Popular and unique baby names in Iowa, 2021

Flag of Iowa
Flag of Iowa

The Midwestern state of Iowa welcomes roughly 40,000 babies per year.

Last year, the most popular baby names in the state were Charlotte and Oliver, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Here are Iowa’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Charlotte, 174 baby girls
  2. Olivia, 148
  3. Amelia, 141
  4. Ava, 125
  5. Emma, 121
  6. Evelyn, 111
  7. Nora, 110
  8. Sophia, 108
  9. Willow, 101
  10. Eleanor & Harper, 99 (tie)

Boy Names

  1. Oliver, 207 baby boys
  2. Liam, 176
  3. Henry, 169
  4. Noah, 136
  5. Asher, 131
  6. Theodore, 129
  7. Hudson, 125
  8. Owen, 123
  9. Brooks, 122
  10. Jack, 120

The SSA’s rankings for Iowa are very similar, though, so…why bother posting Iowa’s own rankings?

Because the state also releases the rest of its baby name data (yay!), so we have a chance to see the names at the other end of the spectrum.

Over 3,600 girl names and over 2,800 boy names were bestowed just once in Iowa last year. Here’s a selection of Iowa’s unique baby names of 2021:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Amazingrace, Biftu, Celine D’Arc, DaRell, Endellion, Fiolla, Geranium, Hagia-Sophia, Heulwen, Isniin, Johovana, KipperMay, Libba, Mauslynn, Nardos, Onnova, Phyu, Qualoni, Rexha, Six, Tempo, Ulani, Villandry, Wintwar, Xhivani, Yolna, ZelleAdventurous, Biden Rafael, Conker, Divoc, Eastwood, Felty, Grimnir, Healer, Heritier, Isidoro, Judicael, Kenaniah, Lil Junior, McClane, Nightly, Oswalt, Pilot, Qua, Rensselaer, Senanu, Tchite, Utah, Veon, Winiga, XanLee, Yuepheng, Zelldean

Some thoughts on a few of the above…

  • Divoc is “Covid” spelled backwards.
  • Endellion is a Cornish place name. (Former UK PM David Cameron used this name a few years back.)
  • Hagia Sophia, which means “holy wisdom” in ancient Greek, refers to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
  • Heritier (héritier) means “heir” in French.
  • Isniin means “Monday” in Somali.
  • McClane is the surname of the main character (John McClane) in the Die Hard movies.
  • Villandry is a commune in central France.
  • Wintwar (Wint War) is a Burmese name. (A number of refugees from Myanmar live in Iowa.)
  • Zelle is a digital payments network (launched in 2017).

In 2020, the top two names in Iowa were Olivia and Oliver.

Sources: Top Baby Names – Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal, Iowa – Wikipedia, List of U.S. states and territories by population – Wikipedia, Wiktionary

Image: Adapted from Flag of Iowa (public domain)

2 thoughts on “Popular and unique baby names in Iowa, 2021

  1. “Lil Junior”? That is horrifying. Why do people do such cruel things to their babies? But it is great that Iowa publishes all the names. I wish every state did.

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