Local Baby Names: What’s in in Indiana?
There was a time when we thought—rightly or wrongly– of regional names in terms of stereotypes—prim and proper appellations in New England, sweetly feminissima Southern belles, Tex-Mex cowboys out west. Now, though, it sometimes seems that baby names have become more and more homogeneous across the United States, but if we really peruse the popularity figures for states’ local baby names we do find some regional differences and state eccentricities.
First, a look at which names were in first place and where they ruled:
Ava—Louisiana, South Dakota
Emma—Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Wyoming
Isabella—Florida, West Virginia
Madison—Mississippi, South Carolina
Olivia—Alaska, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Utah
Sophia—Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Sophia, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin
Jacob—Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas
Mason—Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Michael—Delaware, New Jersey, New York (among the most conservative states)
William—Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wyoming
The girls, as we can see, are perfectly consistent across the land, with no state having a Number 1 name outside the country’s Top 10. But with the boys, it gets a little more interesting. William virtually swept the South for most popular boys’ name; there were 22 states with national Number 2 Mason in first place and only four with top name Jacob—explained by the fact that they happen to be four extremely populous states. Perhaps most interesting is the fact that national Number 41 Carter is Number 1 in Iowa as well as second in North and South Dakota. Any local Berries have any explanation? And why is Anthony so hot in Nevada?
Some other regional anomalies in various states’ Top 5, with their national ranks in parenthesis:
Addison (13) ranked in the Top 5 in five states
Lily (15)—Number 4 in Utah
Benjamin (19)—Top 5 in seven states
Brayden (37)—Number 5 in Kentucky
Christopher (21)—Number 5 in Mississippi
David (18)—Number 5 in Texas
Elijah (13)—Number 4 in Colorado and North Carolina
Jackson (23)—Top 5 in four states
James (17)—Number 5 in Tennessee
Landon (34)—Top 5 in Louisiana and West Virginia
Logan (2)—Top 5 in six states
Owen (44)—3 in Iowa, 5 in Wisconsin
Parker (79)—Number 4 in Wyoming
Ryan (25)—Top 5 in three eastern states
Wyatt (48)—Number 5 in Maine
And then there are those names that pop up in the Top 20 in one place and nowhere else, such as:
Were you surprised by the stats for your area? What names seem to be most popular where you live?