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The Top Baby Names in Every State

Beyond Liam and Emma

by Sophie Kihm

The top baby names across America were once again Liam and Emma, but depending on where you live, you might not be able to relate. Emma took the top spot in only fifteen of the fifty states, while Liam led in  twenty — less than half the locales in the US.

Our maps show the most popular name in each state:

For girls, Ava was the clear favorite of the South and mid-Atlantic. Olivia dominated the Great Plains, and Emma tended toward coastal states with large populations, like California and New York.

Overall, we’re seeing more variety for girls compared to last year’s map. Mia dropped off the map, but Amelia and—surprisingly—Aurora hopped on. Emma’s spread is not as expansive as it was in 2017. Olivia took over many of Emma’s states, which is perhaps a sign that Olivia could become the most popular girls’ name of 2019.

On the boys’ side there are fewer regional distinctions. However, Oliver was still relegated to the North, and William to the South, as was the case in 2017. Liam, which was previously more popular along the coasts, found favor inland as well in 2018. James, Lucas, Elijah, and Logan no longer make the map, but John, Mason, and Grayson were added.

The states with the lowest nationally-ranked names as their top names were Alaska with Aurora (#44) and South Dakota with Grayson (#32). The popularity of Aurora in Alaska is likely influenced by Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, which can only be seen in Alaska.

If we look further into the Top 5 for each state, other patterns emerge. States with significant Spanish-speaking populations, such as Texas, California, New Mexico, and Arizona were more likely to have cross-cultural favorites like Mateo, Sebastian, and Isabella among their most popular names.

North Dakota and Wyoming favored less-common boys’ names, as none of their Top 5’s ranked in the national Top 4.

Names that only appeared on a single state’s Top 5 include: Aurora (#44 nationally) in Alaska, Aria (#19) and Mila (#14) in Hawaii, Skylar (#50) in Mississippi, Lucy (#51) in Utah, and Nora (#30) in Vermont. For boys, Dylan (#31) in Maryland, Theodore (#44) in Minnesota, Daniel (#15) in Nevada, Matthew (#20) in New Jersey, Hudson (#54) and Easton (#66) in North Dakota, Levi (#33) in Vermont, and Lincoln (#40) in Wyoming.

What are the most popular names in your state?

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