The Most Popular Baby Names of Every State in the USA

May 17th 2018

 
The top baby names in America are Liam and Emma, but are they tops where you live? Depending on the part of the country you hail from, you may be more likely to meet a little Oliver or Ava. Here are the favorite names of every U.S. state.

TOP GIRLS' NAMES BY STATE, 2017
State 1st 2nd 3rd
Alabama Ava Olivia Emma
Alaska Emma Olivia Aurora
Arizona Emma Isabella             Olivia
Arkansas Emma Olivia Ava
California Emma Mia Olivia
Colorado Emma Olivia Charlotte 
Connecticut Olivia Emma Ava
Delaware Olivia Ava Charlotte
D.C. Ava Olivia Eleanor
Florida Isabella          Emma Olivia
Georgia Ava Olivia Emma
Hawaii Emma Olivia Aria
Idaho Emma Olivia Charlotte
Illinois Olivia Emma Ava
Indiana Emma Olivia Amelia
Iowa Harper Emma Olivia
Kansas Emma Olivia Ava
Kentucky Emma Ava Olivia
Louisiana Olivia Ava Emma
Maine Charlotte             Olivia Emma
Maryland Ava Olivia Emma
Massachusetts Emma Olivia Charlotte
Michigan Emma Ava Olivia
Minnesota Olivia Evelyn Emma
Mississippi Ava Emma Olivia
Missouri Olivia Ava Emma
Montana Olivia Emma Harper
Nebraska Emma Olivia Amelia
Nevada Emma Mia Isabella
New Hampshire          Charlotte Evelyn         Emma
New Jersey Emma Olivia Isabella
New Mexico Mia Sophia Isabella
New York Olivia Emma Sophia
North Carolina Ava Emma Olivia
North Dakota Emma Harper Olivia
Ohio Emma Ava Olivia
Oklahoma Emma Olivia Harper
Oregon Emma Olivia Sophia
Pennsylvania Emma Olivia Ava
Rhode Island Charlotte Emma Olivia
South Carolina Ava Emma Olivia
South Dakota Emma Olivia Harper
Tennessee Ava Olivia Emma
Texas Emma Mia Isabella
Utah Olivia Emma Charlotte
Vermont Evelyn Olivia Charlotte
Virginia Olivia Ava Emma
Washington Olivia Emma Evelyn
West Virginia Emma Olivia Harper
Wisconsin Emma Olivia Evelyn
Wyoming Emma Harper Ava

 

TOP BOYS' NAMES BY STATE, 2017
State 1st 2nd 3rd
Alabama William James Elijah
Alaska James Liam Wyatt
Arizona Liam Noah Sebastian
Arkansas Elijah William Noah
California Noah Sebastian             Liam
Colorado Liam Oliver William
Connecticut Noah Liam Logan
Delaware Logan Noah Liam
D.C. James Henry William
Florida Liam Noah Lucas
Georgia William Noah Mason
Hawaii Liam Noah Mason
Idaho Oliver Liam William
Illinois Noah Liam Benjamin
Indiana Oliver Liam Elijah
Iowa Oliver Liam Henry
Kansas Oliver William Liam
Kentucky William Elijah Noah
Louisiana Liam Noah Mason
Maine Oliver Lincoln Liam
Maryland Liam Noah James
Massachusetts Benjamin             William Liam
Michigan Liam Noah Oliver
Minnesota Oliver William Henry
Mississippi William John James
Missouri William Liam Oliver
Montana James William Liam
Nebraska Oliver Liam William
Nevada Liam Noah Elijah
New Hampshire         Logan Henry          Mason
New Jersey Liam Noah Matthew
New Mexico Noah Santiago Elijah
New York Liam Noah Jacob
North Carolina William Noah Liam
North Dakota Oliver Henry Liam
Ohio Liam Carter Noah
Oklahoma William Liam Noah
Oregon Oliver Liam Henry
Pennsylvania Liam Noah Logan
Rhode Island Lucas Liam Noah
South Carolina William Noah Mason
South Dakota Oliver Owen Lincoln
Tennessee William Elijah James
Texas Noah Liam Sebastian
Utah Oliver Liam William
Vermont Wyatt William Oliver
Virginia Liam William Noah
Washington Liam Oliver Noah
West Virginia Liam Mason Elijah
Wisconsin Henry Oliver Liam
Wyoming Liam Wyatt Carter

 

Some notable trends:

The names of the North: Oliver and Evelyn. Oliver is a top-3 name in 17 states, spanning the northern U.S. from coast to coast. Evelyn is less dominant but shows a similar pattern, ranking near the top in states from Washington to Minnesota to Vermont.

