Parents respond to Alexa popularity by ditching it as baby name, figures suggest
It has become a near-ubiquitous virtual assistant, responding to the voice commands of householders around the globe.
But the emergence of Alexa-enabled gadgets in UK homes in the last two years has also coincided with a decrease in the name’s popularity.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of girls born in England and Wales in 2018 and named Alexa has reduced by more than 50% since 2017.
Nick Stripe, from the ONS, said: “We’ve seen a similar pattern in the American baby names data, so something must be going on.
“It has dropped by more than 50%, so I think there is probably evidence of a link.”
Although only 301 girls were given the name in 2017, the number fell to 118 in 2018.
This also coincided with the lowest birth rate in England and Wales for 80 years, with 657,076 live births in 2018, a decrease of 3.2% on 2017.
Amazon’s Echo smartspeaker came into widespread use in 2017, and works by responding to being addressed as “Alexa” to complete tasks such as setting alarms, playing music, or calling up news stories.
The previous year, 332 girls were named Alexa, while there were 314 and 292 instances respectively in 2015 and 2014.
Similar names – such as Alexis and Alexia – have also seen a drop-off, although this is a trend which pre-dates the product’s launch.