The Top Baby Names in Maryland in 2011?

Maryland’s Open Data website includes a single table of Maryland baby name rankings (2011) broken down by race/ethnic group. This is cool because New York City does the exact same breakdown, and we happen to have the equivalent NYC baby name rankings (2011). So we ought to be able to compare and contrast the two sets of rankings, right?

Yeah, that’s what I thought…until I started looking more closely at Maryland’s data.

According to the SSA, these were the top 10 boy names in Maryland in 2011:

  1. Mason
  2. Jacob
  3. Michael
  4. Ethan
  5. Ryan
  6. William
  7. Alexander
  8. Noah
  9. Daniel
  10. Aiden (tied for 10th)
  11. Jayden (tied for 10th)

But according to the state of Maryland, the top 10 boy names were quite different:

Rank OVERALL Asian &
Pacific Isl.
Black Hispanic White
1 Aiden Aiden Jaiden Christopher Lucas
2 Christopher Lucas Aiden Anthony Mason
3 Jayden Alexander Christopher John Jackson
4 Mason Muhammed Cameron Alexander Jacob
5 Lucas Ethan Elijah Daniel John
6 Jacob Nathan Jeremy Matthew Aiden
7 Alexander John Michael Brian Alexander
8 Nathan Andrew Isaiah Justin Liam
9 Michael Justin Mason Jaiden William
10 Ethan Jacob Caleb Kevin Ryan

It isn’t totally implausible that Aiden and Jayden might have ranked 1st and 3rd in 2011, but Christopher in 2nd? Maybe if this were a dataset from thirty years ago, but not five years ago. The SSA indicates that Christopher ranked closer to 18th in the state that year.

And what’s with the two different spellings of Jayden/Jaiden?

Plus there are some sizable raw number discrepancies, such as:

  • Aiden: 588 babies (MD data) vs. 281 babies (SSA data for MD)
  • Christopher: 584 babies (MD data) vs. 256 babies (SSA data for MD)
  • Jayden: 498 babies (MD data) vs. 281 babies (SSA data for MD)
  • Mason: 463 babies (MD data) vs. 432 babies (SSA data for MD)

And now the girl names. According to the SSA, these were the top 10 girl names in Maryland in 2011:

  1. Sophia
  2. Olivia
  3. Isabella
  4. Madison
  5. Ava
  6. Emma
  7. Abigail
  8. Chloe
  9. Emily
  10. Elizabeth

According to the state of Maryland, though, the top 10 girl names in the state were these:

Rank OVERALL Asian &
Pacific Isl.
Black Hispanic White
1 Sophia Sophia Chloe Sophia Sophia
2 Isabel Chloe London Emily Isabel
3 Chloe Isabel Layla Allison Abigail
4 Ava Caitlin/Kate Madison Isabel Olivia
5 Madison Hannah Kennedy Ashley Ava
6 Olivia Olivia Aaliyah Angelina Riley
7 Emily Sara(h) McKenzie Natalie Madison
8 McKenzie Abigail Zoe(y) Genesis Emily
9 Abigail Emily Payton Gabrielle McKenzie
10 Riley Lillian/Lily Taylor Kimberly Chloe

Not only does Isabel magically replace Isabella in the Maryland data, but McKenzie and Riley rank 8th and 10th — even though the SSA says they should be closer to 77th (!) and 28th.

Not to mention the raw number discrepancies, such as:

  • Sophia: 503 babies (MD data) vs. 367 babies (SSA data for MD)
  • McKenzie: 325 babies (MD data) vs. 71 babies (SSA data for MD)
  • Riley: 298 babies (MD data) vs. 118 babies (SSA data for MD)

Intriguing parallels between the MD data and the NYC data do exist. In both locations, Elijah and Isaiah were in the top 10 for African-American boys only, and London, Aaliyah, and Taylor were in the top 10 for African-American girls only.

But if we can’t trust the data, we can’t draw any meaningful conclusions.

Labels like “Caitlin/Kate,” “Sara(h),” “Zoe(y)” and “Lillian/Lily” suggest that variant names were combined here and there. I suspect this is also what happened with Isabel/Isabella, Sophia/Sofia, Aiden, Jayden, MacKenzie, Riley, and maybe even Christopher (perhaps Maryland merged all the “Chris-” names). What are your thoughts on this?


Popular Baby Names in Sonoma County, CA, 2015

Sonoma_County
According to Sonoma County’s data site SoCo Data, the most popular baby names in 2015 were Ava and Olivia (tie) and Mateo and Daniel (tie).

