Babies by postal code

An OpenFile map project I’ve been working on for a while went live this morning: maps of the leading baby names by postal code in the GTA, Ottawa and Hamilton/Niagara. There are 42 maps in the whole collection.

There’s lots to absorb here. Below are screenshots of Ethans in Toronto and Hamilton/Niagara:

The back story:

In mid-December, after about six months of back-and-forth with the Registrar-General’s office, we bought a spreadsheetwhich showed the top five baby names for boys and girls by postal forward sortation area (FSA, the first three characters of a postal code) from January 2005 through December 2009, where the total of babies with that name totalled ten or more. Most FSAs have five names for boys and five for girls. Some have a number less than five for boys and/or girls, and some have none of either. These will be low-population or non-residential FSAs.

My original plan was to show the rate per 1,000 of selected names. The problem with this is that unless a name is in the top 5 in all postal codes in an area we don’t have a basis for comparison. For example, if Olivias were #6 in an FSA it doesn’t show on our spreadsheet. I have ended up with maps showing where names place in a top-five list (with a sixth option of not being on the list).

My favorite map shows Tenzins, the top choice for both boys and girls in Parkdale (and nowhere else in the province). There is some debate about whether it is a given name in the Western sense or an honorific:

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