For the last few days, I've been reading Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner's Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. It's really a good book even if you have no interest in economics whatsoever and I do recommend it highly (review will be posted, I hope, sometime later today).
In the book, Levitt and Dubner tackle all kinds of topics that you might not normally consider to be related to the field of economics. For example, they equate schoolteachers to sumo wrestlers, the Ku Klux Klan to real estate agents, etc.
In the final chapter of the book, however, they talk about how a person's name may or may not affect their life. They ask the question of whether or not someone can expect to have better luck if they have one name as opposed to another. And they provide lists upon lists of first names and correlate them to income, class, education, etc.
Being that Katie and I do want to have children in the next few years, it was interesting to search through these lists and see how the potential names we have chosen are ranked. I wanted to duplicate a couple of the lists here for your enjoyment and pray that neither Levitt and Dubner nor their publishers come after me. I am giving adequate credit, right?
Bear in mind that these statistics were compiled based on names and income levels for children born in the state of California. And, before you call me a dumbass, I realize that my personal analysis of these lists is completely ridiculous. I'm just doing it for shits and giggles.
The Twenty "Whitest" Boy Names:
Based on this, we have one boy's and one girl's name on the list. So, our kids will obviously be decidedly white. I guess. It should be a given considering Katie and I, but that little bit of reassurance goes a long way. Heh.
Most Common High-End White Girl Names:
Most Common Low-End White Girl Names:
Most Common High-End White Boy Names:
Most Common Low-End White Boy Names:
Well, none of our names fall on any of these lists. Apparently, we are destined to be very middle of the road. That's not an entirely bad thing.
These final lists of names kinda weird me out a bit. Check them out...
The Twenty White Girl Names That
The Twenty White Boy Names That
What the hell kinds of names are these? So I have to give my kid a last name or name them after a magazine or I'm doomed to be lumped in as "uneducated"? Do any of you know a single person, personally, that has one of these names? I don't. Not with these spellings, at least. I know plenty that have them as last names, but certainly not as first names.
Okay, I realize that these names, as stated a few times by Levitt and Dubner, do not serve as an idicator of what will be for your child or for yourselves, they are merely a trend analysis. But does it make you wonder? Does it make you want to reconsider your kids' names at all?
For me... nah. I did find it fascinating to read about, though.
Oh, and for the record, "Kevin" was the #9 most popular black boy name in 1990. But I dropped off the list by 2000. Damn.
Here's the link to the FWDT review of Freakonomics.