Can your name affect your earning potential?

Expecting mother deciding on names for child

“A name is a powerful thing. It sets one apart and gives significance,” said author Jessica Khoury. However, are names powerful enough to dictate how wealthy we will be when we grow up?

Do Chantelles earn as much as Harriets and can Gary ever aspire to Charles’ earning potential? Here at Moneyboat, we’re always up for a challenge, so we decided to do some research and find out exactly which male and female names are the highest earners.

The highest earning baby names revealed

We set about researching the highest earning baby names in two stages. First, we put together a list of the more popular baby names in England and Wales over the past 20 years. Then we used the ValueMyName tool to gain an idea of the average value of a person with each of the most popular male and female names.

Here’s what we found when we looked for the ‘most valuable’ popular girls' names in England and Wales.

Nancy - £33,192

Heidi - £33,127

Penelope - £31,155

Lily - £30,821

Anna - £30,522

Rose - £30,099

Florence - £30,050

Elizabeth - £29,882

Clara - £29,818

Evelyn - £29,714

According to the study, girls named ‘Nancy’ have the potential to earn the most when they grow older, with the name being associated with an average salary of £33,192.

Following closely in second place is ‘Heidi’, as those with this name could earn an average salary of £33,127.

Girls named ‘Penelope’ are also destined for a hefty pay cheque in later life, with an average salary of £31,155.

‘Lily’ and ‘Anna’ follow in fourth and fifth place with average salaries of £30,821 and £30,522 respectively.

Then we took a look at the average income associated of popular boys' names, and here’s what we found:

Ralph - £56,144

Michael - £52,572

Albert - £45,224

Stanley - £44,327

Bobby - £43,319

Leo - £41,722

David - £41,617

Charles - £40,890

Rory - £40,773

Arthur - £40,644

The highest earner for the boys was proven to be ‘Ralph’, as those with this name take home an average salary of £56,144. Shockingly (or perhaps not), this is 69% more than what ‘Nancy’, the girl’s name with the highest potential earnings would get. Here’s sad proof that the gender pay gap is still alive and well in England and Wales!

Those called ‘Michael’ are also fated to have their wallets weigh heavily, with an average salary of £52,572 – putting them in second place.

‘Albert’ comes in third place. This name is of German origin and means ‘noble,’ ‘bright,’ and ‘famous’. Not only that, but those with this name will potentially earn an average of £45,224.

‘Stanley’ and ‘Bobby’ come in fourth and fifth place with average salaries of £44,327 and £43,319 respectively.

Can your name really impact your financial success?

Although the research we carried out was super interesting and even quite enlightening, our results weren’t quite enough to convince us all here at Moneyboat. Your name can certainly be an advantage or a disadvantage but even within this theory, there are so many variables at play.

For example, there’s some evidence that people with shorter names earn more. It’s also worth considering whether particular names might be more popular with people in higher socio-economic groups. In other words - it’s not just about your name, it’s about factors like your opportunities, education level and let’s not forget gender.

So, if your name isn’t on the lists above, don’t be disheartened! Names really aren’t everything when it comes to financial success.

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