Most Popular Baby Names In Every State

We map the Number 1 names

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.

Here’s the map showing the top girls’ name in each state in 2016:

And here’s the map showing the top boys’ name in each state in 2016:

For more baby name maps, check out our recent post of each state’s quirky favorite name.

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15 Responses to “Most Popular Baby Names In Every State”

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Orchid_Lover Says:

May 18th, 2017 at 6:20 pm

So at quick glance Utah, Minnesota and some other northern states are ahead of the trend curves. I was aware that Utah had bold baby namers but not Minnesota and the others!

Side note I feel like Maverick is ripe to gain steam especially in rural and western states…off to investigate whether this is already happening…

Orchid_Lover Says:

May 18th, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Oops that’s New Mexico not Utah, another surprise!

AbbyNu Says:

May 18th, 2017 at 6:51 pm

Not at ALL surprised to see Henry as #1 in Minnesota, I feel like everyone I know has a little Henry! At least it’s a nice name 🙂

ccmrath Says:

May 18th, 2017 at 7:24 pm

Go Minnesota! I moved up here from the South and have been surprised at the difference in naming trends between states – I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s a difference, so I’m enjoying see how names differ from state to state.

clairels Says:

May 18th, 2017 at 9:18 pm

Haha, I live in Minnesota and have a little cousin Evelyn, of course. I wonder why we’re such outliers?

jtucker Says:

May 18th, 2017 at 11:19 pm

That’s pretty neat to see the popular names broken down by state. I live in New Mexico and was shocked to see that Elijah is the no. 1 boy name, pretty awesome as it’s a great name, just not what I would have guessed.

paulapuddephatt Says:

May 19th, 2017 at 3:23 am

Those are interesting. Can you get states for particular counties in the UK? It would be fascinating.

paulapuddephatt Says:

May 19th, 2017 at 3:24 am


JH Says:

May 19th, 2017 at 10:04 am

So funny to see so many Minnesotans on here! I’m from MN too, currently live in CA and am trying to get back to MN.

@Orchid_Lover, funny that you mention Maverick because that’s a name my friend is considering for her baby boy.

gnolib Says:

May 19th, 2017 at 10:09 am

Can you get stats for Canada?

Orchid_Lover Says:

May 19th, 2017 at 10:10 pm

@JH Minnesota is the #4 state with the most Mavericks named last year, California was somewhere in the middle

Most common in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Hawaii, Missouri, Iowa, Utah, Oklahoma, and Oregon. Least common in DC, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, South Carolina, New Mexico, Virginia, Maine, and Illinois. So looks like a midwestern trend that hasn’t taken hold in the South or Northeast (especially larger population centers) yet.

SparkleNinja18 Says:

May 21st, 2017 at 11:52 am

I hardly know any young Benjamins… know WAY too many Emmas though, so that doesn’t surprise me. I still think that everyone in Kansas is way too obsessed with Ava and Jackson, so I would’ve put those at number one, at least around here.

ARead Says:

May 21st, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Really glad to see that for once the South is not getting a whole lot of hatred for terrible baby names. I’m sure there are some stinkers in the top ten in many of these states, but if you have to overuse a name, at least they chose classy, attractive classics like Ava and William. Yay!

TinyTurtle Says:

May 21st, 2017 at 2:01 pm

As a Minnesotan, I love to see Minnesota stand out in the sea of names 🙂

Baby Name News of the Week – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

May 24th, 2017 at 10:49 pm

[…] the number one names in each state vary a lot – there are 8 different top-spot names for girls across the country, and 11 for […]

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