How popular is the baby name Elijah in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Use the popularity graph and data table below to find out! Plus, see all the blog posts that mention the name Elijah.

The graph will take a few moments to load. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take 9 months!) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.

Popularity of the baby name Elijah

Posts that mention the name Elijah

Popular baby names in Johnston County (North Carolina), 2023 & 2022

Flag of North Carolina
Flag of North Carolina

In 2023, North Carolina’s Johnston County welcomed 1,931 babies — 950 girls and 981 boys.

What were the most popular names among these babies? Charlotte and Liam.

Here are Johnston County’s top 10+ girl names and top 10+ boy names of 2023:

Girl names, 2023

  1. Charlotte
  2. Olivia & Sophia (tie)
  3. Camila, Emma, Isabelle & Scarlett (4-way tie)
  4. Abigail & Amelia (tie)
  5. Delilah
  6. Ava, Eliana, Elizabeth, Layla, Luna & Willow (6-way tie)
  7. Chloe, Ellie, Emily, Harper, Hazel, Mia, Paisley, Sadie & Sofia (9-way tie)
  8. Eliza, Kinsley, Leah, Leilani & Presley (5-way tie)
  9. Evelyn, Genesis, Kailani, Lucy, Madison, Raelynn, Riley, Valentina & Victoria (9-way tie)
  10. Adalyn, Autumn, Isabel, Ivey, Jade, Josie, Kaylani, Lainey, Madeline, Madelyn, Milani, Nova, Penelope, Peyton, Samantha, Violet, Whitley & Zoe (18-way tie)

Boy names, 2023

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. Sebastian
  4. William
  5. Asher & Levi (tie)
  6. Julian & Mateo
  7. Carter, Elijah, Grayson, Lucas, Waylon (5-way tie)
  8. Aiden & Chase (tie)
  9. Benjamin, Carson, Charles, Christopher, Hudson, Jackson, Joseph, Maverick, Oliver, Thomas & Wyatt (11-way tie)
  10. Alexander, Amir, Angel, Elias, Ezra, Gael, Ian, Josiah, Legend, Leonardo, Owen & Samuel (12-way tie)

The county’s 2022 rankings — topped by Charlotte and Noah — included total numbers of babies:

Girl names, 2022

  1. Charlotte, 12 baby girls
  2. Amelia & Scarlett, 11 each (tie)
  3. Ava, Harper & Sophia, 10 each (3-way tie)
  4. Camila & Isabella, 9 each (tie)
  5. Elizabeth, 8
  6. Emma, Olivia, & Paisley, 7 each (3-way tie)
  7. Abigail, Ella, Kinsley, Luna, Mia, Riley & Willow, 6 each (7-way tie)
  8. Angela, Brooklyn, Delilah, Ellie, Emily, Everly, Gianna, Hannah, Kailani, Layla, Leah, Madelyn & Savannah, 5 each (13-way tie)
  9. Addison, Andrea, Ashley, Aurora, Avery, Belen, Bella, Carsyn, Chloe, Eleanor, Julia, Lydia, Magnolia & Violet, 4 each (14-way tie)
  10. Ada, Alora, Alyssa, Aria, Callie, Carolina, Elena, Eliana, Eliza, Elliana, Emely, Evelyn, Genesis, Genevieve, Grace, Gracie, Khloe, Lillian, Lilly, Lily, Lucy, Madilyn, Madison, Naomi, Peyton, Presley, Ryleigh, Sara, Skylar, Sofia, Stephanie & Zara, 3 each (32-way tie)

Boy names, 2022

  1. Noah, 16 baby boys
  2. Liam, 12
  3. Mason, 11
  4. Oliver, 10
  5. William & Wyatt, 9 each (tie)
  6. Carter, Jayden & Sebastian, 8 (3-way tie)
  7. Elijah, Lucas, Mateo & Waylon, 7 each (4-way tie)
  8. Alexander, Angel, Asher, Christopher, Dylan, Elias, Ethan, Henry, Isaac, Lincoln & Nathan, 6 each (11-way tie)
  9. Amir, Eli, Jacob, Jameson, Jaxon, River, Ryan & Thomas, 5 each (8-way tie)
  10. Anthony, Chance, Charles, Hendrix, Hudson, Ivan, Jackson, Jordan, Julian, Leo, Levi, Logan, Luke, Matthew, Maverick & Ryder, 4 each (16-way tie)

