Fewer Parents Are Naming Baby Girls "Alexa"


“Alexa, is your name falling out of favor?” Amazon’s popular home assistant says she can’t answer that one, but new baby name data suggests this is the case.

According to Social Security records, the name “Alexa” hit an all-time popularity high in 2015 when 6,050 American parents gave their little girl that name. But in 2017, the number fell to 3,883—a drop of 36%.

Amazon’s talking speaker Echo device, which responds to the word “Alexa,” came out in November of 2014 and became widely popular the following year.

There’s no hard proof that the drop-off in girls named Alexa is tied to Amazon—correlation doesn’t equal causation and all that—but it’s a pretty good bet the association dissuaded at least some parents from choosing the name. Some might worry, for instance, the name “Alexa” could invite teasing in the form of bossy orders from other children.

The data for “Alexa,” which was spotted by a sociologist at the University of Maryland and reported by Recode, also shows that the name first cracked the top 1000 list for female babies in 1973. It first broke into the top 100 in 1994, and had been ranked 61 or higher since 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2017, “Liam” and “Emma” were the most popular overall names:

The baby name data is compiled by the agency that administers the federal government’s Social Security program. It offers an easy-to-navigate website that lets you see immediately how a name has fared since the year 1900. (I discovered my full name, Jeffrey, hit an an all-time high of #9 in 1966, and was #371 as of last year.)

To try out your name, go to this website, and scroll down to the “Popularity Over Time.”



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