Blog Verdant Labs

The politics of names

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 and Duane.

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.

Nametrix - more factoids

So, I played around a bit in Nametrix 2.1 today and thought this info's pretty interesting.

People with these names have the highest tendency to have these professions:

Plumber Librarian Bartender Editor Lawyer Massage Therapist Interior Designer
Casey Nanette Adam Meg Bari Cynthia Elissa
Salvatore Margot Jennifer Fiona Dionne Katherine Dianna
Vernon Abigail Christopher Susanna Bartley Rebecca Judi
Clifford Johanna Andrew Eve Shelton Sandra Jeannie
Vincent Camille Johnathan Elise Carlyle Kathleen Adele
Insurance Salesman Bassist Guitarist Biologist Car Salesman Graphic Designer Hair Stylist
Cordell Nate Jonny Suzanne Emmett Naomi Lori
Dalton Jared Mick Karl Luther Gretchen Eugene
Elwood Dave Richie Dawn Emanuel Shelly Raymond
Dell Pete Trey Sara Vic Claire Lisa
Fletcher Simon Sonny Marcia Morton Toni Karen

Some of the names with the highest tendency to be used by adult film actors/actresses:

  • Female: Kandi, Sindy, Rikki, Diamond, Honey, Roxy, Capri, Barbi, Stormy, Aspen
  • Male: Rodd, Kole, Rock, Maxx, Buck, Lucky, Deacon, Tad, Cash, Dillon, Brock

Esmeralda (daughter of Ryan Gosling & Eva Mendes):

  • A vintage name whose popularity peaked in the '90s
  • Esmeraldas tend to be Democrats by a wide margin
  • Potential sisters: Noemi, Giselle, Rubi, Delilah
  • Potential brothers: Damian, Ivan, Diego, Adan
  • Most popular in Latin America and Spain as well as the southwestern US

Wyatt (daughter of Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis):

  • Male Wyatts tend to be Actors, Entrepreneurs, and Lawyers

Nametrix 2.1

We've just launched a huge upgrade to Nametrix and are excited to hear what you all think.

It's been a lot of fun building and playing with the new features. Is there something else you would like to see? Got any other comments? Post a review, send a tweet, and/or shoot us an e-mail!

What's New

  • More names. Added 10,000!
  • Countries. Where is the name most common?
  • 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?

Preview Video


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:
#1 Casey
#2 Salvatore
#3 Vernon
#4 Clifford
#5 Vincent

Top names for playwrights:
#1 August
#2 Hannah
#3 Jules
#4 Anton
#5 Duncan

As for other professions, can you guess what Lexus, Stormie, Chastity, and Bambi have in common?

Featured on Good Morning America,, New York Times, Babble, Mashable, Disney Baby, Babyology,, CafeMom, USA Today, The Daily Dot, and many more.


iPhone Screenshots

iPad Screenshots

Icons and Other Images

Nametrix 2 is Here!

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

Available in the App Store

Landing Page

The snazzy new landing page is here:

What's New

  • 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.

Guitarist Surgeon Chef Plumber Car Salesman Rancher Librarian
Trey Vivienne Marcel Casey Emmett Hollis Nanette
Sonny Harrison Andreas Salvatore Luther Eldon Margot
Buddy Jefferson Marco Vernon Emanuel Doyle Abigail
Rusty Bradford Roland Clifford Morton Shelby Johanna
Robbie Elliott Guy Vincent Clay Homer Camille

Top Republican names

Some of the names that are disproportionately common among Republicans:

  • Bridger
  • Beckham
  • Gannon
  • Tyrell
  • Brody
  • Gunner
  • Atticus
  • Octavius
  • Princeton
  • Orville
  • Ammon
  • Chrissy
  • Ashlee
  • Brigham
  • Tyson
  • Cletus
  • Clair
  • Twila
  • Chad
  • Sawyer
  • Nixon
  • Truman
  • Jefferson
  • Debbi
  • Grayson

Top Democrat names

Some of the names that are disproportionately common among Democrats:

  • Lyric
  • Shakira
  • Tamika
  • Latoya
  • Willow
  • Maia
  • Maya
  • Booker
  • Ebony
  • Ivory
  • Sunshine
  • Roosevelt
  • Alexa
  • Greyson
  • Amelie
  • Harmony
  • Jonah
  • Sinead

Top Stripper Names (Male)

Some of the names that are disproportionately common among actors in Adult movies:

  • Kayden
  • Archer
  • Maxx
  • Tylor
  • Tad
  • Cash
  • Jax
  • Jaxon
  • Dillon
  • Brock
  • Jayden
  • Keanu
  • Kip
  • Maverick
  • Ty
  • Chaz
  • Elmo
  • Odin
  • Rod
  • Duke

Top Stripper Names (Female)

Some of the names that are disproportionately common among actresses in Adult movies:

  • Jaylynn, Jaelyn, Jaylyn
  • Neveah, Nevaeh, Heaven
  • Nautica
  • Laylah
  • Rihanna
  • Mylie, Miley
  • Cali
  • Lexus
  • Roxy
  • Capri
  • Candy, Candi
  • Mya
  • Stormy, Stormie, Windy, Rayne, Sunny
  • Delilah
  • Unique
  • Bambi
  • London, Paris, Aspen, Chyna
  • Scarlett, Scarlet

Stats for some of the most popular names

Noah (M)

  • 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

Sophia (F)

  • 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).
  • Sophias overwhelmingly tend to be Democrats.
  • Similar names: Eva, Isabella, Stephanie, Melissa, Michelle, Arianna, Mikaela, Naomi, Sabrina, Penelope

Jayden (M)

  • #9 in 2013, peaked in 2010.
  • Though typically a Boy's name, has had some popularity for Girls
  • Has a high P-Star Quotient; 8 adult film stars out of 77 total actors (~10%)

Scarlett (F)

  • #42 in 2013
  • Most popular in the American Southwest
  • Slight tendency to be Republican
  • Has a high P-Star Quotient; 24 adult film stars out of 171 total actresses (~14%)