I’ve recently gone over the data for each state, and it’s fascinating! Lots of surprising bits in there. Here’s what stood out to me:
Alabama- Like much of the South, Alabama parents often gravitate more towards “trendy” popular names like Kylee rather than “classic” popular names like Eleanor. But there’s one glaring exception- Margaret ranks #77 in the state, higher than its #139 national ranking.
Alaska- Alaskans show an affinity for “xs” in their names- Paxson and Jaxson rank 85 and 83 respectively. Jaxson’s rank in Alaska is about on par with the rest of the country, but Paxson is unique to Alaska- it doesn’t rank nationally (though Paxton is #203).
Arizona- Unsurprisingly, Spanish names rank high in this border state. But one Italian name- Giovanni- fares better in Arizona (88) than nationally (141).
Arkansas- Blakely is a hit for Arkansas girls; it’s ranked #40 in the state, but only #270 nationally.
California- Ivan ranks #131 nationally, but #48 in this diverse state.
Colorado- It seems many Coloradans are proud of their roots- Aspen, Colorado’s picturesque resort town, ranks #361 overall, but #67 in Colorado.
Connecticut- The state has a reputation for being preppy, and it may not be undeserved; buttoned-up, serious names like Theodore and Edward rank higher here than in other parts of the country.
Delaware- Carter only ranks #26 nationally, but it’s in Delaware’s top 10. Variant spelling Karter is #99, but it barely makes the top 200 nationally.
Florida- Florida has the distinction of being the only state where Isabella remains the most popular name for girls.
Georgia= Georgians seem to have a thing for royalty; Kingston ranks #69, King #72, and Messiah #81.
Hawaii- Hawaii seems to have its own personal evergreen classic. Leilani has ranked in the top 100 every year for which I checked since 1960, when records were first sorted by state.
Idaho- This farm state seems to like the idea of naming a girl after a gun- Remington ranks #88 and Remi #87, both representing 19 births. Unisex surnames in general seem to be popular for girls- Harper is #3, Piper #22, Quinn #40, Kennedy #43, Madison #45, Addison #49, Oakley, Payton, and Reagan #69-71, Sawyer #83, and Hayden #86.
Illinois- While many states are notable for how they differ from the national average, Illinois is notable in how similar it is. With a balance of urban and rural populations and diversity that closely mirrors that of the nation as a whole, Illinois’ stats are quite unchanged.
Indiana- Hadley doesn’t even break the top 100 nationally, but in Indiana, it’s #39.
Iowa- Iowans, strangely, are in a New York state of mind; Brooklyn sits at #14 and Ryker (like Riker’s Island) ranks #41. Another interesting find: Elsie is #82 in Iowa, but only #340 nationally.
Kansas- Massachusetts and Kansas aren’t mentioned together often, but they do share the unique distinction of being the only two states where Benjamin reigns supreme for boys.
Kentucky- Waylon ranks #58 for boys in Kentucky, but barely breaks the top 200 nationally.
Louisiana- The Louisiana top 100 looks quite different than the national list, especially for girls: Paris, Londyn, Khloe, Evangeline, and Lyric all rank.
Maine- Avery ranks high for girls in most states, but Maine is unique in that the name ranks for both boys and girls.
Maryland- While Iowans look East for name inspiration, Marylanders look West; Dakota ranks #96 for girls there, but it’s not even in the top 200 nationally.
Massachusetts- This state, like much of New England, favors classic names- the top 10 lists for both genders are full of evergreen classics like John, Michael, Benjamin, Jack, James, Emma, Charlotte, Sophia, Grace, Abigail, and Amelia.
Michigan- With Michigan’s large Arab American population, it’s little surprise that Ali is a top 100 choice for boys in the state.
Minnesota- Minnesota has two unique #1 names- Henry and Evelyn, which don’t top the charts in any other state.
