Carter has been popular for almost two decades, but it only cracked the Top 30 in 2014, leaving 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.
Carter is especially popular 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).
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