Regional Name trends: Different states of mind

May 18, 2010 Linda Rosenkrantz

It’s always interesting to take a look at which names are most popular where.  You can usually count on some surprises and this year is no exception.  For instance Anna ranking in the top five in both Alabama and Mississippi, when it’s down at 29 across the country, and Logan, which is #17 on the Social Security list, now the #1 boys’ name in three widespread states—Idaho, Minnesota and New Hampshire.

Repeating the pattern of last year, the majority of names that popped out from the crowd were in the boys’ column; for the girls’ names across the country there was a remarkable uniformity of choice—with Isabella, Emma, Olivia, Madison, or Ava heading the list in all but two states, while on the male side, there were several top singletons, such as Wyatt in Wyoming and Ryan in Massachusetts.

But what are really most intriguing are the names that jump out of nowhere in one particular place—some of them throwbacks, some predictive of future popularity, some reflecting the state’s ethnicity, such as Gianna in New Jersey and José, the most common name in Texas.

Here are some of the names that were not even in the Top 25 nationally, but rated high in specific areas, with their national ratings in parenthesis:

ALLISON  (30)—     #1 in the District of Columbia

ANNA (29)  —          #4 in Alabama

BROOKLYN (37)      #4 in Utah

CHARLOTTE (68)    #8 in the District f Columbia

FAITH (80)  ——-  #10 in Hawaii

GABRIELLA (33) — #10 in Rhode Island

GIANNA (76) ——  #11 in New Jersey

KATHERINE (60)  –   #4 in the District of Columbia

KAYLEE (26) —— –  #10 in West Virginia

LILLIAN (27) ——    #10 in Indiana

MAKAYLA (44)  — – #9 in Mississippi

NEVEAH (34)—         #4 in New Mexico

ZOE  (47)  ——– —    #9 in the District of Columbia


ANGEL (37)  ——– #4 in Arizona and Texas

BRAYDEN (47) —– #6 in West Virginia

CALEB (31) ———  #6 in Hawaii

CARTER (50) ——–#3 in Iowa

CHASE (61) ———-#8 in Pennsylvania

GAVIN ((33) ——— #3 in South Dakota

HUNTER (56) ——-  #2 in West Virginia

ISAAC (40)  ——- –#4 in Utah

ISAIAH (41) ———#7 in New Mexico

JACK (42) ————#3 in North Dakota

JOSE (43) ———— #1 in Texas

JOSIAH (87) ———#10 in New Mexico


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