Here are the county’s top 5 girl names and top 5 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Ava and Olivia (tie), 28 baby girls
2. Camila, 25
3. Isabella, Mia and Emma (3-way tie), 23
4. Charlotte and Sophia (tie), 21
5. Alexa, 20
1. Mateo and Daniel (tie), 28 baby boys
2. Jackson, 27
3. Sebastian, 25
4. Benjamin, 24
5. Julian, Jayden and Noah (3-way tie), 22

In 2014, the top names in the county were Emma and Logan.

Of the 1,204 girl names bestowed last year, 811 (67%) were used just once. A smaller proportion of the 919 boy names — 549 (60%) — were bestowed once. Here are a few of those single-use names:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Amarilla, Antimony, Edelweiss, Ember, Fanny, Lluvia, Lovely Estrella, Mae Pearl, Magnolia, Nkirote, Reminisce, Rosalene, Rurapenthe*, Summit Attimus, Banyan, Cypress, Cyprus, Destry, Ernestor, Fogatia, Iknav, Montgomery, Mercury, Orion, Quintil, Thornhill, Zinley

*Looks like Rurapenthe is based on “Rura Penthe,” the name of a planetoid used as a Klingon penal colony (!) in the Star Trek universe. Its name is a nod to Rorapandi, a penal colony island in the Disney movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954). Rorapandi was invented by Disney; it did not appear in the Jules Verne novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870).

Source: SoCo Data

Popular Baby Names in Wyoming, 2015

According to data from the Wyoming Department of Health, the most popular baby names in 2015 were Emma and Mason.

Here are the state’s top 5 girl names and top 5 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emma
2. Harper
3. Olivia
4. Amelia
5. Evelyn
1. Mason
2. Liam
3. Wyatt
4. Logan
5. Benjamin

In the girls’ top 5, Amelia and Evelyn replace Brooklyn and Abigail.

Jackson, William and James dropped out of the boys’ top 5, but there are no replacements because the 2014 top 5 included a two-way tie for 2nd and a three-way tie for 5th.

For more U.S. rankings, check out the U.S. name rankings subcategory.

Source: Emma, Mason are Wyoming’s Top Newborn Names

Popular Baby Names in New Jersey, 2015

According to New Jersey’s Department of Health, the most popular baby names in the state in 2015 were Isabella and Liam.

Here are New Jersey’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Isabella
2. Olivia
3. Sophia
4. Emma
5. Mia
6. Ava
7. Abigail
8. Emily
9. Madison
10. Charlotte
1. Liam
2. Michael
3. Jacob
4. Noah
5. Mason
6. Matthew
7. Dylan
8. Joseph
9. Benjamin
10. Alexander

(The SSA data agrees about Liam being New Jersey’s top boy name, but says the top girl name is actually Emma.)

In the girls’ top 10, Charlotte replaces Sofia. In the boys’ top 10, Mason, Dylan, and Benjamin replace Daniel, Ethan, and Anthony.

Here are NJ’s 2014 rankings. For more sets of U.S. rankings, check out the U.S. name rankings subcategory.

Source: Take a look at the top N.J. baby names of 2015

Most Popular Lengths for Baby Names, 2015

What were the most popular lengths for baby names in 2015?

For girl names, the top length was 6 letters, followed by 5 letters and 7 letters:

length popularity, baby girl names, U.S., 2015
Name length popularity, U.S. baby girl names, 2015.

The top lengths were the same for boy names:

length popularity, baby boy names, U.S., 2015
Name length popularity, U.S. baby boy names, 2015.

And here are both genders side-by-side so you can compare:

length popularity, U.S. baby names, 2015
Name length popularity, U.S. baby names, 2015.

We saw the same top three lengths for baby names in 2014.

U.S. Baby Names 2015: Most Popular Baby Names, Top Debuts: Girl Names, Top Debuts: Boy Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Girl Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Boy Names, First Letter Popularity, Name Length Popularity

Most Popular First Letters for Baby Names, 2015

What were the most popular first letters for baby names in 2015?

For girl names, the top first letter was A:

The 10 most popular first letters for baby girl names in the U.S., 2015
The 10 most popular first letters for baby girl names in the U.S., 2015

The next-most-popular first letters were M, E, S, and K.

In 2015, the letter R pulled ahead of the letter B in the rankings for girl names.

For boy names, the top first letter was J:

The 10 most popular first letters for baby boy names in the U.S., 2015
The 10 most popular first letters for baby boy names in the U.S., 2015

Rounding out the top 5 were the letters A, C, M, and L.

