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Transgender trends

One of the many gratifications of blogging is to connect with others who have similar interests; so it has been fantastic to receive user submissions (though admittedly I don't check my inbox frequently enough).  The thoughtfulness of these nominations continues to impress me.

Evan sent in 254 charts he created after looking at the post on baby namesJordanv31970200528yrs_2An example is shown on the right. 

He is particularly interested in the question of names that are given to both males and females. 

For example, the bottom chart shows that Jordan is primarily a male name, and saw a period of growth followed by decline, although the decline has been more severe on the male side than the female side. 

It's a nice touch to label the most recent year.  I'd also label the values for the most recent year on the axes.

Evan also offers the following solution to the scaling problem we identified in the original WSJ chart:

My solution was just to put two charts on each chart. One at a fixed scale for every chart to give a sense of size and one at a variable scale to better show the shape of the plot.

In other words, for less popular names, the top chart would look much more compressed.

There are many more charts to sift through on his site.  Evan welcomes suggestions.


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Those charts are amazingly powerful. Well done Evan!

It took me a few moments to fully understand what was going on, but after that it was easy to read a story from each of the charts.


Nice one - although in my opinion stacked line chart is more understandable. Like in Baby name wizard:
(really shows the power of interactive infographics)

Chris G

Does this type of chart have a name?


This type of chart is indeed amazingly powerful. Good job!!!

Robert Krider et al in a recent issue of Marketing Science use this type of chart to assess causality -- does X cause Y more/less than Y causes X? It's an interesting and simple graphical technique, and depends on whether the prevailing pattern runs "clockwise" or "counterclockwise".

E-mail me if you want to know more.

Andrew Gelman

I think there might be something wrong with his graphs. Look at the graph for Addison: it seems to say that the number of boys named Addison has been almost constant for 12 years (varying between 342 and about 400). Is this really so?


I have also wondered what this type of chart is called. Is it just a connected scatterplot? Or something else?

Andrew: You can check the data at the social security administration website:
To see the actual number of births, though, you have to look at the top-1000 list, select 'number of births', and look at each year you're interested in individually. Kind of a hassle. 'Addison' seemed to peak at 436 in year 2000, according to the SSA.

Check out Jaime for another example of an unusually consistent name:


These types of charts are related to phase plots. I've been using them like this:

A conventional time-series representation of two variables.

A phase plot of the same data.


It would be nice if the text wasn't pale gray though! Very hard to read.


It's possible the text could stand to be a little darker, but in my opinion your difficulty is caused more by the poor typography of R's lettering than the shade of grey Evan picked. A better-designed font would have been more readable, even in light grey.


Nice graphics.
For more advanced options in plotting I would suggest true interactive 3D charts.

3D graphics for Scientific visualization

We will appreciate comments and discussion.

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