Tag Archives: Mona

Names in the U.S., from James Smith to Jose Rodriguez

Two weeks ago, @mona published an interesting post on her blog, about a difficult question, What’s The Most Common Name In America? There were stats about first names, in the U.S., and last names, too. Those informations are – somehow – easy to get. But usually, it is more complicated to get the first and the last name together. For confidentiality issues ! Datasets – the ones I deal with – are supposed to be anonymized, so I never see the first and the last names.  In a previous post, a few years ago, I did mention the so-called Social Security Death Master File. In that file, we have Social Security numbers, with the date of birth, the date of death as well as the first and the last name. So I did use those files to get stats about the first and the last names of American citizens. Of course, it is very restrictive. I have only U.S. citizens that have a Social Security number (which is not compulsary in the U.S. as far as I understood) and who passed away (as mentioned in the name of the dataset: the death master file). Another great thing about that dataset is that I have the date of birth, so I can look at some cohort effect (see opendata.stackexchange for an interesting discussion on that dataset).

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