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

 

33 Brand New Out-of-this-World Baby Names

May 14th 2018

Nothing symbolizes today's unbounded baby name style like names that are literally out of this world. Parents are looking for something new and striking, and more and more of them are willing to reach beyond our earthbound reality to find it.

This year, dozens of names from the heavens and imagined worlds entered the land of baby names. Each of the names below just appeared in the U.S. name stats for the first time ever. That means each was given to at least five American girls or boys born last year.


Eleven and Friends of Stranger Things. Image: netflix.com

GIRLS

Eleven — A girl with psychokinetic powers in the tv series Stranger Things

Quinzel — Dr. Harleen Quinzel, the alter ego of D.C. Comics evildoer Harley Quinn

Rwby — The series RWBY, pronounced "ruby," which takes its name from the initials of its four main characters (and their colors red, white, black and yellow)

Scylla — One of a pair of monsters who menaced a narrow strait in Greek mythology

Eclipse — A real-world celestial event, the Great American Eclipse swept the country in August

Xayah — A rebel in the game League of Legends

Luminara — A Jedi Master in the Star Wars universe

Skadi — A skiing mountain goddess in Norse mythology

Lunafreya — A protagonist of the video game Final Fantasy XV

Jyn — Alliance fighter Jyn Erso of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Xenovia — A student and holy sword wielder in the anime series High School DxD

Maze — Nickname of Mazikeen, a beautiful demon on the tv series Lucifer

Cersei —The scheming queen Cersei Lannister of Game of Thrones

 

BOYS

Amun-Ra — Chief deity of the Egyptian Empire

Lupin — Harry Potter's Professor Remus Lupin (from the word lupine, "wolflike")

Aerys — The Mad King Aerys Targaryen of Game of Thrones

Vision — Marvel superhero, a synthetic human with multiple powers

Noctis — A protagonist of the video game Final Fantasy XV

Bender — A robot in the animated series Futurama

Meliodas — The father of Tristan in Arthurian legend...and more relevantly for current baby names, one of the "Seven Deadly Sins" of anime and manga

Enlil — Ancient Mesopotamian air and storm god; like many ancient deity names, it also pops up in games and comics

Corvo — A character in the video game Dishonored (from the Italian/Portuguese for "crow")

Khepri — The ancient Egyptian creation god

Kubo — Stop-motion fantasy film Kubo and the Two Strings

Leoric — Skeleton king of the Diablo video games

Cygnus — A constellation, "the swan"

Elysian — The Elysian Fields were the paradise of heroes in Greek mythology

Lorian — Fighter in the video game Dark Souls III

Khepri — The ancient Egyptian creation god

Aether — A Greek primordial deity and classical element that frequently occurs as a fantasy concept/substance

Benjen — Ranger Benjen Stark of Game of thrones

Ekko — A League of Legends character, "the boy who shattered time"

D'Leh — Mammoth hunter from the film 10,000 B.C.

Tolkien — Writer J. R. R. Tolkien was a mere earthling, but he's the spiritual father of generations of fantasy worlds

 


Read More: 5 things we learned from the new baby name popularity stats

 

5 Things We Learned from the New Baby Name Popularity Stats

May 12th 2018


 

The top baby names make the headlines, but the lessons to be found in the national name statistics run deeper. Here are some quick observations from a first look through this year's stats.

The average American babies today are named Brinley and Miguel. Parents continue to shy away from names considered "popular," and the top of the name charts represents an ever-shrinking percentage of American babies. It now takes 504 names to account for half of babies born, up from 470 two years ago and just 80 names back in the 1950s. And the "average" baby—at the 50% point of popularity—receives a name that's fairly uncommon nationwide, and concentrated in specific communities. That means names are sending ever-stronger signals about where a child comes from.

Politicians are still a no-go zone for baby naming. Political families, though, are a different matter. Every new American president used to be honored by a slew of namesakes. Warren G. Harding's election led to hundreds of little Hardings, along with thousands of Warrens. Today Americans actively avoid names of living politicians, but treat political family members like ordinary celebrities: if their names are attractive, they'll rise.

The names Barack and Obama were barely blips on the radar during the Obama administration, but Malia and Sasha soared. Similarly, Melania is now a fast riser and Ivanka saw an uptick, but the decline of Donald accelerated and absolutely nobody was named Trump. An American baby is now more likely to be named Nixon than Donald and Trump put together.

Game of Thrones is a powerhouse—but only for girls. The Game of Thrones fantasy franchise has been criticized for its treatment of female characters. In the baby name arena, though, the women are the big winners. Arya, Khaleesi and Lyanna are fast risers that now rank among the top 1,000 American names. Daenerys, Brienne, and even Cersei are climbing too. No male character names rose (unless you count Jorah, which also benefited from the search for underused biblical names).

EDIT: Digging deeper into the vast realm of GoT names, this difference isn't as—ahem—"stark" as I initially thought. Girls' names definitely dominate, but there were upticks in the names Benjen, Renly and Aerys for boys.

The "exalted" name trend continues to grow. The names King, Queen, Prince and Princess all rose in popularity, and Kaiser, Kyng, Legacy and Reign made top-1,000 debuts. A slew of creative exalted names were new to the stats, meaning they were given to five or more babies. (A sampling: Almighty, Empryss, SirPrince, and the back-to-basics choice God.) We even saw a comeback for the name Milady (read more about the surprising history of this name).

Hollywood parents have nothing on the rest of America. The next time you read about how Hollywood types choose out-of-touch names, remember that these names all rank among the 1,000 most popular boys' names across the country:

Creed, Achilles, Kal-El, Kylo, Jericho, Blaze, Darwin, Huxley, Draven, Ridge, Cairo, Castiel, Cannon, Kannon, Jaxiel, Dash, Anakin, Zaire, Tripp, Elvis, Crew, Cain, Zechariah, Ares, Stetson, Sincere, Titan, Talon, Valentino, Jagger, Memphis, Boston, Apollo, Lennon, Zion, Uriah, Leonidas, Nixon, Eden, Lyric, Otto, Atlas, Hendrix, Bodhi, Adonis, Ace, Cash, Phoenix, Messiah, Knox, Maximus, Axl.

Welcome to the new normal.