Extended SSA lists and the unisex factor

Now that the SSA publishes names down to those used five times for each gender in a given year, I’ve been able to more accurately determine the gender ratio for more names. Here’s some that I found:

[name]Pam[/name] and [name]Linda[/name]'s comment on how all of the names in the [name]Carey[/name], [name]Cary[/name], [name]Kerry[/name], etc. family are firmly feminine now is inaccurate; the three forms/spellings I mentioned are all actually more popular for boys than girls (albeit the numbers for both sides are now very small).

Spinning off from the aforementioned comment, if you compare the gender ratio of many of the names that became more popular for girls a few decades ago over time since their peak you will notice that many of them are now closer in usage than a generation ago (examples: [name]Kelly[/name], [name]Robin[/name], [name]Shannon[/name]). Most of that is more due to declining in popularity for girls rather than becoming more popular for boys, but still that shows there is still some masculine potential in those names.

On the other hand, we can now more accurately pinpoint names whose female usage is creeping up. For example, over the past few years [name]Elliot[/name] and its various forms have gone up for girls (although still below the top 1,000). On the other hand, it’s gone up (albeit not as fast) for boys during much of that time as well. [name]Sawyer[/name] is another one that I saw recently increased quite a bit on the girl’s side.

Anyone else played around with the extended lists and noticed anything worth mentioning with regards to unisex names?

You will notice that there are some obviously non-unisex names that may show up for the opposite gender’s list; those examples are probably mainly mistakes (e.g. the 27 “boy Isabellas”) born last year. These errors are not as prevalent as they were in the past (where you’d see some crack the top 1,000 for the opposite gender), but with the extended lists we can still see some.

THat’s cool. Where can I look at that? (do you have a link?)

Also, could you please answer my question that I have posted?


Hmm, I’m not exactly surprised by your findings… It seems like the climate is right for boys to take back the names that were once theirs, probably because names like [name]Carey[/name] and [name]Kelly[/name] sound very stale for girls now, boys can have them back and they sound fresh. [name]Just[/name] like girls taking the “old man” names in the first place. I guess that means it’s cyclical. [name]Madison[/name] and [name]Mackenzie[/name] will probably be boys names again a generation or so from now.

Below is the URL to the page on the SSA site where you can download a zip file with those lists:

We now publish these lists on nameberry. Here’s the link: https://nameberry.com/blog/popular-baby-names/