Top Names in Each State Revealed!

Top Names in Each State Revealed!

Popular names by state can look very different from the national count. Find out which states' top names conform to the US popular names list and which go in a different direction.

Olivia and Liam held on to their titles as the most popular names in the United States for another year, both nationally and in the majority of states individually. But could Liam’s tenure as the top boy name be coming to an end?

Our maps depict the top names by state in 2021:

Olivia swept the country, coming out on top in 34 states, an increase from 30 in 2020. Liam too took the most of any other boy name with 20 states, down from 23 the year before. The numbers suggest that in all likelihood, Olivia will remain the most popular girl name in America for 2022, although Liam may be at risk of dropping rank.

Charlotte continues its spread, now ranking first in nine states plus DC. Emma and Ava are almost completely wiped off the map, holding a single state each: Kentucky and Mississippi, respectively.

Liam’s main challenger is Oliver — the third-most-popular name in the US overall, but the top name in 13 states, down from 17 in 2020. Compare that to Noah, currently ranked at Number two across the entire US, but as the top boy name in ten states (although populous ones including California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania). With both Liam and Noah losing ground, Oliver may be poised to take second place nationally in 2021.

Harper, James, and Lucas fell off the map this year. Harper was replaced by Evelyn in South Dakota and Amelia in West Virginia. In Mississippi, James was usurped by William, and in New Hampshire, Oliver overtook Lucas.

No new boy names were added to the map in 2021, but two girl names reemerged as state favorites. Evelyn, the top girl name in Oregon and South Dakota, was last seen on the map in 2018, when it ranked first in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Mia was the most popular name in New Mexico, where it last was the top name in 2017.

Regional Name Trends

Charlotte has a hold on the northeast quadrant of the US and is spreading westward — taking over Minnesota and Iowa in 2021. Ava, former queen of the South, has been replaced by Olivia in all of the Deep South states besides Mississippi.

For boys, Oliver dominated the northern states, particularly those on the West Coast and in the Midwest. The southern half of the country is still enchanted by Liam, but full form William remains a favorite in Tennessee as well as Deep South states such as Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina.

Top Five Baby Names by State

The Top Five baby names for girls in each state were mostly permutations of names from the national Top 10, while the state rankings for boys saw much more diversity. 18 girl names and 30 boy names held the distinction of ranking in a state Top Five.

States with large Latinx populations — including California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas — were more likely to have cross-cultural names such as Camila, Mia, and Isabella rank for girls, and Mateo, Sebastian, and Julian rank for boys.

Four girl names appeared in only a single state’s Top Five. They are listed below with their national ranking:

Eleanor (15), Nevada

Luna (11), Hawaii

Maya (55), Washington DC

Willow (39), West Virginia

Eight boy names made singular appearances:

Brooks (77), North Dakota

Grayson (35), West Virginia

Hudson (34), South Dakota

Jacob (24), New York

Kai (71), Hawaii

Levi (12), Wisconsin

Waylon (69), West Virginia

Wyatt (29), Alaska

About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top baby name trends of 2021, baby name synesthesia, and the top names in each state. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at Sophie lives in Chicago.