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Presidential Candidates’ Names Not Inspiring Baby Monikers

  • VOA News

FILE - The names Hillary, Bernie and Donald have not proved popular names for newborns.

FILE - The names Hillary, Bernie and Donald have not proved popular names for newborns.

The tumultuous 2016 presidential campaign has not proven inspiring enough for parents to name their children after the top candidates.

The New York Times reports that “fewer babies born in 2015 share a name with candidates than they have in previous decades.” That means relatively few infants named Bernie, Donald, or Hillary.

Supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders tend to be younger, and therefore more likely to have babies, but according to the paper, only 160 newborns were named Bernard, the senator’s full first name. According to data released by the Social Security Administration, the name has been declining in popularity since 1924.

The name Hillary is also dropping in popularity. The name was more common in the 1980's and early 1990's, but its use fell when Hillary Clinton's husband was president, the paper reported. Two-thousand-five-hundred Hillarys were born in 1992, and that number dropped to 408 in 1994. Only 136 were born last year.

Six-hundred-and-ninety babies named Donald were born last year, according to the paper.

One name, however, has been an “outlier” in recent years: Barack.

More than 100 babies were named after the sitting president in his first year in office, 2009, a big increase from less than five per year before 2007.

The paper blames “polarization and political cynicism” for the decline in naming babies after politicians. In the past, it was trendy to name children after presidents with thousands of infants having been named after Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.

The top names for boys in 2015 were Noah, Liam and Mason, and for girls; the most common names were Emma, Olivia and Sophia.