Just Don’t Name Her Hillary!

An interesting chart on the popularity of “Hillary” as baby girl’s name


I was particularly surprised because Senator Clinton is a divisive politician, and so should inspire loyalty in her base. But if her name is declining over all, that mean many more couples are dropping “Hillary” as a potential baby name than considering the name because of her.

I wondered if the same thing happened with other notable figures, so using information from the Social Security Administration I charted “George,” “Laura,” “William,” and “Hillary” from 1988 to 2004

In the chart, the farther the bar drops down in a year, the less popular it is.


For those who want hard numbers, I apologize for the terrible formatting

Year 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
George 0078 0079 0079 0087 0095 0104 0110 0115 0118 0121 0126 0123 0130 0129 0131 0138 0148
Laura 0023 0025 0029 0035 0038 0043 0046 0056 0066 0066 0075 0081 0085 0086 0106 0125 0129
William 0016 0015 0016 0019 0020 0018 0019 0020 0018 0019 0014 0014 0011 0010 0011 0011 0008
Hillary 0245 0209 0192 0165 0131 0165 0131 0261 0566 0725 0868 0856 0878 0886 ???? ???? 0805

The first thing to see is that “George,” “Laura,” and “William” start out as very popular baby names, with Hillary in the top few hundred. By the time Bill Clinton wins the Presidency Hillary has ascended to place 131, closing in on George’s standing of 110.

Immediately the popularity of Hillary plummets. When Bill Clinton leaves office, “Hillary” on the far end of the 800s. And it keeps getting worse. In 2002 and 2003 “Hillary” drops out of the top thousand names. While Hillary “rallies” to position 805 by 2004, it’s nowhere near as good as it was before she became First Lady.

So why don’t parents want a baby Hillary? There are two possibilities that seem likely

  1. Whatever her political appeal, is personally unpopular and few parents wish their children to be like her.
  2. Hillary has a reputation as “masculine” warrior, which few parents consider appropriate for a baby warrior

If reason #1 is true, this bodes ill for her chance at the Presidency in 2008. Aaron’s warning of ‘s unelectability would be true. But if it’s because she is “warlike,” then Hillary would be a strong candidate to continue the Global War on Terrorism.

Time well tell.

One thought on “Just Don’t Name Her Hillary!”

  1. As I wrote you “she's creepy”.
    Parents wanting to confer some status or
    elan to their newborn would get a little
    “chill” when getting to the H-i's in the
    baby name book.
    Also, there is Taranto's “Roe Effect” to
    think about. Her base just are not the
    ones having babies. See U S Census
    projections for Congressional Districts
    which basically show Red ones growing
    and Blue's shrinking.
    Thanks for the research on the other
    What about Chelsey? Theresa?

  2. Some names stay put, while other fluctuation wildly. This could be nothing more then an interesting coincidence. I dont care for the name Hillary, not because of Senator Hillary, but I just dont like it.

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