Category: 2016 most popular 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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Popular Baby Names 2016

popular baby names 2016

The most popular baby names of 2016 feature stability at the top of the list, with Emma and Noah holding tight to their Number 1 positions and contenders Olivia and Liam steady at Number 2.

The newest name in the Top 10 baby names is the Biblical Elijah, making the top ranks for the very first time. Elijah was the Old Testament prophet who rode to heaven in a chariot of fire. Last year’s newcomer Benjamin rose all the way to Number 6, while Charlotte vaulted to Number 7.

Perhaps the biggest news of 2016 is once-popular Caitlin‘s slide from the Top 1000, along with several of her spelling variations.

The entire Top 10 for girls remained the same, with some shifts in rank. Charlotte moved up the most, 3 places, with Ava, Isabella, and Mia each hopping up one place. Former Number 1 girls’ name Sophia slid to Number 4. Riley and Aria moved into the Top 25 names for girls.

Among baby boy names, Michael surprised the pundits by not only hanging on to his half-century spot in the Top 10 but moving up two places. Alexander left the Top 10 for boys. The 25 most popular boy names  feature some surprises too, with Owen and Sebastian rising in the standings.

Classic boys’ names William and James also moved up, while Ethan, Mason, and longtime Number 1 Jacob moved down.

The Top 10 baby names for 2016 in the US, with comparisons to their standings in 2015, are:

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By Abby Sandel

In just one more week, the US Social Security Administration will release the new Top 1000 list of popular baby names of 2016. It’s Mardi Gras meets the Super Bowl for name lovers, and we’ve all got our ideas about what the data will bring.

We’ve already shared some guesses about names to watch. Now it’s your turn: what will be the biggest debuts (or returns) to the charts?

Every year, around 90 of the names in the official Top 1000 weren’t there the year before. In some cases, they’re comebacks. Louisa and Frankie, Cordelia and Marjorie have all returned to the rankings after long absences for girls over the last few years. On the boys’ side, we’ve welcomed back Otis and Clyde, Louie and Gordon.

But for every retro revival, there are plenty of brand new names. And it’s often the brand new names that garner all the attention. They’re nearly always driven by the pop culture headlines of the previous year.

Still, it’s not always easy to guess which name will leap from obscurity to a high place on the charts.

That’s where you come in!

This year, we’re awarding prizes to the berries who pick the highest debuting boy or girl name. Each reader can guess one of each; the first correct comment for each gender wins.

The prize? Bragging rights, of course. But you’ll also choose between a private name consult with Nameberry’s Name Sage, or any one of the baby name books from our online store.

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