Category: most popular boys names 2016

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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