is Isabel(la) too popular right now?

My husband loves the name [name_f]Isabel[/name_f]- it is by far his favorite girl name. I like it too, but I’m worried that it’s too popular right now… we don’t want her to be in school with 4 other Isabels. We’d like a name that isn’t as common. Thoughts?

[name_f]Isabelle[/name_f] is by far my favorite girls’ name, too. :wink:

I’m not personally worried about the popularity, but then again, I was born an [name_u]Ashley[/name_u] in [name_u]Ashley[/name_u]'s heyday, when popularity was much more of something to worry about than it is today. In 2015, [name_f]Isabel[/name_f] accounted for approximately .12% of the infant population born. [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] accounted for just over 1%, and [name_f]Isabelle[/name_f], just a couple points above [name_f]Isabel[/name_f], accounted for .16% (or so). Those three, by far, are the most popular variants, so if you add those three names together, you get approximately 1.1% of the population with [name_f]Isabel[/name_f]- variants (I would guess absolutely no more than 1.5% total, when you include the [name_f]Izabella[/name_f], [name_f]Isabela[/name_f], [name_f]Isobel[/name_f], [name_f]Izabelle[/name_f], etc., variants, although I could be off there, as well). I guess that doesn’t help too much with how many Isabels per classroom, etc., though. If you look at it at actual number of births vs. percentage of the birth population, there were 15,504 Isabellas, 3,198 Isabelles, and 2,148 Isabels born last year. If you divide things evenly between all states (which, it won’t be, but it gives you a semi-good idea of what to expect), that would be approximately 310 Isabellas per state. (I do this math a lot, and I’ve done it for different states, and it seems like lots of states have about 67 counties, so that’s the number I use. It seems like there’re generally about 20 school districts per county, as well.) So if you divide 310 by 67, you get approximately 4.6 (so that’s just the number of Isabellas per county born in 2015). That’s approximately one [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] per school district every five grades (a little bit less, if I’m doing the math right!). You would have to add in [name_f]Isabelle[/name_f] and [name_f]Isabel[/name_f] on top of that, so that would be about 64 Isabelles per state, less than one [name_f]Isabelle[/name_f] per county, so there’s a chance that there wouldn’t be any Isabelles in any given grade across the whole county, and [name_f]Isabel[/name_f]'s even less. So unless there’s a HUGE fluke, she definitely wouldn’t be one of four Isabels, not even one of four Bellas/Belles/Izzys. :slight_smile: And that doesn’t even take into account private schools (including both Catholic, Protestant, and secular private schools), charter schools, home schooling, etc., which would also dilute the [name_f]Isabel/name_f population even more than these numbers reflect. It’s also noteworthy that you might check your state on the SSA page to see where [name_f]Isabella[/name_f]/[name_f]Isabelle[/name_f]/[name_f]Isabel[/name_f] ranks for you–it might be less than the national average, and these numbers would go down even further.

Honestly, though, [name_f]Isabelle[/name_f]'s been my favorite name for over six years now, though, and I can’t imagine naming my first daughter anything else, so popularity is the least of my concerns. Then again, I was a late-80s [name_u]Ashley[/name_u], and didn’t go to school with another [name_u]Ashley[/name_u] until I was a junior in high school (and even after it happened, it didn’t bother me a lot), so popularity isn’t terribly off-putting to me in general. :slight_smile:

I mean, if you’re going for rare, I’m not sure I would label [name_f]Isabel[/name_f] as rare. [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] ranks nationally at number 5, [name_f]Isabelle[/name_f] at number 94, and [name_f]Isabel[/name_f] at 149. They’re familiar names. And yes, I would say [name_f]Isabella[/name_f]'s popular (as far as names can get popular these days. Name choices are much more varied than they were 20-30 years ago). But [name_f]Isabel[/name_f] et al are less used enough that I don’t think she’d be born into an epidemic. :slight_smile:

Good luck!

That was actually quite helpful, and that math is impressive. Thank you!

[name_f]Isabelle[/name_f]/[name_f]Isabella[/name_f] is fairly common I’m sure, but that shouldn’t hinder your love for it! If it’s a name that you like and think will fit your daughter, go for it :slight_smile:

Who can argue with AshtheDreamer’s math?!

I was all prepared to say it’s too popular but she has me second-guessing that. Go for it!

Nice statistics, [name_u]Ashley[/name_u]. Unfortunately, there is still a possibility of having more than one [name_f]Isabel[/name_f]/[name_f]Isabella[/name_f] in the same class. When I was working in an elementary school in 2013, there were 4 preschool classes, each with an [name_f]Isabella[/name_f]. I have yet to meet a little girl named [name_f]Isabel[/name_f] or [name_f]Isabelle[/name_f] though.

[name_f]Isabel[/name_f] is a stunning classic! I say, go for it. Also, as mentioned, [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] seems to be more common than [name_f]Isabel[/name_f].

I love [name_f]Isabel[/name_f]/[name_f]Isabella[/name_f]/[name_f]Isabelle[/name_f]! Classic, regal, stunning! If I had a daughter today, chances are she’d be an [name_f]Isabelle[/name_f].

I don’t think it’s too popular (impressive maths PP!) but popularity doesn’t matter to me - in fact, I like it if a name has some usage. I grew up never being able to find my name on all those key rings and money boxes and it really upset me when I was like seven.

Laughing at this…I had the same experience; all of my “personalized” things said Super Kid on them.

Go for it! I love it!

I don’t think you’ll encounter that many other [name_f]Isabel/name_fs. There are a lot of little Isabellas out there, but not nearly as many [name_f]Isabel/name_fs. There are also a lot of nickname options, so they won’t all be going by [name_f]Isabel/name_f or [name_f]Isabella[/name_f], and thus feel like there aren’t quite as many. If your daughter decides she doesn’t like being one of three Isabels/Isabellas in her class, she can always choose a different nickname than them.

Also, popularity stats are a good indicator of how often you will hear a name, but aren’t always reflective of how many you’ll meet. My name is [name_f]Lauren[/name_f], which was quite popular for my age group (don’t have Canadian stats but it was in the US, which is often similar to our trends), but I’ve hardly met any other [name_m]Laurens[/name_m] and haven’t known any personally. I’ve never known any Heathers or Brittanys either which were also popular, but know a LOT of Jessicas, Jennifers, Ashleys, etc.

I would use the name I loved whether it was popular or not. [name_f]Remember[/name_f], another way to think about is, a lot of people agree that it’s beautiful and that you have good taste! :slight_smile:

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To be honest, I don’t care too much about statistics. The math is impressive, but do tell me about the margin error. She may be just the only one or one of four, we can’t predict that for sure.

Personally, if I hear the name a lot around me, than it is too popular for me. My name wasn’t that popular, I think, but I still had 2-3 namesakes in the same grade and a few more in the grade above and below me. Does that bother me? A bit. Not too much. If I really love the name I’d still use it, otherwise I’d look for alternatives.