Thursday, May 05, 2005

Looks like Dovbear -- if that is his real name -- has a smart mum

I just bought a subscription to the Atlantic and was intending to discuss several items from the May issue -- currently on newsstands -- sometime in the next few days. House of Hock, however, is already reading the June edition, which is already online, and came across an interesting study of baby names. The relevant bit:
EDUCATION. A baby's name often reflects how much education his or her mother received. Here are the white babies' names associated with the highest and lowest levels of education in their mothers (average years of education in parentheses).
Girls/High 1. Lucienne (16.60) 2. Marie-Claire (16.50) 3. Glynnis (16.40) 4. Adair (16.36) 5. Meira (16.27)
Girls/Low 1. Angel (11.38) 2. Heaven (11.46) 3. Misty (11.61) 4. Destiny (11.66) 5. Brenda (11.71)
Boys/High 1. Dov (16.50) 2. Akiva (16.42) 3. Sander (16.29) 4. Yannick (16.20)5. Sacha (16.18)
Boys/Low 1. Ricky (11.55) 2. Joey (11.65) 3. Jessie (11.66) 4. Jimmy (11.66) 5. Billy (11.69)
It took me a while to figure out what this meant (I'm not very mathematically minded) -- it's not that if you have 16.5 years of education you have a high tendency to name your child Dov, which wouldn't make sense, but that children named Dov or Akiva have on average a very high rate of well-educated mums. This of course makes sense: children named Dov or Akiva generally come from a very specific segment of the population which is unusually well-educated. As HOH points out, these names seem to point in the direction of the MO community. It is, incidentally, interesting to compare to the OnlySimchas baby names graph (admittedly a rather unscientific measure) which shows that in the Orthodox community as a whole, these are popular but not the most popular Orthodox names (Meira doesn't even really rate).

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