If you’d like to go back even further, here are links to earlier sets of baby name rankings for Johnston County:

  • 2021 (top names: Olivia and Liam)
  • 2020 (top names: Olivia and Noah)
  • 2019 (top names: Emma and Liam)
  • 2018 (top names: Olivia and Elijah)
  • 2017 (top names: Ava and Liam)

Sources: Top Baby Names of 2023 – Johnston County Register of Deeds, Top 2023 Baby Names In Johnston County – JoCo Report, 2022 Top Johnston County Baby Names – JoCo Report

Image: Adapted from Flag of North Carolina (public domain)

What gave the baby name Sonji a boost in the 1960s?

Sonji Clay (Jet magazine, Feb. 1966)
Sonji Clay

According to the U.S. baby name data, the name Sonji saw a steep rise in usage during the mid-1960s:

  • 1968: 69 baby girls named Sonji
  • 1967: 98 baby girls named Sonji
  • 1966: 225 baby girls named Sonji [rank: 639th]
  • 1965 96 baby girls named Sonji
  • 1964: 35 baby girls named Sonji
  • 1963: 8 baby girls named Sonji
  • 1962: 8 baby girls named Sonji

The name reached peak usage in 1966 — the single year it ranked as one of the top 1,000 girl names in the nation.

Here’s a visual:

What made the name so trendy?

Sonji (pronounced sahn-jee) Clay, the first wife of Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay).

She met the legendary boxer as an 18-year-old cocktail waitress named Sonji Roi in July of 1964. (Earlier the same year, Ali had not only become the world heavyweight champion, but also announced that he’d joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name.) They married a month later.

Though Sonji had agreed to follow all the tenets of her husband’s religion, she refused to abide by the Muslim dress code. She told reporters:

Cassius said that Elijah Muhammad told him I was embarrassing the entire Muslim nation by not wearing the long white dresses the Muslim women are supposed to wear. […] I am not accustomed to wearing stuff like that. I’m normal, like other women.

The couple ended up divorcing in January of 1966.

The very next month, Sonji embarked upon a short-lived singing career, ultimately releasing three singles. (The second two were put out on her own label, Songee.)

According to dialogue from the 2001 biopic Ali, Sonji’s first name was inspired by that of figure skater Sonja Henie:

Ali: What kind of name is that?
Roi: My father named me after Sonja Henie.

What are your thoughts on the name Sonji?


Image: Clipping from the cover of Jet magazine (10 Feb. 1966)

Popular baby names in Virginia, 2023

Flag of Virginia
Flag of Virginia

Last year, the Commonwealth of Virginia — which is home to more than 8.7 million people — welcomed roughly 95,000 babies.

What were the most popular names among these babies? Charlotte and Liam, according to the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Vital Records.

Here are Virginia’s top 15 girl names and top 15 boy names of 2023:

Girl names

  1. Charlotte
  2. Emma
  3. Olivia*
  4. Sophia
  5. Amelia
  6. Evelyn
  7. Ava
  8. Isabella
  9. Elizabeth
  10. Mia
  11. Eleanor
  12. Harper
  13. Sofia
  14. Luna
  15. Abigail

*In the press release, Olivia was spelled “Oliva.” I’m assuming this was a typo.

Boy names

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. James
  4. Oliver
  5. William
  6. Lucas
  7. Henry
  8. Theodore
  9. Benjamin
  10. Levi
  11. Elijah
  12. Luke
  13. John
  14. Michael
  15. Gabriel

The state also revealed the top names among the state’ four largest ethnic groups: White, Black, Hispanic and Asian. (According to the most recent CDC data, from 2021, 54.3% of Virginia’s babies were born to non-Hispanic White mothers, 20.0% to Black mothers, 15.7% to Hispanic mothers, and 7.3% to Asian mothers.)

