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cfa-exam-december-2012-results

Before the 2013 birth data was released, I published my predictions of what names could be joining the Top 100 at some point, based on how frequently I’d seen them in birth notices that year. Now that all the data is out, I thought I’d go back and see how accurate this method was.

CORRECT

Indi/Indie
I only said that if all spellings were combined this name would already be Top 100, but Indie joined the national Top 100 at #94, and the Top 100 of New South Wales at #100. Meanwhile, both Indi and Indie joined the Queensland Top 100 at #92 and #90.

Louis/Lewis
This was another situation where if both these spellings were counted as one name, it would be a Top 100 name. As it happened, Louis not only joined the national Top 100 at #74, it was the fastest-rising name of the year. Lewis also joined the Top 100 at #97.

Harriet
I suggested it was ready to make the Top 100 this year, which it did – Harriet joined the national Top 100 at #89, and was one of 2013’s fastest-rising names to boot.

Elsie
I predicted Elsie would be in the national Top 100 within the next two years; it made #91 last year.

Pippa
I said that Pippa could make the national Top 100 within the next two years. It was quicker than that, making #95.

Indigo
This seemed likely to become a Top 100 name at some point, and it joined the national Top 100 at #96.

Peyton
I thought Peyton was a possibility to make Top 100 one day; it joined the national Top 100 at #98.

Parker
I picked this to become a future Top 100 name, and it joined the national Top 100 at #98.

PARTIALLY CORRECT

April
I thought April might join the national Top 100 this year, but it didn’t, although it was Top 100 in Queensland (new), Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory.

Asha
I thought this had a chance to join the national Top 100, which didn’t happen, although it did make the Top 100 in the Australian Capital Territory.

Spencer
I thought that Spencer had a shot at making the national Top 100, and although that didn’t happen, it was one of the fastest-rising names in Victoria, which does look promising for the future.

Theodore
This seemed like a possibility to make the Top 100 within five years. It joined the Top 100 in Queensland, and was one of the state’s fastest-rising names, which is very encouraging.

Alana
I said that if all spellings were combined this name would already be Top 100, but it did join the Top 100 in the Australian Capital Territory, scraping in at #99.

Lexi
As above. It joined the Top 100 in Victoria at #90.

Amity
I thought this was a possibility to make Top 100 one day: although it didn’t make the national Top 100, it did join the Queensland Top 100 at #86 and was one of the state’s fastest-rising names.

Jude
I thought perhaps this might make Top 100 at some point. It has already joined the Victorian Top 100.

INCORRECT

Bonnie
Because this was already Top 100 in Victoria, I thought it might keep rising and join the national Top 100 as well. It didn’t – in fact it left the Victorian Top 100 as well. It’s only on the Tasmanian Top 100.

Billie
This is another name which seemed as if it might take off since it was already on the Victorian Top 100. Like Bonnie, it fell instead.

Penelope
This was new to the national Top 100 and several state Top 100s, and one of the fastest-rising names of the year – in Victoria, it moved up more than 100 places! Did I see it coming? Nope; it moved much faster than I thought possible. I didn’t even see that many Penelopes in birth notices – maybe six or seven in the year, and never more than one in an individual week.

Nathaniel
This was new to the national Top 100 and several state 100s, and one of the fastest-rising names of the year. If I had seen enough examples in birth notices, I would have checked it and seen that it was only just outside the Top 100 and risng steeply. But I didn’t.

Ayla
This joined the national Top 100, and was one of the the fastest-rising names. I did notice several Aylas in birth notices, but there didn’t seem enough to make any firm predictions about it.

Daisy
This joined the Top 100, and was one of the fastest-rising names. There were quite a few Daisys in birth notices, and in retrospect, I should have paid more attention to the fact that it was only just outside the Top 100 in Victoria. Missing this one really was a careless mistake.

Ariana
This just scraped in at #100. There was little data on Ariana for me to be able to predict its future with any certainty, and I certainly don’t recall seeing more than a few in birth notices.

Nevaeh
I’m still scratching my head as to how this made the Top 100, when it only charted in Queensland – generally a name has to make the Top 100 in either New South Wales or Victoria to be in the national Top 100. No, I didn’t see it coming, didn’t see very many in birth notices, and frankly I still think there was an error somewhere!

There were eight hits, eight misses, and eight that weren’t exactly right, but didn’t seem quite wrong either. It seems as if predicting the future top names based on my own observations gave some mixed results, and although I still think it was a worthwhile exercise, I’m left with some doubts about its usefulness.

POLL RESULTS
71% of people thought using birth notices to predict future popularity was generally useful, with 50% saying it was mostly accurate, but with some notable misses, and a generous 21% thinking it was pretty much spot on.

Only 5% of people were totally unimpressed with the method, with 3% saying it was mostly inaccurate with some notable hits, and a harsh 2% seeing it as pretty much a complete failure.

24% hedged their bets by saying it was pretty much fifty-fifty each way.

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