Sunday, April 29, 2007

Not so many Jacobs in the Deep South

I love making maps, so expect a lot more of these, but I'll start with a simple one: baby names. Each year, the Social Security Administration reports the most popular baby names in each state, and I've color-coded the results for 2005, the last year available. The most striking thing about the map is that Jacob, the most popular name in the US, does not rank first in any of the 11 states of the Confederacy. Oddly, it ranks first in almost all of the states bordering the Confederacy: Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Was there a notorious Civil War general from the North named Jacob? Massachusetts, as is often the case, stands alone from the rest of America in putting Matthew in first place. I can't think of why Anthony is more popular in Nevada than anywhere else. Tony Bennett, maybe? I'll do girls' names soon.

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