Category: Trends and Predictions
When it comes to baby names, we live in a nation divided. There’s the United States of Ava and William (the South), the United States of Olivia and Oliver (the Great Plains) and the United States of Emma, Liam and Noah (most of the rest: coastal population centers, the Great Lakes, the Southwest, Texas).
That’s what the Social Security Administration revealed when they released the 2017 list of the most popular names in each state on May 17. Though Emma and Liam were the most popular baby names in the country, they were the number one names in only 11 states. In the other 39 (plus D.C.), another name took the cake for boys, girls or both. We made maps illustrating the winners in each state.
The maps look fairly close to last year’s maps of the most popular names in each state. The South remains completely devoted to Ava and William. Pennsylvania was a bellweather yet again, while Vermont again marched to the beat of its own drum.
Yet there were also some fascinating differences. Though many believe we’ve already passed Peak Emma, it actually spread its dominance this year, becoming the most popular girls’ name in several big new states, such as New Jersey and California. And Charlotte, confined last year to New Hampshire, spread to two more states in New England; we wouldn’t be surprised if it continued to spread.
On the boys’ side, several of the states that supported Noah switched over to Liam — which makes sense, given that Liam took over from Noah as the most popular boys name of the year. Noah was the most popular name in just five states, down from nine the year before. Oliver, meanwhile, continues to grow. It was the most popular boys’ name in a whopping 12 states, despite being only the ninth most popular boys’ name overall.
Here’s the map showing the results for girls:
And here’s the map showing the results for boys:
What were the most popular names in your state? Does that line up with what you’ve noticed? Tell us in the comments!
By Esmeralda Rocha
Each year, the Top 1000 names in the US are given to around 78% of boys and 69% of girls (in 2017 2,798,250 babies received a first name that ranked in the Top 1000).
While there is always a little movement in the Top 10 and Top 100, nearly 90 new names appeared in the Top 1000 last year – making that list a fun way to gauge trends and find hidden or underused gems.
Our favorite dozen names from each list are:
Our hottest baby names are those we see attracting an outsized share of attention from expectant parents, based on number of views of our name pages for the first quarter of 2018 compared with the same period last year.
These hot names may not show up on the popularity lists….yet. Most are unusual, even unique, but hit the right style tone for today.
If you’re looking for a rare, cool name for your baby and want to be ahead of the fashion curve, we recommend these 30 hot choices.
by Sophie Kihm
Sibsets with half-siblings can be tricky. Often there is the desire to create a completely cohesive sibset. But new partners can introduce new tastes and preferences for baby names, so a harmonious posse isn’t always possible.
When it does work out though, it is incredibly satisfying. Stanley Tucci has done a fantastic job blending the name his youngest child (with wife Felicity Blunt) with the names of the children from his first marriage. This is especially impressive considering there is a twelve-year age gap between the two youngest. He and Felicity are set to welcome another little one later this year, and I can’t wait to hear his or her name.
By Pamela Redmond Satran
Or maybe it’s a reaction against all the new names and trends that have mushroomed over the past few decades, from word names to nature names to place names to invented names.
Or maybe it’s the start of a new millennium that makes us consider the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, or a new interest in names from mythology, or TV shows and movies starring hunky gladiators.
If you’re looking for a really old name for your new baby, here are some that sound stylish today.