Local Baby Names: What’s in in Indiana?

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:


AvaLouisiana, South Dakota

EmmaAlabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Wyoming

IsabellaFlorida, West Virginia

MadisonMississippi, South Carolina

Olivia—Alaska, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Utah

SophiaArizona, 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


Alexander—Connecticut, Illinois



JacobArizona, California, New Mexico, Texas


LiamColorado, Vermont

MasonAlaska, 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

MichaelDelaware, New Jersey, New York (among the most conservative states)


WilliamAlabama, 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

Jose  (65)—Number 4 in Texas, where Juan also rates high; Jose was for several years top name in Texas

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:





ColtonWest Virginia








SantiagoNew Mexico


Were you surprised by the stats for your area? What names seem to be most popular where you live?

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.