Popular and unique baby names in Iowa, 2022

Flag of Iowa
Flag of Iowa

Did you know that Iowa is the only U.S. state bordered by two navigable rivers (i.e., rivers used for interstate commerce)? Its eastern border is formed by the Mississippi River, and its western border is formed by the Missouri River (for the most part).

Last year, the state’s most popular baby names were Olivia and Oliver, according to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Here are Iowa’s top 20 girl names and top 20+ boy names of 2022:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 173 baby girls
  2. Charlotte, 155
  3. Ava, 130
  4. Emma, 122
  5. Amelia, 118
  6. Evelyn, 114
  7. Harper, 109
  8. Eleanor, 105
  9. Hazel, 94
  10. Nora, 93
  11. Scarlett, 91
  12. Ellie, 89
  13. Sophia, 85
  14. Avery, 84
  15. Ivy, 83
  16. Violet, 82
  17. Isabella, 78
  18. Grace, 74 (tie)
  19. Willow, 74 (tie)
  20. Aurora, 67

Boy Names

  1. Oliver, 198 baby boys
  2. Liam, 180
  3. Theodore, 163
  4. Henry, 156
  5. William, 127
  6. Leo, 122
  7. Hudson, 121
  8. Jack, 119 (tie)
  9. Owen, 119 (tie)
  10. James, 118
  11. Brooks, 115
  12. Asher, 112
  13. Wyatt, 108
  14. Elijah, 107
  15. Maverick, 101
  16. Noah, 98
  17. Bennett, 90 (tie)
  18. Cooper, 90 (tie)
  19. Jackson, 88
  20. Lincoln, 87 (tie)
  21. Lucas, 87 (tie)

The SSA’s rankings for Iowa are largely (though not exactly) the same.

Now for the fun part — unique names!

In total, 3,680 (67%) of the girl names and 2,801 (58%) of the boy names bestowed in Iowa last year were given to a single baby. Here’s a selection of Iowa’s unique baby names of 2022:

Unique girl namesUnique boy names
Alini, Brillith, Clovianna, Demri, Eleen, Fienne, Giantra, Hinata, Idara, Jimmilah, Ketsia, Lithena, Meridia, Nashley, Prinsha, Quinlyn, Rencalina, Simrat, Tauren, Uniti, Velzy, Weaver, Xella, Yusali, ZevlynAckley, Berrick, Clandson, Dazin, Eitan, Faron, Grayler, Hemby, Indie, Jefrin, Kindness, Lijah, Maiti, Noriel, Olten, Percy, Quineal, Raul, Solanus, Trendale, Ukiyo, Vaylor, Westlan, Xanthos, Yannick, Zario

Some of the single-use noun-names I spotted were Fjord (boy), Badger (boy), Minnow (girl), Sparrow (girl), Lithium (boy), and Paprika (girl).

I also noticed the name Caladan (boy), which was likely inspired by the planet Caladan from the movie Dune: Part One, which was released in late 2021.

Speaking of 2021…here’s a link to Iowa’s 2021 rankings, if you’d like to compare last year to the year before.

Sources: Baby Names – Iowa Health & Human Services, Iowa – Wikipedia, Iowa’s Waterway System – Iowa DOT

Image: Adapted from Flag of Iowa (public domain)

7 thoughts on “Popular and unique baby names in Iowa, 2022

  1. I’m all about uniqueness, and having barn cats means that I can use several names, so the single-use names at the end of these ranking posts are my favorite part. I keep a collection of names – shelf of name books and a fat binder of lists and articles, and your posts are my new favorite source!

  2. Nancy, By reading this post, I was surprised to see, in the past 15 years, the resurgence in popularity of “Hazel” as a girls name. I always liked the name, although I THOUGHT it was old-fashioned! Do you have any idea what brought about the uptick?

  3. Melissa, I think the name started to take off in popularity when Julia Roberts named her daughter Hazel in 2004. Another possible reason for its more recent acceleration is the very popular John Green YA book (2012) & movie (2014) The Fault in Our Stars. The protagonist’s name is Hazel Grace Lancaster.

  4. @Brenda – I’m so happy these posts are coming in handy for you. :)

    @Melissa & Sharky – I agree with both answers — the celebrity baby and (especially) the book/movie character. Thank you Sharky for answering a lot sooner than I did. :)

    Here’s the popularity graph for Hazel if anyone wants to check it out.

  5. Sharky, Thanks for the information. And to Nancy, thank you for a very interesting website.

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