Category: 2016 baby 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.

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Brave New Baby Names: Ace, Atlas & Brax

By Abby Sandel

The year has started with a bang! The birth announcements have been full of rare word names and surprising choices. We’ve seen lots of brisk names short on sounds, but long on style, too.

Give it a few weeks – or days – and doubtless we’ll see more traditional names in the mix. Celebrities will call their kiddos Vladimir and Isabetta, and a new fictional character or three will come along with a four-syllable name that seems like the next big thing.

But for the moment, it’s easy to believe that parents are naming for a new world, putting tradition in the past to embrace modern names with relatively limited histories of use.

Let’s take a look at the distinctively 2016 baby names making headlines over the past week.

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Predicting the Big Baby Name Trends 2016

baby names 2016

Baby names 2016 will be more influenced than ever by the major news events of the day, with celebrities and pop culture playing supporting roles. The gender-redefining influence of Caitlyn Jenner and Transparent, the galvanizing impact of the terrorist attacks in Paris and the refugee migration, the cultural sway of clutter-free homes and minds will all shape what we name our babies in the year ahead. We see baby names moving beyond traditional gender and ethnic definitions, becoming both simpler and more ethereal, drawing from dustier archives as well as bolder new sources. Here, Nameberry’s predictions for the major baby name trends of 2016.

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