The rise and fall of baby names in Scotland charted by data journalists

Regional journalists in Scotland have published a comprehensive investigation into baby name trends over the last 50 years — and it’s not good news if you are called Gary.

Published on the Press and Journal website, the series of articles dug deep into data from National Records of Scotland to find fascinating details about how names have changed over the decades.

The data journalism team, led by Lesley-Anne Kelly, produced the articles, which included text and multiple data visualisations.

It revealed that since 1974, the names David and Emma have been most frequently chosen by parents, although David has slipped significantly in recent years, while Emma was most popular in the 1990s.

Other names include Karen, which were given up to 800 girls a year in the 1970s, but by 2020, had fallen out of favour so much that not a single girl was given the name by parents.

You can see the full results of the work here, including the data visualisations.

Writing on Linked:In, Cheryl Livingstone, a story designer at DC Thomson, said: “Thanks to the efforts of data teams like ours to democratise data, information that was not easy to find is now accessible to all and people have more data literacy.

“Today’s project from our data team, led by Lesley-Anne Kelly, will once again broaden people’s understanding of data visualisation — this time showing its fun side while still being informative.

“The finished product looks amazing but only hints at the amount of hours that have been put into finding the data, analysing it and publishing.”

  • In 2022, Behind Local News aims to celebrate local journalism in all its forms through our 365 Acts of Local Journalism Project. Lets us know what you think should be included. You can email us here or contact us via Twitter on BehindLocalNews or on Facebook here.

>> See the series so far, here

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The stories behind the stories, from the regional press in the UK

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