How popular is the baby name Paula 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 Paula.

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Popularity of the baby name Paula


Posts that mention the name Paula

Popular baby names in Puerto Rico, 2023

Flag of Puerto Rico
Flag of Puerto Rico

The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico welcomes roughly 19,000 babies per year.

Last year, the most popular baby names in Puerto Rico were Valentina and Thiago.

Here are Puerto Rico’s top 50 girl names and top 50+ boy names of 2023:

Girl names

  1. Valentina, 177 baby girls
  2. Aurora, 113 (tie)
  3. Emma, 113 (tie)
  4. Victoria, 100
  5. Catalina, 94 (tie)
  6. Luna, 94 (tie)
  7. Amaia, 89 (tie)
  8. Gianna, 89 (tie)
  9. Isabella, 88
  10. Alaia, 82
  11. Mia, 80
  12. Mikaela, 78
  13. Ainara, 75 (tie)
  14. Amira, 75 (tie)
  15. Milena, 70
  16. Amalia, 68
  17. Amanda, 66
  18. Antonella, 65
  19. Camila, 62
  20. Amelia, 61
  21. Elena, 57 (tie)
  22. Leah, 57 (tie)
  23. Paula, 56
  24. Sofia, 54
  25. Kamila, 50
  26. Gia, 47
  27. Stella, 42
  28. Mila, 41
  29. Ainhoa, 40
  30. Sophia, 39
  31. Adara, 38
  32. Lia, 36
  33. Alana, 35
  34. Amirah, 32 (4-way tie)
  35. Nahia, 32 (4-way tie)
  36. Nahiara, 32 (4-way tie)
  37. Valeria, 32 (4-way tie)
  38. Andrea, 31
  39. Paulette, 30
  40. Alanna, 29 (tie)
  41. Brianna, 29 (tie)
  42. Adhara, 28 (4-way tie)
  43. Amahia, 28 (4-way tie)
  44. Ana, 28 (4-way tie)
  45. Gabriela, 28 (4-way tie)
  46. Paulina, 27
  47. Amaya, 25 (4-way tie)
  48. Arlet, 25 (4-way tie)
  49. Katalina, 25 (4-way tie)
  50. Mariana, 25 (4-way tie)

Boy names

  1. Thiago, 290 baby boys
  2. Liam, 264
  3. Noah, 201
  4. Mateo, 156
  5. Sebastian, 146
  6. Lucas, 140
  7. Dylan, 119
  8. Ian, 115
  9. Matias, 94
  10. Adrian, 89 (tie)
  11. Elian, 89 (tie)
  12. Jayden, 84
  13. Mauro, 79
  14. Angel, 77
  15. Milan, 76
  16. Ethan, 74
  17. Nicolas, 70
  18. Jacob, 67
  19. Fabian, 66
  20. Diego, 65
  21. Elias, 63
  22. Gael, 59
  23. Aaron, 56
  24. Isaac, 51
  25. Eithan, 50 (tie)
  26. Eliam, 50 (tie)
  27. Gian, 49
  28. Enzo, 48
  29. Evan, 45 (tie)
  30. Luis, 45 (tie)
  31. Isaias, 44 (tie)
  32. Matteo, 44 (tie)
  33. Daniel, 42
  34. Julian, 40
  35. Caleb, 37
  36. Eiden, 36 (3-way tie)
  37. Gabriel, 36 (3-way tie)
  38. Matthew, 36 (3-way tie)
  39. Carlos, 34 (tie)
  40. Santiago, 34 (tie)
  41. Aiden, 33 (3-way tie)
  42. Damian, 33 (3-way tie)
  43. Dario, 33 (3-way tie)
  44. Alejandro, 32 (tie)
  45. Amir, 32 (tie)
  46. Alan, 30
  47. Alvaro, 29 (3-way tie)
  48. Keyden, 29 (3-way tie)
  49. Ryan, 29 (3-way tie)
  50. Iker, 28 (3-way tie)
  51. Jose, 28 (3-way tie)
  52. Zaid, 28 (3-way tie)

Eiden on the boys’ list caught my attention, as Eiden was also mentioned in the SSA’s press release this year. It’s on the rise both in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico right now.

