The Girls' Names that Define Your State's Style

Jun 14th 2017

How many girls do you know named Raelynn? How about Juliana? In America as a whole the two baby names are equally common, but in your state one is probably much more popular than the other. They represent two very different local styles.

I set out to pinpoint such local styles by identifying the baby names that each state chooses at a rate far above the national average. When you look through the lists below I think you'll see distinctive regional trends emerge. Look for natural grandeur in Alaskan names like Aurora and Denali; throwback sweetness in Minnesotan names like Elsie and Greta; and even a firearms slant in Oklahoman names like Kimber and Remington.

Some of the names may surprise you, while others will feel like home. All of them are part of today's American baby name style. Be sure to check out the defining boys' names of your state too, for full local flavor.

Images: Bessie/Pixabay, Nadezhda1906/Shutterstock, mikebaird/flickr

Alabama Ryleigh Mary Blakely Caroline
Alaska Aurora Denali Lena Chloe
Arizona Mia Ximena Sofia Leilani
Arkansas Blakely Paisley Kimber Kaydence
California Camila Mia Victoria Alexa
Colorado Aspen Cora Hazel Josephine
Connecticut Gianna Julia Brooke Charlotte
Delaware Riley Aubrey Elizabeth Ava
D.C. Alice Zoe Royal Maya
Florida Valentina    Gabriella Victoria Aaliyah
Georgia Ansley Skylar Londyn Taylor
Hawaii Kalea Mahina Aria Kailani
Idaho Oakley Brynlee Remington   Aspen
Illinois Natalia Emilia Maeve Sophia
Indiana Eleanor Hadley Willow Piper
Iowa Nora Quinn Emery Evelyn
Kansas Ember Lydia Hayden Oakley
Kentucky Hadley Aubree Adalynn Paisley
Louisiana Demi Camille Lyric Journee
Maine Natalie Lydia Piper Nora
Maryland Genesis Dakota Naomi Skylar
Massachusetts Maeve Grace Lucy Fiona
Michigan Brooklyn Mackenzie    Lillian Morgan
Minnesota Evelyn Greta Elsie Clara
Mississippi Mary Londyn Kennedi Khloe
Missouri Harper Stella Avery Josie
Montana Finley Aspen Lexi Ember
Nebraska Hadley Cora Lennon Hattie
Nevada Mia Athena Delilah Zoey
New Hampshire        Charlotte Lillian Isabelle Violet
New Jersey Esther Gabriella Miriam Samantha
New Mexico Natalia Serenity Ximena Nevaeh
New York Chaya Rachel Valentina Maya
North Carolina Emerson Sadie Skylar Caroline
North Dakota Addison Hazel Ella Harper
Ohio Lydia Quinn Kennedy Nora
Oklahoma Blakely Gentry Remington  Kimber
Oregon Ruby Aurora Penelope June
Pennsylvania Paige Lily Quinn Charlotte
Rhode Island Aria Juliana Violet Mila
South Carolina London Trinity Caroline McKenzie
South Dakota Brynlee Nora Emersyn Remi
Tennessee Paisley Piper Sadie Addison
Texas Camila Genesis Ximena Regina
Utah Oaklee Navy Kate Indie
Vermont Harper Charlotte Isabelle Wren
Virginia Abigail Skylar Annabelle Virginia
Washington Eleanor Audrey Aurora Olive
West Virginia Raelynn Paislee Kinsley Gracelynn
Wisconsin Nora Hazel Tenley Violet
Wyoming Piper Oakley Emmy Sawyer


 Read More: The Defining Boys' Names of Every State



June 14, 2017 11:48 AM

Some of the states give off serious "one of these things is not like the others" vibes. For example, Kansas: Ember, Hayden, Oakley... and Lydia? Where'd that come from? And Wyoming: Piper, Oakley, Sawyer... and Emmy. I mean, if those were sibsets, I'd assume three boys and one girl in each case.

June 14, 2017 9:03 PM

Utah stood out to me, Oaklee, Navy, Indie, and Kate.

June 14, 2017 9:28 PM

I expected Evelyn in Oregon's list. Every time I go to the park there seems to be 4 of them. I suppose that was 2-4 years ago, though. 

June 15, 2017 1:04 AM

The LDS community is ground zero for adventurous naming, so it's not surprising that Utah would stand out in its defining names. But the list is another example of "one of these is not like the others." Kate?! Perhaps Salt Lake City is filled with Duchess of Cambridge fans.



June 15, 2017 1:41 AM

More " of these things doesn't belong..."

