Nowadays, it is so easy to find answer to your question, “How popular is my name?” You simply search the Internet and within seconds, you can find databases of websites that list billions of names in countries around the world. In the United States of America alone, there are already 314,072,874 people. If everyone in the USA lined up in single file, the line would stretch around the Earth almost 7 times.
Some websites hold millions of unique names from various countries in the world; thus, they represent billions of people across the globe. Most websites use a compilation of the popularity of names from select countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Ireland, Sweden, Scotland, etc. Most of the countries in their database thus came from almost all the continents such as America, Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa. You can even view their definitive list of countries available on their sites.
Are you still asking yourself: “How many have my name?”
There are 5,155,954 people with the first name John, 2,766,759 individuals with the surname Smith and 45,416 named John Smith in the US. There are 175,896 people whose given name is Bill, 59,089 whose family name is Gates, and only 33 with the full name Bill Gates. There are 491,567 individuals with the name Justin, 5,000 whose surname is Bieber, and only 8 with the complete name Justin Bieber. And, if you miss someone you do not know, John Doe appears to be 222 in the slot of US names.
The first two top male and female names, respectively, for 2011 are Jacob and Sophia. Interestingly, when you go back to the 1980′s, the most popular babies’ names are Joshua, Justin and Robert (for boys) and Ashley, Brittany and Sarah (for girls). Take a little step more backward to the 1950′s and you get the names Michael, Richard, Thomas and William and Debra, Karen, Mary, Susan for girls.
There are people who know exactly that Elizabeth is the same as Isobel/Isabel in some parts of the world while Jean is similar to Jane. Additionally, the name Peter and Patrick are often used interchangeably in some countries.
Want to find out how many people share your first name including your family name? There are also many online sites that will tell you where your personal name, given name or first name has originated and what it originally means. They would even have recorded variations, abbreviations and diminutives when you search using their old records or genealogical databases.
How people name names?
In Arabic, Hebrew and East countries, the child’s name is determined in large part by the meaning of the name itself. In English-speaking countries, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, etc., names are usually given under four criteria:
- naming a baby after a loved one
- naming a baby after what the name means
- by cultural and religious reasons
- by the fashion, fad, or popularity of a name
In case you want to find the root of your names, you can use the OnoMap classification of names. It classifies names into groups of common linguistic origin and cultural ethnic using first names and family names.
Most online name database websites gathers data from publicly available telephone directories and national electoral registers sourced at a specific date range. They also use the relative frequency of a name relative to the overall population in a particular region. They express it as “frequency per million” people living in a locality. Moreover, these same websites also choose series of geographic boundaries for mapping names on their site’s database. They do these using three levels of geography as country, region and locality levels. So how about the appearance of your name in your specific locality?
Name Listings in Online Databases
Some web databases for peoples’ names are constantly kept updated with recent data releases whereas others are still works in progress. The reason for this is that they still have to add a number of enhancements and features. Hence, they already release their sites in their present state since the fundamental underlying features are working fine. If they will wait until everything is “perfect,” they would not make an initial launch.
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Some online program provides how many people have the same name as you. Once you entered your name in their search engine, it will perform the match queries and return results based on its available data/estimates. Likewise, if you enter a combination of your names in a site’s search engine, if both of them are relatively uncommon names, you still have less than 50% chance that even a single person has such name. As such, if the online database suggests your name is unlikely, albeit possible, there is greater likelihood that “1 or fewer” individual has a name similar with yours.
Names from any census bureau around the world are far from being complete. If your name is not yet included in the census stats, for privacy reasons it is not simply listed or the census is not yet up-to-date. Hence, some online databases can only be as good as the data given by the national census of a country. However, if you will enter random strings of characters, the probability of its appearance may still be closer to zero. You should not take it personally from the website offering such service. It just so happened that you may have a unique string of names and you are assured of the answer to your question: “How popular is my name?”
Some websites even offer tables, maps and information about your name. It is derived as an analysis from their large databases of names around the world. However, they do not usually have an intimate knowledge of every name available; as such, they cannot comment on the locations and etymology of particular names beyond the data presented on their site. On the other hand, you can just enter in their “Area Search” tab of their webpage to search your name under specific city, region or country.