Category: Girl Names
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 Kelli Brady
After seeing the SSA’s 2017 Popular Baby Names list, did you wonder why you aren’t hearing the #1 name as much as a name further down on the list? Do you hear a lot more “Sophia!” on the playground than “Emma!”? One way to try to explain this is the annual Playground Analysis. When you hear a name on the playground, you do not know how it is spelled and since the SSA list is done solely by spelling, it does not give a completely accurate account of name popularity. The Playground Analysis combines the different spellings of names to reveal the true Top 50 names of 2017!
The biggest news in this year’s most popular baby names in the US is that there’s a new boys’ name at the top of the list. Liam, the Irish short form of William, long used on its own, moves from second place to first.
For girls, Emma is Number 1 for the fourth time, while newcomers to the girl Top 10 list are Amelia and Evelyn. Oliver and Logan are the new boys in the Top 10, Oliver entering at Number 9 and Logan making a remarkable leap from 18 to 5. Evelyn broke back into the Top 10 for the first time since 1915!
Other big climbers in the Boy Top 50 are Wyatt, up 8 places, Mateo, up 17 and Lincoln up 9. Bella squeezed onto the Top 50, after being #78 in 2016. Other rising girls: Luna, thanks to diehard Harry Potter fans, rose 40 places to reach #37, Bella entered the Top 50 after being 78 last year, and Mila, Nora and Hazel also made substantial gains.
The Top 10 baby names for 2017 in the US, with comparisons to their standings in 2016, are:
The name Mary and its variants Marie and Maria have been given to girls from humble families, royal families and every family in between for centuries (it was even suggested that the new Prince Louis might have been named Mary if he’d been a girl). In the US, Mary was the top name every year from when the Social Security Administration began keeping records in the late 1800s until 1961 (with a few-year stint at Number Two from 1947 to 1952).
The wait is almost over! The official list of U.S. Most Popular Names of 2017 will be released on twitter by the Social Security Administration on Friday, May 11 at 9:05 am ET
And so in advance of the imminent announcement, which of course we’re all awaiting with bated breath, we’re challenging you to predict which names you think will come out on top. Will Noah be the Number 1 boy name for the fifth straight year or will there be a new lad in first place? And will Emma be replaced after three years in the lead by one of her recent competitors—Olivia, Sophia, Ava, Isabella—or by a new girl in town?
What about the rest of the Top 10? How do you see the order shifting? Which names will drop off or jump onto the Top 10 for girls and boys? As a reminder, here were the leading names last year:
The first person to guess the Top 10 girls and Top 10 boys in the correct order will win the prize of a $100 Amazon gift certificate.
So don’t delay—get your predictions in on the comments below asap!! Contest ends on the morning of May 11, immediately before the big announcement!
If no one guesses the correct Top 10s, we’ll award the prize to the person who in our opinion comes closest.
Here is the official SSA tweet:
Oh, and, as always, if you like, you can go beyond the Top 10 and make some further predictions, such as new names in the Top 1000, names making the largest leaps….