States’ Most Popular Names 2014

States’ Most Popular Names 2014

By Linda Rosenkrantz

So we’ve parsed the new Social Security national list from almost every conceivable angle. When, a few days after its release, we got to see which names were most popular in which states in 2014, it’s allowing us to delve into more regional patterns.

It turns out that top national names Noah and Emma were far from the most popular in every state: Emma was Number 1 in 22 of them, Noah at the top in only 9! It’s also interesting to note such idiosyncrasies in the Top 5 as Aurora Number 4 in Alaska, Brooklyn Number 2 in Wyoming, and Lincoln Number 2 in South Dakota.

It wasn’t unusual to see names spilling over into neighboring states, as in the case of Harper being the top name for girls in both North and South Dakota—and nowhere else. Other unique Number 1s were Elizabeth and Alexander in DC, Isabella in Florida, Mia in New Mexico, Henry in Minnesota, Benjamin in Massachusetts (and also well used all across New England), Michael in NJ, Henry in Minnesota, and Jackson in Wyoming.

Moving further down the Top 5, some of the other more noteworthy localized choices were Zoe at Number 5 in DC, Aria 4 in Hawaii, Lucy 4 in Utah and Avery Number 5 in Ohio. On the boys’ side, in addition to Lincoln, there was Gabriel in fifth place in Alaska and Hunter at Number 4 in West Virginia, where Colton came in fifth. Plus quite a few Elijahs, Henrys, Owens and Olivers ranking that high.

It’s also interesting to see how some districts have minds of their own and swim against the tide, such as Wahington DC, the Dakotas, Utah and Hawaii. (Trivia tidbit: Brayden, Aiden, Ayden and Jayden were all in the top dozen boy names in Mississippi.)

Some striking outliers among the popular girls, with their national numbers in parens:

Anna (34)—8 in Washington DC

Camila (41)–10 in California

Caroline (58)—12 in North Carolina

Khloe (88)—16 in Hawaii

Genesis (68)—6 in Washington DC

Hadley (99)—9 in South Dakota

Hazel (107)—19 in Utah

Leah (35)—12 in New York

Maya (74)—10 in Washington DC

Nora (49)—8 in South Dakota

Paisley (53)—12 in Montana and Oklahoma

Ruby (90)—6 in Utah

And in the blue column:

Adrian (59)–17 in Nevada

Bentley (89)—10 in West Virginia

Caleb (35)—8 in Delaware

Cameron (53)—13 in NH

Easton (83)—6 in ND

Ezekiel (181)—10 in Hawaii

Hudson (80)—7 in ND, 12 in SD

Jack (41)—13 in Nebraska

Jaxon (46)—7 in Oklahoma, 11 in Arkansas

Julian (47)—13 in California, 14 in Nevada

Levi (45)—9 in West Virginia

Oakley (657)—18 in Wyoming

Ryker (151)-12 in Wyoming, 14 in Nebraska

And here’s some more intriguing data, thanks to the research of Megan McCleery.

How many names do you think were in the Top 100 in all fifty states?

For girls, it was 25, from Abigail to Zoey

For boys, there were 34 names, from Aiden to Wyatt.

What I found even more interesting were some of the names found in the Top 100 in only one state, among which were these surprising examples:























Any surprises in your own state?

You can check out all the stats at the Social Security website.

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.