Sophias are disproporionately in creative/arts careers (singers, actresses, writers).