These were the top 5 girl names and 5 boy names among Virginia’s White babies:

Girl names, WhiteBoy names, White
1. Charlotte
2. Olivia
3. Emma
4. Amelia
5. Sophia
1. James
2. William
3. Oliver
4. Henry
5. Liam

These were the top 5 girl names and 5 boy names among Virginia’s Black babies:

Girl names, BlackBoy names, Black
1. Ava
2. Naomi
3. Nova
4. Serenity
5. Autumn
1. Noah
2. Amir
3. Josiah
4. Elijah
5. Legend

These were the top 5 girl names and 5 boy names among Virginia’s Hispanic babies:

Girl names, HispanicBoy names, Hispanic
1. Mia
2. Camila*
3. Genesis*
4. Isabella
5. Sofia
1. Liam
2. Mateo
3. Dylan
4. Thiago
5. Lucas

*In the press release, Camila and Genesis were spelled “Camilla” and “Genisis.” I’m assuming these were typos as well.

And, finally, these were the top 5 girl names and 5 boy names among Virginia’s Asian babies:

Girl names, AsianBoy names, Asian
1. Olivia
2. Ava
3. Sophia
4. Sophie
5. Charlotte
1. Noah
2. Lucas
3. Muhammad
4. Ethan
5. Alexander

Here’s a link to Virginia’s 2022 rankings, if you’d like to compare last year to the year before.


Image: Adapted from Flag of Virginia (public domain)

Top baby names of 2023 in several U.S. states (provisional)

peeking nun

Want to take a peek into the future?

The year isn’t over yet, but that hasn’t stopped several regional governments from releasing provisional baby name rankings for 2023.

At least four U.S. states and one U.S. city have put out their top baby names of 2023 already, for instance. Let’s check them out, starting in the east and moving westward…

Rhode Island

According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, these were the state’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2023.

Top girl names, Rhode IslandTop boy names, Rhode Island
1. Charlotte
2. Sophia
3. Olivia
4. Amelia
5. Emma
6. Nora
7. Luna
8. Isabella
9. Mia
10. Isla
1. Noah
2. Liam
3. James
4. Theodore
5. Lucas
6. Michael
7. Julian
8. Benjamin
9. Henry
10. Luca


According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, these were the state’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2023.

Top girl names, MississippiTop boy names, Mississippi
1. Ava
2. Amelia
3. Olivia
4. Charlotte
5. Harper
6. Elizabeth
7. Emma
8. Mary
9. Nova
10. Evelyn
1. John
2. James
3. William
4. Elijah
5. Noah
6. Liam
7. Waylon
8. Mason
9. Grayson
10. Asher

Houston (Texas)

According to the Houston Health Department, these were the city’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2023.

Top girl names, City of HoustonTop boy names, City of Houston
1. Emma
2. Mia
3. Camila
4. Olivia
5. Isabella
6. Sofia
7. Sophia
8. Amelia
9. Charlotte
10. Emily
1. Liam
2. Noah
3. Mateo
4. Santiago
5. Sebastian
6. Dylan
7. Elijah
8. Lucas
9. Oliver
10. Daniel

New Mexico

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, these were the state’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2023.

Top girl names, New MexicoTop boy names, New Mexico
1. Olivia
2. Amelia
3. Isabella
4. Emma
5. Sofia
6. Mia
7. Sophia
8. Aria
9. Luna
10. Camila
1. Liam
2. Mateo
3. Noah
4. Santiago
5. Ezekiel
6. Elijah
7. Josiah
8. Sebastian
9. Ezra
10. Julian


According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, these were the state’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2023.

Top girl names, ArizonaTop boy names, Arizona
1. Olivia
2. Isabella
3. Emma
4. Mia
5. Camila
6. Sophia
7. Amelia
8. Charlotte
9. Evelyn
10. Luna
1. Liam
2. Mateo
3. Noah
4. Oliver
5. Santiago
6. Elijah
7. Sebastian
8. Ezra
9. Levi
10. Benjamin

Several regions outside the U.S. have also released their 2023 baby name rankings already. Here’s what I’ve spotted so far…

RegionTop names
British Columbia (Canada)Olivia & Noah
New Brunswick (Canada)Olivia & Liam
Nova Scotia (Canada)Olivia & Henry
P.E.I. (Canada)Sadie/Sophie & Jack
ACT/Canberra (Australia)Amelia/Charlotte & Henry
South Australia (Australia)Isla & Oliver
Western Australia (Australia)Isla & Oliver

Have you seen any others?


Image: Adapted from A trompe l’œil with a young nun peeking out through a shutter (public domain)