Popular and Unique Baby Names by State, 2018

Sampling of baby names that appeared in the SSA state-specific baby name data for one state only.

We know what the top names in the country were last year, but what about the top names in each state? Here’s the list, released just yesterday by the SSA. I’ve also included each state’s most popular unique names (i.e., names that only appeared in the data for that particular state).

StateTop Names (f & m)Top Unique Names (f & m)
AlabamaAva & WilliamCrimson & Kendarius, Walton (tie)
AlaskaAurora & Oliver(none) & Paxson
ArizonaEmma & LiamSedona & Yadier
ArkansasAva & Noah(none) & Timber
CaliforniaEmma & NoahAni & Aram
ColoradoOlivia & LiamVail & Redding
ConnecticutOlivia & Noah(none) & (none)
DelawareAva & Liam(none) & (none)
D.C.Ava & William(none) & (none)
FloridaIsabella & LiamAbigaelle & Miron
GeorgiaAva & WilliamKaylei & Taylin
HawaiiEmma & LiamMahina & Kaimana
IdahoOlivia & LiamQuincey & Roczen
IllinoisOlivia & NoahJamaya & Laron
IndianaEmma & OliverDawt, Elma (tie) & Jamin
IowaHarper & OliverHuxley & Kinnick
KansasOlivia & LiamMacklyn & Creighton, Whit (tie)
KentuckyEmma & WilliamAnnlee, Terri (tie) & Jansen
LouisianaAva & NoahJaicee, Jersi (tie) & Colston
MaineOliver & Charlotte(none) & (none)
MarylandAva & LiamAnjolaoluwa & Adon, Murtaza (tie)
MassachusettsEmma & BenjaminVittoria & Henrique
MichiganOlivia & NoahLayal & Eldon
MinnesotaEvelyn & HenryMaida & Muhsin
MississippiAva & JohnSwayze & Jadarius
MissouriOlivia & LiamCharlea & Daxten, Zebulun (tie)
MontanaHarper & Liam(none) & (none)
NebraskaOlivia & Liam(none) & (none)
NevadaEmma & Liam(none) & (none)
New HampshireOlivia & Oliver (none) & (none)
New JerseyEmma & LiamTzipora & Binyomin
New MexicoIsabella & Noah(none) & (none)
New YorkEmma & LiamGitty & Mendel
North CarolinaAva & NoahHolden & Nahmir
North DakotaOlivia & Oliver(none) & (none)
OhioAva & LiamWilma & Grayden
OklahomaEmma & LiamDim, Jadyn (tie) & Thang
OregonEmma & OliverRuna & (none)
PennsylvaniaEmma & LiamBarbie, Surah (tie) & Joniel
Rhode IslandAmelia, Olivia (tie) & Liam(none) & (none)
South CarolinaAva & WilliamEmmagrace, Mills (tie) & Drayton, Mills (tie)
South DakotaHarper & Grayson, Henry, Liam (3-way tie)(none) & Ryken
TennesseeEmma & WilliamAnnaclaire, Caylen, Eulalia, Jakyra, Kamri, Parthenia, Tamari, Tylee (8-way tie) & Neyland
TexasEmma & LiamJessi & Eliud
UtahOlivia & OliverMable & Ammon
VermontHarper & Oliver(none) & (none)
VirginiaAva & WilliamTyasia & Alexi, Javonte, Mckinley (3-way tie)
WashingtonOlivia & LiamCallista & Ruvim
West VirginiaEmma & Mason(none) & Bransen
WisconsinEvelyn & Oliver(none) & Broxton, Kelby (tie)
WyomingAmelia, Emma (tie) & Oliver(none) & (none)

A few final thoughts…

  • I love that Aurora is now #1 in Alaska. :)
  • What’s up with Wilma in Ohio? Nine baby girls is nearly a quarter (23%) of the total national usage. Interesting.
  • One of the other unique Utah boy names was Kaladin, which comes from a character in the Stormlight Archive book series by Utah-based fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson.

How about you — what are your thoughts/observations?

