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 their tenure as the top baby names be coming to an end?
Our maps depict the top names by state in 2022:
The Most Popular Girl Name in Each State, 2022
Olivia swept the country, coming out on top in 30 states, down from 34 in 2021. These falling numbers suggest that Olivia may be at risk of dropping rank in 2023.
Olivia's main competitor is Charlotte, which continues to spread. It now ranks first in twelve states — mostly in the Midwest — plus DC.
Aurora and Harper rejoined the map this year, in Alaska and Kentucky, respectively. Aurora consistently ranks higher than the national average in Alaska, because it's the only state where you can see the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis.
Sophia also makes the map again in 2023, taking first place in Delaware and New Mexico. In New Mexico, Sophia replaces Mia, which is no longer on the map.
Former Number 1 Emma is almost completely wiped off the map, but is holding strong in New Jersey. Ava and Amelia rank first in two states each, and Valentina reigns another year in Puerto Rico.
The Most Popular Boy Name in Each State, 2022
Liam was remarkably steady between 2021 and 2022, maintaining its lead with 20 states. Does that mean Liam will take the top spot nationally next year? Not if Oliver can help it!
Oliver is the third-most-popular name in the US overall, but the top name in 16 states, down from 13 in 2021. Compare that to Noah, currently ranked at Number two across the entire US, but the top boy name in just seven states (although populous ones including Illinois, Georgia, and Michigan). With Liam holding steady and Noah losing ground, Oliver may be poised to take second place nationally in 2023.
James rejoined the map this year, back on top in its favorite state, Mississippi. But more excitingly, 2022 saw two brand-new names on the map: Theodore and Asher. Theodore took the top spot in vintage-loving New Hampshire, and Asher is Number 1 in West Virginia.
Top 5 Baby Names by State
The Top 5 baby names in each state are mostly permutations of names from the national Top 10, although some states saw more diversity. 22 girl names and 30 boy names held the distinction of ranking in a state Top 5.
States with large Latin American and Hispanic 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 Santiago rank for boys.
The states with the most creative Top 5s include Hawaii, West Virginia, California, Texas, and Vermont, which had the highest proportions of Top 5 names that ranked outside of the US Top 10.
Eight girl names appeared in only a single state’s Top 5. They are listed below with their national ranking:
Aurora (31), Alaska
Aria (23), Hawaii
Eleanor (16), Washington DC
Ellie (33), North Dakota
Kinsley (61), Mississippi
Nova (32), Mississippi
Violet (20), Vermont
Willow (37), West Virginia
Ten boy names made singular appearances:
Charles (50), Washington DC
Ethan (21), Hawaii
Ezekiel (49), New Mexico
Grayson (37), West Virginia
Jacob (32), New York
Julian (35), California
Kai (59), Hawaii
Luca (28), Colorado
Luke (34), Louisiana
Waylon (66), West Virginia
You'll notice that many state names resemble their unique favorites — Willow and Waylon in West Virginia, Aurora in Alaska, Violet in Vermont, and Luke in Louisiana. This is nominative determinism — or name-driven outcome — at play. In this case, the name of certain states are driving parents to choose names with similar sounds for their babies.