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Subject: Re: Best source for US given name popularities? ATTN: CKE
Author: Tempestgirl   (Authenticated as Tempestgirl)
Date: February 24, 2008 at 10:11:08 AM
Reply to: Re: Best source for US given name popularities? Project help needed by Cleveland Kent Evans
I had read the same statement you posted, but then came across "Actuarial Note #139, Name Distributions in the Social Security Area, August 1997", found at the bottom of http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/babynames/index.html#forms , which states:

Between 1954 and 1984 the Social Security Administration occasionally published a listing of surnames and their popularity in the Report of Distribution of Surnames in the Social Security Number File. This note expands on that project by presenting the most popular given names.

The source file is a one percent sample of Social Security Number card applications. ...This file is not limited to persons born in the United States but is representative of all Social Security Number card holders.

For purposes of this document, names have not been edited or grouped together according to spelling variations of the same name. People quoting from this document are urged to explicitly acknowledge this qualification.


This was published in the summer of 1998, and I wasn't sure if it related to that year or the survey as a whole. It is misleading having both criteria listed, and I haven't been successful contacting anyone regarding it. Obviously, popularity research is not their first priority and they mention that, but it'd be nice to have a clear answer. How would you take this information? I'm now inclined to believe that the sample does indeed use 100% of SS applicants as the website was updated May of last year and I'd hope the information would be up to date and correct.

What are your thoughts? Thanks for your assistance,
Tempestgirl

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