Mississippi- This state boasts a top 10 that’s very dissimilar from the national top 10- Kingston, Aiden, and Carter rank for boys and Brooklyn, Skylar, Paisley, Madison, and Chloe are popular for girls.
Missouri- Finley for girls breaks the top 100 in Missouri, though it lags at #189 nationally.
Montana-…but, Finley is even MORE popular for girls in Montana, where it’s all the way up at #21.
Nebraska- Ryker is a hit in Nebraska; only 8 more baby Rykers would’ve made the name crack the top 10.
Nevada- Nevadans seem unable to agree on spelling; both Sophia and Sofia are in the top 10, and Zoey and Zoey are ranked between 10 and 20. And though Aubrey & Audrey and Ella & Bella are different sounding names, they follow the trend, ranking 31 & 33 and 37 & 38.
New Hampshire- Lillian breaks the top 10 here, but doesn’t even make the top 25 nationally.
New Jersey- New Jersey’s large Jewish community is reflected here: Moshe, Chaya, Miriam, Chana, and Rivka are top 100 names. Rivka is especially interesting- only 325 babies received the name in 2016, and 28% of those Rivkas (90 total) were born in New Jersey.
New Mexico- New Mexico’s massive Spanish-speaking and bilingual population is obvious; very Spanish names like Gael, Daleyza, and Alejandro are in the top 100, and Ximena ties with Amelia for the #10 spot.
New York- It seems that most of the Rivkas not born in New Jersey were born in New York- 190 Rivkas (a whopping 58% of all babies given the name last year) were welcomed in New York last year. Unlike in New Jersey, Abraham breaks the top 100.
North Carolina- The classic Mary has fallen out of favor nationally, but remains popular in the South. North Carolina is no exception- it’s #65 there, between trendier choices Aaliyah and Taylor.
North Dakota- This state’s top 10 features the nationally lower-ranking names Hudson, Wyatt, Easton, Nora, Ella, Evelyn, and Addison.
Ohio- Raelynn is popular here- #67 versus #158 nationally- though this seems to be something of a midwestern anomaly.
Oklahoma- Jaxon (Oklahoma’s #6) outpaces the more traditionally spelled Jackson (OK #19), the reverse of the national trend.
Oregon- The offbeat Juniper ranks #79, way higher than the national ranking of #352.
Pennsylvania- A few East Coast states, Pennsylvania among them, welcome Luca to their top 100.
Rhode Island- This small state is Jule crazy- Julian ranks #10, Juliana #38, Julia #43, Julianna #83, and Juliette #96.
South Carolina- Malachi and Harmony crack the top 100 in this state, but not the country overall.
South Dakota- South Dakotans appear to favor vintage names for girls- Hattie cracks the top 100, and Hazel, Clara, and Cora make the top 30.
Tennessee- Paisley is popular in the Midwest and the South, as it is in Tennessee, but residents of the famed home of Elvis also gravitate towards Presley for girls.
Texas- Unsurprisingly, Jose makes the top 10 in this state, which shares a longer Mexican border than any other.
Utah- Utahans tend to be adventurous namers, and that’s reflected in the data: Ruby, Ryker, Alice, Ivy, Calvin, Oakley (girl), Aspen, Daxton, Adelaide, Nash, Thea, Eden, Ryder, Nixon, and Bridger are all much popular in Utah than they are nationally.
Vermont- The only state where Owen is #1 for boys.
Virginia- Jackson is in the top 10 in this state, with Jaxon and Jaxson not far behind.
Washington- Washingtonians favor classic names, especially for girls; perennial favorites like Elizabeth, Eleanor, and Evelyn rank higher in Washington than nationally, while trendier picks like Harper often fall lower.
West Virginia- the only state where Mason takes the top spot for boys.
Wisconsin- Like its neighbor Iowa and a handful of other states, Wisconsin has matching O names- Oliver and Olivia- in its #1 spot.
Wyoming- This wild west state claims Wyatt as its #1 name, a unique distinction- it’s Wyatt Wyoming!