The person who wrote the press release theorized that the rise of Eiden was being fueled by Wisconsin-based influencer Wyatt Eiden. But the name’s increasing popularity in Puerto Rico — plus the fact that 40% of Eiden’s U.S. usage occurred in four states with large Spanish-speaking populations (TX, CA, NY, and FL) — makes me think the name is being used primarily among U.S.-based Latin Americans (who are probably not watching Wyatt Eiden’s English-language interview/trivia videos on TikTok).

(And now I’m thinking of a recent comment by alex, who noticed that “names that have seen some use in Caribbean Latin America for 20+ years” are starting to pop up in the U.S. data, and wondered if Venezuelan immigration might have something to do with it…)

In 2022, the top names in Puerto Rico were Valentina and Liam.

Finally, what were the most popular baby names in all the other U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands) combined last year? Olivia and Elijah.

Sources: Popular Names by Territory – SSA, State and Territorial Data – National Center for Health Statistics – CDC

Image: Adapted from Flag of Puerto Rico (public domain)

What gave the baby name Madonna a boost in the mid-1980s?

Madonna's album "Like a Virgin" (1984)
Madonna album

From the early 1900s to the late 1960s, Madonna was one of the top 1,000 girl names in the United States. In terms of rankings, it was most popular in the 1930s; in terms of raw numbers of births, it was most popular in the ’50s and ’60s.

The name has been in decline ever since, but it did see a sudden spike in usage in 1985:

  • 1987: 61 baby girls named Madonna
  • 1986: 70 baby girls named Madonna
  • 1985: 146 baby girls named Madonna
  • 1984: 63 baby girls named Madonna
  • 1983: 23 baby girls named Madonna

In fact, it almost landed back inside the top 1,000 that year. (It ranked 1,033rd, just seven babies shy of 1,000th place.)

Here’s a visual:

Graph of the usage of the baby name Madonna in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Madonna

What gave it a boost?

Mononymous pop superstar Madonna (birth name: Madonna Louise Ciccone).

The singer was born into a Catholic family in Michigan in 1958. She was named after her mother. (Her five siblings are named Anthony, Martin, Paula, Christopher, and Melanie.)

Madonna rose to fame in the mid-1980s with a string of catchy hits:

  • “Holiday,” which peaked at #16 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in January of 1984
  • “Borderline,” which peaked at #10 in June of 1984
  • “Lucky Star,” which peaked at #4 in October of 1984
  • “Like a Virgin,” which peaked at #1 for six weeks starting in December of 1984
  • “Material Girl,” which peaked at #2 in March of 1985
  • “Crazy for You,” which peaked at #1 in May of 1985
    • It was written for the movie Vision Quest, in which Madonna had a cameo.
  • “Angel,” which peaked at #5 in June of 1985
  • “Into the Groove,” which was never technically released as a single
    • It was featured in the movie Desperately Seeking Susan, in which Madonna had a leading role.
  • “Dress You Up,” which peaked at #5 in October of 1985

She also got a lot of exposure on MTV. One of her most memorable MTV moments was the suggestive “Like a Virgin” performance at the very first Video Music Awards (in September of 1984):

In 1991, during a Vanity Fair interview, Madonna posed the question: “How could I be anything else but what I am having been named Madonna?”

Her name is based on the word madonna (which meant “my lady” in Old Italian). Today it’s associated with the Virgin Mary — hence its usage as a given name in Catholic families — but, centuries ago, it was simply a polite form of address similar to madame or milady. (Madonna’s first child, a daughter born in 1996, was also given a Virgin Mary-associated name: Lourdes.)

What are your thoughts on the name Madonna? Would you use it?

Sources:

P.S. Coincidentally, the primary male characters in two of Madonna’s early movies — Vision Quest and Who’s That Girl — had nearly the same (rather uncommon) first name: Louden/Loudon.

Popular baby names in Spain, 2022

Flag of Spain
Flag of Spain

The country of Spain, which makes up most of Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, shares land borders with France, Andorra, and Portugal.

Last year, Spain welcomed 159,649 baby girls and 169,602 baby boys.

What were the most popular names among these babies? Lucia and Martin (again).

