Your child probably doesn’t have a kid named Kamala in their class, but don’t be surprised if the high school class of 2039 is filled with them. History has shown us that political figures tend to trigger big baby name bumps right after they take office, and Vice President Kamala Harris will likely inspire lots of parents to name their little girls after the trailblazer.
Social Security Administration data reveals it happened with the name “Hillary” after Hillary Clinton ran for president. The name had been declining in popularity over the years, until it spiked to 722 on the list of top 1,000 baby names in 2008 – the year she first ran for president – and after that it never cracked the top 1,000 again. In 2009, when First Daughter Malia Obama moved into the White House, “Malia” also got a surge in popularity, ranking 193 on the list of girl names.
“Jacqueline” hit it’s high point as number 37 on the list in 1961, the year Jacqueline Kennedy’s husband, JFK, became president. And only once has “Melania” ever made the top 1,000 baby name list – in 2017, the year Melania Trump became First Lady.
Naming babies after new U.S. presidents has been common in modern American history. The names “Woodrow,” “Calvin,” “Herbert,” “Franklin,” “Dwight,” and “Lyndon” all reached peak popularity the year or year after a president with that first name took office. Although, “Barack” has never entered the top 1,000, even when Obama became president. And while Social Security Administration records show “Kamala” has never cracked the top 1,000 for baby girl names in the U.S., that could all be about to change.