They only use the first name on the birth certificate to create the statistics. Otherwise what are often called the "stock middle names" for girls like Anne
, etc. would be much higher on the list than they are.
And of course the SSA has no idea what name the child will be called by, as no such information appears on US birth certificates. (I was amazed when someone mentioned on this or another site a while back that in some European countries there is a way to designate it when the child's first name will not be their "calling name." Of course what then happens if later in life that child decides to go by a different one of his or her legal names?)
So statistics from the USA, especially for boys, are going to look more "conservative" than they would if there were a way to know which of these boys had a family name in first position but the parents were planning on calling them by a middle name. There just isn't any way around that problem at the moment except to acknowledge that it exists. So American stats are of "legal first names", which may not be the same thing as what the kids are actually being called in everyday life.
This message was edited by the author on June 8, 2009 at 10:24:54 AM
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