Girls called Anna are much more likely to go to Oxford than Staceys
Study finds having a name like Shannon and Bradley makes you much less likely to go to Oxford
Does Katie Hopkins’s twisted logic have some scientific backing behind it?
Research has found kids named Eleanor, Peter and Anna are far more likely to attend Oxford University than Jades, Shannons or Reeces.
Economist Gregory Clark notes girls named Eleanor were 100 times more likely to attend Oxford than girls names Jade.
However, none of the names Hopkins vilified made the bottom ten. There were no Charmaines, Tylers, Chantelles or Chardonnays.
Most of them, like her’s, are what she would call “average-joe names”.
Names at Oxford University 2008-13
|Top ten names||Bottom ten names|
|Name||Relative chance of attending Oxford||Name||Relative chance of attending Oxford|
|Source: Gregory Clark et al Surnames: A New Source for the History of Social Mobility (in press)|
After a quick flick through Facebook, there are plenty of students attending Oxford University Hopkins would have deemed unsuitable for her children.
It seems the university doesn’t follow her guideline: “Someone named after a wine is not coming through our door.”
Clark looked at 14,449 names of Oxford freshers between 2008-2013. He contrasted the incidence of first names in Oxford with their incidence among the general population of the same age, and so calculated the probability, relative to average, that a person given a particular name would go to Oxford.
Considering the frequency of the name in the general population, there are more than three times as many Eleanors at Oxford than you might expect.
On the other end of the scale, there is less than a 30th of the expected number of Jades.
However, there is no evidence that the names themselves that affected the students’ entry to Oxford.
Instead, Clark notes that different names are popular among different social classes, and these groups have different opportunities available to them.
Where Katie believes “a name is a shortcut, an efficient way of figuring out what class that child comes from and how they will behave”, Oxford certainly isn’t narrow-minded to use such superficial judging as an admittance tool.
So apologies, Katie, as it turns out you still don’t have a leg to stand on – while different names are more popular among different classes, it sure as hell doesn’t define what class you come from, or your identity.
Unless your name is Katie Hopkins, and then most people have enough evidence to make a pretty swift and educated decision about you.