Category: Trends and Predictions

popular names by state

Quick: What were the most popular boys’ and girls’ names of 2016? Emma and Noah, you say? Wrong — at least unless you live in Pennsylvania or Texas.

True, Emma and Noah came out on top when the Social Security Administration released its annual list of the most popular baby names of the year last week. But today, they came out with a follow-up that broke down baby name popularity by state. And this more detailed list revealed major differences in baby name popularity from state to state.

Only in Pennsylvania and Texas did Emma and Noah both rank Number 1. In the other 48 states, plus the District of Columbia, another name took the top spot for boys, girls or both.

The most striking trend — as with the past few years — was the sharp divide between the Deep South and the rest of the country. In most of the Dixie states, Ava was the top girls’ name and William was the top boys’ name.

The twin names of Olivia and Oliver also posted strong showings, especially in the northwest quadrant of the country. They were the most popular boys’ and girls’ names in Oregon, Utah, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Mia and Harper both took the top slot for girls’ in multiple states, while Charlotte, Isabella and Evelyn each hit Number 1 in one state.

On the boys’ side, Liam, the Number 2 name overall in the U.S., had another strong year, coming in first in states from Alaska to Florida. Benjamin and Elijah both took the prize in two states, and James, Henry, Wyatt, Mason and Owen all reigned supreme in one state.

Perhaps the most unusual state for baby names in 2016 was Minnesota. Neither of its two winners, Evelyn and Henry, was the top name in any other state or even in the national Top 10.

What names were Number 1 in your state? Click through to see the maps.

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by Pamela Redmond, with research by Joe Satran

If you want to give your baby a name that transcends this decade, make sure it doesn’t start with Ad-, end with –ley, contain the letter x, or honor a star who suffered a tragic death.

That’s what we found when we analyzed the Social Security baby names data of 2016 versus 2006 and identified which names have exploded in use over the past ten years and how those combine to create the major baby name trends of the decade.

Juniper and Jayceon, according to our research, may well prove as emblematic of these times as Jennifer and Jason were of the 1970s. The 40 names that have increased the most in usage over the past ten years – which also include Adalynn and Brantley, Monroe and Hendrix – may sound fresh and stylish now, but are likely to become the Brittany and Brian of the future.

Here, our statistical analysis of the dominant baby name trends of the decade and the hot baby names that influenced them.

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By Abby Sandel

In just one more week, the US Social Security Administration will release the new Top 1000 list of popular baby names of 2016. It’s Mardi Gras meets the Super Bowl for name lovers, and we’ve all got our ideas about what the data will bring.

We’ve already shared some guesses about names to watch. Now it’s your turn: what will be the biggest debuts (or returns) to the charts?

Every year, around 90 of the names in the official Top 1000 weren’t there the year before. In some cases, they’re comebacks. Louisa and Frankie, Cordelia and Marjorie have all returned to the rankings after long absences for girls over the last few years. On the boys’ side, we’ve welcomed back Otis and Clyde, Louie and Gordon.

But for every retro revival, there are plenty of brand new names. And it’s often the brand new names that garner all the attention. They’re nearly always driven by the pop culture headlines of the previous year.

Still, it’s not always easy to guess which name will leap from obscurity to a high place on the charts.

That’s where you come in!

This year, we’re awarding prizes to the berries who pick the highest debuting boy or girl name. Each reader can guess one of each; the first correct comment for each gender wins.

The prize? Bragging rights, of course. But you’ll also choose between a private name consult with Nameberry’s Name Sage, or any one of the baby name books from our online store.

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By Lisa Spira

Before Liam became the second most popular baby name in the United States, as it has been since 2013, it was a lesser-known Irish short form of William. It was distinctively Irish. Today, however, Liam is so popular that it feels more “American” than anything else.

It’s not the first name to broaden in usage this way. In past generations, names such as Sean and Nicole became simply American, dissociated from their Irish and French roots, respectively.

Which names from other cultures might be the next popular American names?

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44 Names from 1917 You Should Use Now!

By Linda Rosenkrantz

In the baby-name world there’s something called the 100-Year-Rule, the theory that it takes a century for names to be ready to make a comeback. That timeframe has shrunk considerably, with the resurgence of names from the fifties, sixties and even later, that is happening right now.

But every year we do like to look back at the names from a century ago, to dig for Top 500 examples that haven’t made it back to the current Top 1000 (actually two years short since we’re still looking at 2015) , but have the potential to do so. And for good measure, we’ll add the names that are in that same position now.

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