New data from the Social Security Administration reveals the name “Barack” is on the rise again after popularity dipped after 2009.
In 2016, 19 baby boys were named Barack, which is up from eight in 2015, according to May data obtained by The Huffington Post. The name had been on the decline in the years after Barack Obama was sworn in as the first Black president in 2008, peaking with 69 babies sharing his first name in 2009. The 44th U.S. president’s surname also hit a peak in 2009, with 16 Obama babies being born.
After the first year of Obama’s presidency, the number of babies sharing the name dropped below five. As for the name Barack, babies with that moniker dropped from 52 in 2008 to 28 in 2010 and declined steadily until his last year in office.
Yet, even before Obama’s presidency, some wanted the name Barack to be included in their family.
“In the year 2000, my husband and I had a chance to hear Barack Obama speak at the office of then-Alderman Arenda Troutman,” Linda Troutman told NBC News in January of how she came up with her now 10-year-old son’s name, Barakbanyaham. “He was very charismatic. I wondered how a Black guy with such a different name could run against the ‘Mighty’ Congressman Bobby Rush. When I heard him speak, I understood.
“I told my husband then that this guy was going to do big things.”