Monday, January 21, 2008

Baby Names Give Insight into Sweden

A little while ago a list of the most popular Swedish names for boys and girls was published. And 2007 proved to be a year filled with excitement in the baby naming sphere. The list also brought up some interesting insights in Swedish life.

Swedes like simplicity. This can be seen in just about all aspects of Swedish life. From the pristine apartments with nothing hanging on the walls, to the well simple, well designed products that fill DesignTorget. It also surfaces in names. The longest is William. Or Villyum to really get the pronunciation. The average is five letters. Yup, I counted all of the letters then divided by 10. It’s a slow night. For girls, 4.4. Short names. Simple names.

Sweden is a small country. No new insight gained here I just can’t get enough of this stuff. The most popular boy name showed up 1,009 times, for girls 812. In the entire country. I love seeing the raw numbers for Swedish statistics. They always seem so small to me.

Swedes, stereotypes be damned, do not name their children Sven or Helga in droves like every bad Hollywood stereotype would have you believe.

Swedes like equality. William vs. Vilma. Number one in their respective sexes. Elias and Ella. Two and three. Emma and Emil. Five and nine.

Despite all the movement, Swedes like consistency. None of the most popular names came from anywhere lower than a thirteenth ranking last year. So despite plenty of noise nothing of consequence really happened.

My name isn’t popular.

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  1. Hi, I maintain a website aggregating Baby Name stats from around the world. I was able to find official statistics from 2006 for Sweden, but I haven't found any for 2007 yet. Does the article you link to provide a link to the official (government stats office) numbers? Thanks.

  2. I forgot to click the "email comments to me" box. Now I should get your response.

  3. You're not alone, my name hasn't been popular for the past 30 years or so. I don't mind though, makes me feel more unique :)

  4. i guess "Hairy Swede" would sound funny on a baby!! Ha ha!

  5. so what is ur real name?...just ur first i mean.

  6. If it's any consolation I love your name. Thanks for the tip on the cell phone. Miss You!

  7. i love your real name too!!

  8. @ guy - here's what I found for you from that site:

    hopefully that helps a little bit!

    @anonymous - come on now! I can just see a ute little baby boy named Hairy Swede. Just a fat little ball of hair. Admit it, you would probably hug it.

    @ mrs. CeCrux - well that's no fun, thats the beauty of writing anonymously on the internet. but I refuse to answer to marc. so take that for what its worth.

    @chase - thanks!

    @anonymous - Im guessing this is my mom.

  9. @ annette - forgot to respond to yours. it's true, my name isn't all that common in the US. more so here. but then the spelling differs here every now and again it seems.

  10. ok, but....a first name can still keep you anonymous. Sort of... I hate

    But I get your point. I'll call you Sam.

  11. saM? thAt wakes up all soRts of weird son of sam psyCho nUtjob killer connotationS.