The name of the South: Ava. Ava declined slightly nationwide, but it has a firm hold on the Southeast. It's the #1 girl's name in 8 locales: Alabama, D.C., Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The letter V is having a moment. Did you notice what the three names I just discussed had in common? Almost every state has at least one top name containing a v.

Liam is the real deal: a nationwide hit. Liam and/or William ranks top 3 in 48 states.

But local color still shines through. Distinctive local choices include Aurora in Alaska; Lucas in Florida and Rhode Island; Aria in Hawaii; Lincoln in Maine and South Dakota; and Santiago in New Mexico.

 

More from the most popular names stats:

The Top 1000 Names in America

5 Things We Learned from the New Baby Name Popularity Stats

 

Comments

1
May 17, 2018 2:25 PM

Aurora is a little on-the-nose for a baby born in Alaska, but such a welcome change from the monotony of that list! And Sophia is really on its way out, eh? Top three in only three states?

2
May 17, 2018 5:10 PM

Aurora is also #10 in New Mexico, which I think is interesting.

A bunch of states still had Emily in the top 10, even though it dropped out nationally. The largest of those is California, which produced precisely 1800 Emilies--18% of the national amount. 

California seems to hold onto names longer than other states, and since so many babies are born there, names they like will stay high after everyone else is done. They had Jennifer in the top 10 until 2003, and their top 100 that year also had Jacqueline, Angela, Karen, Amy, and Kelly. Angela only fell out of the top 100 in California this year, and Amy's still there, as are Kimberly, Andrea, and Valerie. 

3
May 17, 2018 6:19 PM

That's really interesting about California. My daughter was born in 2002, and the only girls she knows with any of those names are of Asian or Latin American descent. I would suspect that since California is so diverse, names that appeal to a wide array of ethnic groups would hang on longer there than in other places.

4
May 17, 2018 8:22 PM

In the 2017 national SSA Top 1000, Sophia ranks 5 and Sofia, 15, and with the combined "traditional" spellings (different language groups spell it differently), the name ranks #1 in the USA. Names with only one widely used spelling, like Emma, often seem more popular than a multi-spelling name like Sophia/Sofia. Sophia is far from being on its way out.

5
May 18, 2018 9:20 AM

That's fair, but I was comparing it to the rankings a few years ago, and in that context, Sophia has declined significantly. Here are the 2012 stats, for comparison. So, not that it's not being used a huge amount, but it's not dominating the charts like it once was.

6
May 18, 2018 9:22 AM

Following up on Gretai's and Elizabeth T.'s point, I think immigration creates this lag effect. Immigrants often want to give their children names that will fit in with other American children, but unless they work with preschoolers, they mostly pick up on American names from coworkers, TV shows about adults, etc. American naming culture is particularly trend-driven, so it probably doesn't occur to many immigrants that these names will be a little out of style. When my cousins immigrated in the 90's, they were given American names by an uncle who named them out of his favorite TV show, which had already been off the air for years. Not Alexis and Krystle, but close enough. They are still sore about it! I wonder if the same effect holds in other immigrant-rich places, like the NY metro area. 

7
May 18, 2018 10:04 AM

I definitely agree about immigrants. I went to high school with a lot of the children of Asian immigrants, and many of them had names that had been popular decades earlier.  A lot of 70s names, but I also knew people named Norman, Stanley, Randy, Kathy, Connie, Esther, Ada, Winnie, Wanda, Wendy, Linda, Norman, Karen, Carol, Trudy, Judy, Janice, Susan, Sherry, Shirley, Tracy, Cindy, Cynthia, Alice, Raymond, Sandy (my graduating class had a girl Sandy, who was Asian, and a boy Sandy, who was Hispanic), Harry, Howard, Jerry, Albert, Bernard...

Although, looking at the top 100 for my state the year I was born, some of those dated-seeming 70s names were still popular overall: #28 Kevin, #29 Jennifer, #42 Eric, #62 Jeffrey, #73 Angela, #81 Kimberly, #91 Amy, #97 Kathleen, and I definitely knew people whose parents weren't immigrants named most of those. 

8
May 18, 2018 7:49 PM

So many fictional adult television characters today are given names more popular for toddlers. I wonder if that will help anyone choosing their names from outdated television shows :)

9
By EVie
May 21, 2018 6:55 PM

It looks like Sebastian is a huge hit among Latinos. In addition to charting in the top 3 in California, Arizona and Texas, it's the #1 name in Puerto Rico.

10
May 21, 2018 10:41 PM

EVie, looking at the Puerto Rico list explains to me why Dylan is so popular in a bunch of states (top 10 in Florida, New Jersey, and Maryland), because to me it seems super 90s. But it's #2 in Puerto Rico. Although that makes me wonder, why Dylan? 

And #4 in Puerto Rico is also-very-90s-to-me Amanda. Hunh!