Three girls and one... mountain? well, not a traditional girl name, anyway:
Alaska: Aurora, Lena, Chloe... and Denali
Colorado: Cora, Hazel, Josephine... and Aspen
D.C.: Alice, Zoe, Maya... and Royal
Florida: Valentina, Gabriella, Victoria... and Aaliyah
Maine: Natalie, Lydia, Nora... and Piper
New York: Rachel, Valentina, Maya... and Chaya
Virginia: Abigail, Annabelle, Virginia... and Skylar
Wisconsin: Nora, Hazel, Violet... and Tenley

Three ultra-modern possibly-unis3x names and one staid traditional:
Indiana: Hadley, Willow, Piper... and Eleanor
South Carolina: London, Trinity, McKenzie... and Caroline

Like Indiana & South Carolina, but with more misspellings:
Mississippi: Londyn, Kennedi, Khloe... and Mary

(No, I'm not saying Khloe can be unis3x, just that nobody spelled it with a K 20 years ago.)

June 15, 2017 6:16 AM

These lists have me thinking that my American home states are Oregon and Washington -- it's amazing how much local fashion shapes your taste, given that I'm from British Columbia...

June 15, 2017 10:17 AM

Another "one of these things is not like the others" is Hawaii: Kalea, Mahina, Kailani, and . . . Aria. Three traditional Hawaiian names, and one modern English word-name. The letter R isn't even in the Hawaiian alphabet!

New York didn't strike me as that odd for a cosmpolitan state, and I would have picked Valentina as the outlier; the other three are all Hebrew names.

By EVie
June 15, 2017 11:14 AM

As a New Yorker, the New York list doesn't surprise me at all. New York has the biggest concentration of Jews in the country, so Chaya and Rachel get disproportionate use (Chaya I would expect is almost exclusively Jewish in usage; Rachel was more broadly popular in the '80s and '90s, but since it's fallen a lot since then, I would expect its continued usage to be also disproportionately Jewish). Maya is still generally popular, but it has a Hebrew derivation in addition to the more commonly-cited Greek, so I suspect that also reflects Jewish usage. Valentina strikes me as very popular among Italian-Americans, of which we also have many, and the Hispanic community (ditto). 

I was interested to see Camila on the California list, as I knew two of them when I lived there. One mom was Puerto Rican, the other Eastern European (I think Russian, but I'm not sure). It's also on the list in Texas, so I'm guessing it's a popular name among Hispanics now.

Massachussetts is showing its Irish roots--Maeve and Fiona stand out.

My own tastes run toward New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Oregon and Washington :)

June 15, 2017 12:14 PM

In New York I suspect that Valentina is also current in the Russian community, such as around Brighton Beach. So appeal in three different communities could account for the statistics Laura was analyzing.

Looking at adjacent New Jersey, I think Esther and Miriam also reflect the burgeoning Jewish population in places like Lakewood.

June 15, 2017 12:28 PM

I'd also place Valentina as the outlier in New York. Not outlier in that it doesn't make sense in the state, just that the other three are pretty clearly Jewish-driven.

Right, Emily?! Although I'm from Quebec, as I read each state's list, the ones that stood out to me as most attractive were all in New England. But I also liked the West Coast names more than anything in the middle of the country.

By mk
June 15, 2017 12:55 PM

The NY and NJ lists are expected based on their demographics. CTs Gianna is also not surprising due to its large Italian population. Aurora and Denali go together quite well for Alaska.

The Carolinas and Virginia seem to enjoy naming kids after their home state.

June 20, 2017 12:24 PM

Idaho def. into the adrogynous names for girls.  And Remington?!?!  I don't get naming your little girl after a firearm.


June 20, 2017 12:27 PM

Oregon is by far my favorite  (with the possible exception of Penelope) on this list which maybe makes sense since I live in Northern California.  And like the boys list West Virginia my least favorite.

June 21, 2017 3:06 PM

I'm surprised no one's pointed out the obvious for Royal's seemingly outlying presence in DC's 4 -- DC is 49% black, and Royal is almost exclusively given to black children, e.g. Lil Kim's daughter is Royal and Chris Brown's is a Royalty. 

July 1, 2017 1:15 PM

This is a cool article but I'm from Maryland and I don't get the MD  feel at ALL from these names, except maybe Skylar.  

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August 7, 2017 3:46 PM

If you don't get people naming their daughter after a gun you probably don't live in Idaho ;) (Isn't it in the top 5 states for guns per capita?)

August 7, 2017 3:49 PM and we talked about Gentry's in Oklahoma in the forum a year ago :)

August 7, 2017 3:49 PM and we talked about Gentry's in Oklahoma in the forum a year ago :)