Baby Name Dropouts, 2018

Ever wonder which baby names dropped out of the data in a particular year? I often do, so finally this year I isolated all the dropout names (which are essentially the opposite of debut names) and figured out which ones saw the steepest dives:

Girl Names

Boy Names

Baby Name Debuts of 2018: Boy Names

The top boy-name debuts in the U.S. baby name data last year were:

  1. Jahseh, 65 baby boys
  2. Thielen, 21
  3. Daer, 17
  4. Amell, 12
  5. Daesyn, 12
  6. Ulugbek, 12
  7. Vayu, 12
  8. Lavie, 11
  9. Liano, 11
  10. Oaklynn, 11
  11. Rhaegar, 11
  12. Sirroyal, 11
  13. Truu, 11
  14. Usmon, 11
  15. Weller, 11

Some of the other debuts include: Baz, Xylo, Euro, Sensei, Sicario, Gaurik, Ludo, Soldier, Tritt, Jasahd, Muir, Ozymandias, Thanatos, Ao, Callisto, Charm, Freyr, Garrix, Gursehaj, Jalex, Kenmari, Koe, Kyloren, Ludovico, Oso, Rovanio, Selleck, Solstice, Swae, Tayceon, Acai, Beacon, Glauk, Glavine, Horizon, Jorniel, Kawaii, Kentucky, Kreek, Perfect, Precise, Prevail, Rehoboth, Sircarter, Solar, Universe, Wentz, Westbrook, Yanciel, Zaytoven

Sircarter was influenced by Sir Carter, the son of Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Do you have explanations for any of the other debuts?

P.S. Wondering what a “debut” name is? Debut names were too rare to appear in the SSA data in any previous year (1880-2017). In order to debut, they need to be given to at least 5 babies of one gender or the other within a single year.

Baby Name Debuts of 2018: Girl Names

The top girl-name debuts in the U.S. baby name data last year were:

Some of the other debuts include: Annifer, Dava, Enzleigh, Katyayani, Lunamae, Mazuri, Attley, Coralena, Loujain, Townes, Gurmehar, Orabella, Vaia, Aerolyn, Elegance, Nyayla, Tillian, Universe, Yosra, Zhaviah, Zyna, Alouette, Anyfer, Bilge, Cardi, Chicago, Elite, Geles, Gentree, Ikora, Lunagrace, Menorah, Modesire, Pyrrha, Riverrose, Siloam, Versace, Willianny, Zelilah, Annajames, Arrowyn, Bellanova, Chancellor, Cloud, Ellanese, Enzo, Erabelle, Ffion, Fiammetta, Foreign, Ixora, Krew, Lunamaria, Mattel, Miqueen, Noir, Novamae, Peru, Sumnima, Tomiris, Uinise, Videlle, York

Zhavia (and Jhavia, and Zaviah) were influenced by singer Zhavia Ward, who was on the TV show The Four in 2018. Do you have explanations for any of the other debuts?

P.S. Wondering what a “debut” name is? Debut names were too rare to appear in the SSA data in any previous year (1880-2017). In order to debut, they need to be given to at least 5 babies of one gender or the other within a single year.

Baby Names Falling in 2018: Girl Names

Which girl names decreased the most in popularity from 2017 to 2018?

In this post we’ll answer the question two different ways: first by looking at the top absolute (raw number) drops, second by looking at the top relative drops.

Fastest Falling Girl Names: Absolute

  1. Emily, -1,125 baby girls
  2. Emma, -1,112
  3. Ava, -1,034
  4. Sophia, -955
  5. Madison, -839
  6. Alexa, -838
  7. Mia, -828
  8. Abigail, -811
  9. Olivia, -782
  10. Aubrey, -721

Fastest Falling Girl Names: Relative

  1. Yuleimy, -85% (from 54 to 8 baby girls)
  2. Darleth, -84%
  3. Brennley, -75%
  4. Anastazja, -74%
  5. Danelly, -73%
  6. Kenly, -71%
  7. Lita, -71%
  8. Alaena, -71%
  9. Elnora, -69%
  10. Jacquelin, -69%

(This second list only accounts for names that stayed in the data; I didn’t account for names that fell off the list in 2018.)

If you have any explanations for the name movement above, let us know in the comments!

P.S. Here’s the SSA’s table of baby names that decreased in rank from 2017 to 2018. The top girl names on their list are Audrina, Courtney, and Angelique.