One thing is clear from the latest list of the most popular baby names in Arizona this year.
The women born three decades ago are choosing entirely different names for their new babies.
In 1988 it was the top name for girls in Arizona.
Even 15 years ago, Jessica, was a Top 20 name in the state.
And now? There are so few Jessicas born in Arizona that it doesn’t even make the 100 most popular names for girls born in this state, according to the annual list compiled by the Arizona Department of Health Services.
There were more Rylees, Evas, Sadies, Autums and Daleyza born in Arizona this year than Jessicas.
But it isn’t just the name Jessica that has fallen out of favor in Arizona.
Take Ashley which was No. 2 in 1988 is also off this year’s Top 100 baby names for Arizona.
Ditto Amanda, Sarah and Jennifer which rounded out the 1988 Top 5.
What’s replaced them?
Emma, the 2017 top choice of Arizona parents, makes a repeat appearance in the same position. That’s a name that was nowhere near the top of the list three decades ago, when the current crop of Arizona parents were being named themselves.
There are other indications of trends coming and going.
A decade ago the name Nevaeh — Heaven spelled backward — cracked the Top 20.
Various sources credited the sudden increase in popularity with a decision by Sonny Sandoval, frontman for the Christian rock group P.O.D — Payable on Death — to choose that name for his newborn daughter and take her on MTV in 2000.
This year? It sits at No. 78.
Literature and movies also have effects.
Remember the “Twilight” series that was so popular a decade ago with heroine Bella Swan? In 2010, the name Bella cracked the Top 20 here following novels and movies about vampires and werewolves.
This year? Not so much. Bella was down to No. 33.
For boys, the shift in preferences are not always as radical.
Sure, Liam tops the 2018 chart, followed by Noah, Sebastian, Oliver and Benjamin. Those are all names that were not near the top 30 years ago.
But in some ways Liam is just another form of William. And that was among the Top 20 in 1988.
On the other side of the equation, not all of the popular names from 30 years ago have disappeared.
In 1988, Michael was the top name for boys. And even this year it came in at No. 13.
And James and Daniel, other names out of the Bible, are about as popular now as they were in 1988.
Among non-biblical names, however, the list is a bit more volatile.
Ryan, a Top 20 name from 1988, has now fallen to No. 84.
And Justin, Kyle and Brandon have all now dropped off the Top 100.