The One Baby Name That's Plummeting in Popularity

Social Security Administration data shows that this name has dropped in popularity three years in a row.

Coming up with the perfect baby name can be one of the most difficult decisions a new parent has to make. Some are concerned with trying to honor family traditions, while others are worried about avoiding anything that might sound too trendy. Names tend to go in and out of style, but sometimes, there are names that get so entwined with what's happening in the world that their very meaning changes. That's likely the case with one baby name in particular that is plummeting in popularity: Donald.

According to data compiled by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the name shared by President Donald Trump fell 27 places in the rankings between 2018 and 2019 from 526 to 553 overall, HuffPost reports.

Now, the name Donald is at the lowest position it's ever held on the list since the agency began collecting data in the 1880s.

Color photo of a laughing baby boy lying on his back on a textured blanket.

In 1934, Donald peaked on the SSA list as the sixth most popular name for boys in the U.S. It also saw its first slight bump up in popularity in 2017—the year Trump took office.

But it's not uncommon for presidential names to decrease in popularity over the course of a Commander in Chief's term. The names Ronald, Richard, Gerald, and George all saw their positions drop on the list during their time in the Oval Office, according to HuffPost.

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And the U.S. is also not alone in that trend. A recent poll of parents conducted in the U.K. found that Boris—the name of current Prime Minister Boris Johnson—is the least popular boy's name in the country, with 76 percent of respondents saying they would never give their child that name, The Daily Mail reports. And while Meghan Markle may have officially stepped down from her royal duties, her name was still voted as one of the least popular for girls in the U.K. (with 61 percent saying they would never use it) alongside the now-meme-infamous Karen (83 percent).

Experts point out that significant historic events—either positive, like a discovery, or negative, such as a hurricane—tend to move the needle on baby names in surprising ways. "So many parents are looking for a new, unusual name, there are always a few of them who are going to take it from any cultural event," Cleveland K. Evans, PhD, a psychology professor and names expert at Bellevue University in Nebraska, told the Associated Press in 2007.

And if you're more interested in the names people love right now, according to the SSA, 2019's most popular names for baby boys were Liam, Noah, and Oliver, while more girls were named Olivia, Emma, and Ava than anything else. Want to know what the stars are naming their newborns? Check out All the Cutest Celebrity Baby Names of 2020.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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