Carter has been popular for almost two decades, but only now has it broken into the Top 50, leaving all the other upscale occupational surname names behind. Having hot characters named Carter on both "Gossip Girl" and "The OC" probably didn't hurt, and for fifteen years on "ER," Noah Wyle's Dr. John Carter was always called by his last name. Carter also, of course, has presidential cred.
While Carter sits at Number 41 across the country, it is especially loved in the Midwest, having recently been Number 2 in Nebraska and Number 3 in Iowa, as well as spreading north to Saskatchewan (Number 2) and Manitoba (Number 5).
One of the megapopular Waspy surname names for boys just dipping its toe into the girls' pool.