The Kevins are Failing in France

A French sociologist has released a study showing that French students with English names get worse scores on the bac: 

What jumps out is the high frequency of English language names on the left hand side of the picture. People named Kevin, Anthony, Jordan, Cindy, or Dylan were much less likely to receive high scores. Although there is some evidence that names can affect how children perform in school, this more likely reflects naming preferences: parents in lower social classes are more likely to name their kids after characters from American tv shows or music groups than parents from higher social classes.


2 thoughts on “The Kevins are Failing in France

  1. What I find most interesting in this study is not that young French people named Cindy or Kevin tend to underperform academically, but the first names that according to the author are linked to “enormous rates” of the best possible mark ( These first names tend to be rather uncommon among the general population and by no means ordinary French first names, but at least three of them are definitely typical of the most devoutly catholic and traditionally-minded (i.e. most of the time blatantly reactionary) subsection of the French upper class. Which I find pretty distressing, especially given the political climate of today’s France.
    And by the way: many, many thanks for this excellent blog!


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