"The Boss" was born during the heyday of New Jersey's infatuation with the name Bruce, according to Social Security Administration Data on baby names.
Springsteen — born in Long Branch on Sept. 23, 1949 — entered this world in the early stages of New Jersey's Bruce craze, which lasted from about 1947 to 1956.
Between 500 and 650 boys were given the name Bruce annually during that period, more than at any other point in New Jersey history. The name remained relatively popular into the early 1960s, but has gradually fallen from popularity in spite of Springsteen's lasting legacy.
Whitney Houston, on the other hand, was born at a time when her name was nearly unheard of in New Jersey. When Houston was born in Newark in 1963, she was one of only 11 girls in the state given the name that year.
Unlike Springsteen, Houston's success dovetailed with her name's popularity. While Whitney has never been as popular a name in New Jersey as Bruce, its apex came in 1986, the year Houston rose to international prominence and was nominated for three Grammys.
Since then, however, the name Whitney has fallen on tough times. In 2011, the most recent year that state baby name data is available, only eight girls were given the name.
Seek out more of these baby name nuggets by playing around with our searchable database of New Jersey baby names from 1910 to 2011.
Curious to know what name was most popular the year of your birth or perhaps what year your name was the most popular? Use the form above to search by name, year and gender to answer your questions about the past century of New Jersey baby names.
The data comes from the Social Security Administration, which has released baby name data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The government excluded names used fewer than five times in a year in order to protect privacy.
The information comes from people who applied for Social Security cards and were born in the United States after 1879. Since many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, their names are not included in the database.
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