The name Beatrice ranked 170th in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census.
This name is highly rated in the 1990 U.S. Census popularity survey of all ages, but after 1960 does not appear in the state data listing the most popular baby names.
In many people's minds, this name is inextricably linked to that of the Italian epic poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), who chose for his Muse an idealized woman he called Beatrice.
Though there was a real Beatrice in his life, Dante had very little contact with her. Beatrice Portinari (1266-90) first met Dante when she was eight and he was nine; they met again no more than a handful of times. Dante elaborated on this scant acquaintance and its profound effect on him in a love poem called La Vita Nuova (''The New Life''), before following Beatrice into Paradise in the poem that would immortalize them both, La Divina Commedia (''The Divine Comedy'').