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Latino Daily News

Thursday May 19, 2011

Jose No Longer On List of Top 50 Baby Names

Jose No Longer On List of Top 50 Baby Names

Photo: Jose no longer among Top 50 baby names

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Since 1996, Jose had been the top Hispanic name for baby boys, but now, it has fallen from the Top 50 list. Even in Texas, where it had been the top name overall since ’96, it has fallen to #2. It was nudged out of the top spot by Jacob last year.

What is interesting is the fact that the name’s popularity has dropped even as the Hispanic birthrate has risen faster than any other ethnic or racial group.

“This is probably a combination of assimilation and the drop in immigration from Latin America as a result of the recessionProf, said Cleveland Kent Evans, who wrote “The Great Big Book of Baby Names,” and teaches psychology at Bellevue University in Nebraska. “However, it is probable that names are also becoming more varied in Latin American culture itself, as this is a phenomenon in most of the modern world.”

Garcia and Rodriguez joined the list of Top 10 surnames in 2000 for the first time, and as Isabella has been the top girls’ name since 2009, it could be assumed that acculturation it a two-way street, “to a certain extent,” changing “the nature of U.S. culture,” said Prof. Alberto Moreiras, head of the Department of Hispanic Studies at Texas A&M University.

Moreriras adds, “As it happens everywhere, name preference goes through cycles, and the name Jose has been overused over the last 20 years or so, and there are too many Joses.”

It is reported that fewer babies were named Jose last year than any year since 1978.

Some experts caution against assuming that a name indicates assimilation.

“Jonathan is a very popular name among the low-income groups in Argentina,” said Prof. Javier Auyero, a sociologist at the University of Texas, Austin. “[But] that doesn’t mean they are Americanized.”