I just got back from short trip back home, visiting the 'rents in Buffalo, New York.
The following was something I’ve always noticed, but spending a few days back in the City of No Illusions brought it back to the forefront of my mind. There’s a lot of women in Buffalo named “Joanne.” I mean, maybe one out of every 20 or 30. When I lived in New Mexico, I encountered no Joannes. Here in Colorado, I estumble upon a Joanne maybe every couple of months. In Buffalo, I encountered several Joannes in a day.
I have no idea why “Joanne” is such a popular name in Buffalo. I’m thinking that it might be a popular name among Italian-Americans, of which there aren’t too many in Denver or New Mexico, but that’s just a wild guess. So, does anyone have any idea on why this name has such a large popularity in the region?
I practiced law in Buffalo for four years, and can’t recall running across a single one.
An experiment: searching the online versions of the Buffalo News and Denver Post yields the following results:
Buffalo: 201 hits
Denver: 48 hits
Ratio*: Roughly 4 women named Joanne in Buffalo for every 1 named Joanne in Denver.
- Obviously, the Buffalo News has a bigger or broader archive than the Post. Calculating the ratio of one to the other should compensate for this.
Now let’s compare these figures to the top 5 female first names in the U.S. according to the U.S. Census:
Buffalo: more than 500
Ratio: at least 10 women named Mary in Buffalo for every 1 named Mary in Denver
O.k, how about the names that cluster around “Joanne” (ranked 147th) in the census?
While this isn’t a very scientific method of surveying the information, it at least suggests that your observation is incorrect.