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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 2020:

Olivia swept the country, coming out on top in 30 states, an increase from 26 in 2019. Liam too took the most of any other boy name with 23 states, down from 26 the year before. The numbers suggest that in all likelihood, Olivia will remain the most popular girl name in America for 2021, although Liam may be at risk of dropping rank.

Liam’s main challenger is Oliver — the third-most-popular name in the US overall, but the top name in 17 states, up from nine in 2019. Compare that to Noah, currently ranked at Number two across the entire US, but as the top boy name in a mere five states (although populous ones such as California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania). With both Liam and Noah losing ground, Oliver may be poised to take second place nationally in 2021.

Sophia and Benjamin were the only two names to fall off the map this year, replaced by Olivia in Nevada and Lucas in New Hampshire. Along with Lucas, the other name that joined the map in 2020 was James, the top boy name in Mississippi.

Regional Name Trends

Ava maintained a hold over the South but began to slip after losing ground in the Mid-Atlantic. Former Number one Emma went from holding the top spot in nine states to just two in 2020 — Pennsylvania and Florida. It was replaced by Olivia in many states, of course, but also Charlotte and Amelia, each of which picked up states last year. Charlotte was the most popular girl name in eight states and is particularly common in the Midwest and on the East Coast.

For boys, Oliver dominated the northern states, particularly those on the West Coast and in the Midwest. New England and the Southern states were still enchanted by Liam, which has almost entirely eclipsed its parent name, William. In 2019, William was the most popular boy name in five Southern states and Washington DC, but only held on to Alabama, South Carolina, and DC in 2020.

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. 17 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.

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

Ella (15), South Dakota

Hazel (31), North Dakota

Kinsley (59), Mississippi

Luna (14), Hawaii

Nora (30), Montana

Nine boy names made singular appearances:

Anthony (41), Delaware

Carter (33), Delaware

Ethan (13), New York

Ezekiel (65), New Mexico

Hudson (42), North Dakota

Jackson (17), Wyoming

Joseph (26), New Jersey

Lincoln (40), Oklahoma

Maverick (49), South Dakota

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@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.