In 2015, the letter E pulled ahead of the letter D in the rankings for boy names.

The top first letter for all baby names (girls and boys combined) was A:

Ranking the most and least popular first letters for baby names in the U.S., 2015
Ranking the most and least popular first letters for baby names in the U.S., 2015

The next-most-popular first letters were J, M, C, and E.

The least popular first letter overall was U, followed by Q, X, Y, and F.

Here are the most (and least) popular first letters of 2014.

U.S. Baby Names 2015: Most Popular Baby Names, Top Debuts: Girl Names, Top Debuts: Boy Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Girl Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Boy Names, First Letter Popularity, Name Length Popularity

Biggest Changes in Boy Name Popularity, 2015

Which boy names increased and decreased the most in popularity from 2014 to 2015?

Here are two ways to look at it. The SSA’s way looks at ranking differences and covers the top 1,000 boy names (roughly). My way looks at raw number differences and takes all boy names on the SSA’s list into account.

Biggest Increases

Raw Numbers (all boy names) Rankings (top 1,000 boy names)
  1. Oliver, +2,181 babies (9,411 to 11,592)
  2. Matteo, +1,320 babies (835 to 2,155)
  3. Grayson, +1,296 babies (6,556 to 7,852)
  4. Mateo, +1,258 babies (3,729 to 4,987)
  5. Lincoln, +1,150 babies (4,809 to 5,959)
  6. Theodore, +895 babies (3,216 to 4,111)
  7. Ezra, +893 babies (3,406 to 4,299)
  8. Hudson, +779 babies (5,229 to 6,008)
  9. Asher, +754 babies (4,305 to 5,059)
  10. Wyatt, +750 babies (8,847 to 9,597)
  1. Riaan, +1,360 spots (2,286th to 926th)
  2. Huxley, +392 spots (1,354th to 962nd)
  3. Wilder, +360 spots (1,324th to 964th)
  4. Jaziel, +276 spots (1,215th to 939th)
  5. Canaan, +271 spots (1,077th to 806th)
  6. Kaison, +251 spots (981st to 730th)
  7. Brixton, +212 spots (1,197th to 985th)
  8. Ridge, +204 spots (1,136th to 932nd)
  9. Omari, +198 spots (708th to 510th)
  10. Jabari, +194 spots (1,139th to 945th)

Riaan was boosted by a celebrity baby born in late 2014 to Bollywood actors Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza.

Jaziel’s rise seems to be due to Jaziel Avilez, a young singer featured in the 2014 song “Padre Ejemplar” [vid] by Mexican group Los Titanes de Durango.

Omari’s rise can be traced back to American actor Omari Hardwick, who has appeared in the TV shows Being Mary Jane and Power lately, and Jabari’s to basketball player Jabari Parker, the second overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft.

Biggest Decreases

Raw Numbers (all boy names) Rankings (top 1,000 boy names)
  1. Jase, -1,459 babies (3,737 to 2,278)
  2. Jayden, -1,448 babies (12,923 to 11,475)
  3. Joshua, -1,123 babies (10,843 to 9,720)
  4. Andrew, -1,097 babies (11,124 to 10,027)
  5. Michael, -1,079 babies (15,400 to 14,321)
  6. Jacob, -996 babies (16,812 to 15,816)
  7. Anthony, -974 babies (11,538 to 10,564)
  8. William, -967 babies (16,776 to 15,809)
  9. Jace, -965 babies (6,276 to 5,311)
  10. Alexander, -902 babies (15,362 to 14,460)
  1. Arnav, -666 spots (888th to 1,554th)
  2. Jayse, -257 spots (910th to 1,167th)
  3. Neymar, -240 spots (550th to 790th)
  4. Rylee, -228 spots (879th to 1,107th)
  5. Johnathon, -213 spots (915th to 1,128th)
  6. Broderick, -195 spots (971st to 1,166th)
  7. Brenden, -187 spots (711th to 898th)
  8. Yael, -178 spots (913th to 1,091st)
  9. Aidyn, -173 spots (925th to 1,098th)
  10. Gavyn, -167 spots (944th to 1,111th)

I can remember Neymar debuting in 2010 under the influence was Brazilian footballer Neymar.

In 2014, the big winners were Oliver and Bode, and the big losers were Jayden and Bently.

Sources: Change in Popularity from 2014 to 2015, Emma and Noah Once Again Social Security’s Most Popular Baby Names for 2015

U.S. Baby Names 2015: Most Popular Baby Names, Top Debuts: Girl Names, Top Debuts: Boy Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Girl Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Boy Names, First Letter Popularity, Name Length Popularity