Here are Spain’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2022:

Girl Names

  1. Lucia, 3,539 baby girls
  2. Sofia, 2,899
  3. Martina, 2,651
  4. Valeria, 2,580
  5. Maria, 2,443
  6. Julia, 2,240
  7. Paula, 1,912
  8. Emma, 1,864
  9. Olivia, 1,862
  10. Daniela, 1,661
  11. Carla, 1,655
  12. Alma, 1,619
  13. Mia, 1,614
  14. Carmen, 1,613
  15. Vega, 1,544
  16. Lola, 1,542
  17. Lara, 1,537
  18. Sara, 1,453
  19. Alba, 1,440
  20. Jimena, 1,410
  21. Noa, 1,397
  22. Chloe, 1,391
  23. Valentina, 1,365
  24. Claudia, 1,272
  25. Aitana, 1,110
  26. Ana, 1,042 (tie)
  27. Gala, 1,042 (tie)
  28. Vera, 1,029
  29. Abril, 1,028
  30. Alejandra, 1,024
  31. Triana, 997
  32. Manuela, 985
  33. Candela, 974
  34. Laia, 970
  35. Zoe, 908
  36. Ines, 901
  37. Adriana, 895
  38. Victoria, 873
  39. Elena, 868
  40. Blanca, 859
  41. Marina, 839
  42. Carlota, 798
  43. Marta, 708
  44. Clara, 705
  45. Luna, 703
  46. Nora, 699
  47. Lia, 683
  48. Rocio, 676
  49. Ariadna, 641
  50. Irene, 618

Boy Names

  1. Martin, 3,224 baby boys
  2. Mateo, 3,132
  3. Hugo, 3,074
  4. Leo, 2,752
  5. Lucas, 2,537
  6. Manuel, 2,491
  7. Alejandro, 2,281
  8. Pablo, 2,238
  9. Daniel, 2,237
  10. Alvaro, 1,938
  11. Enzo, 1,838
  12. Adrian, 1,683
  13. Luca, 1,677
  14. Diego, 1,540
  15. Thiago, 1,529
  16. Mario, 1,497
  17. Bruno, 1,471
  18. David, 1,389
  19. Oliver, 1,380
  20. Alex, 1,317
  21. Marcos, 1,274
  22. Gonzalo, 1,272
  23. Liam, 1,256
  24. Marco, 1,230
  25. Miguel, 1,226
  26. Izan, 1,220
  27. Antonio, 1,188
  28. Javier, 1,151
  29. Nicolas, 1,150
  30. Gael, 1,109
  31. Marc, 1,040
  32. Juan, 1,036
  33. Dario, 1,009
  34. Angel, 988
  35. Carlos, 977
  36. Jose, 956
  37. Gabriel, 945
  38. Dylan, 883
  39. Rodrigo, 865
  40. Adam, 796
  41. Samuel, 791
  42. Jorge, 775
  43. Jaime, 752
  44. Eric, 741 (tie)
  45. Sergio, 741 (tie)
  46. Pau, 685
  47. Guillermo, 684
  48. Francisco, 674
  49. Hector, 668
  50. Noah, 651

Home to more than 47 million people, Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities (including two island groups) and two autonomous cities (both in North Africa).

Map of the 17 autonomous communities of Spain
Spain’s 17 autonomous communities

The most popular baby names within each of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities last year were…

Top Girl NameTop Boy Name
Andalusia
(17.8% of the population)
MariaManuel
Catalonia
(16.4% of pop.)
JuliaLeo
Madrid (community)
(14.3% of pop.)
LuciaMateo
Valencia (community)
(10.9% of pop.)
LuciaMateo
Galicia
(5.6% of pop.)
NoaMartin
Castile and León
(5.0% of pop.)
LuciaMartin
Basque Country
(4.6% of pop.)
AneMartin
Canary Islands
(4.6% of pop.)
ValeriaMateo
Castilla-La Mancha
(4.3% of pop.)
Lucia & Valeria (tie)Hugo
Murcia
(3.2% of pop.)
LuciaHugo
Aragon
(2.8% of pop.)
LuciaMartin
Balearic Islands
(2.5% of pop.)
MartinaMarc
Extremadura
(2.2% of pop.)
LuciaManuel
Asturias
(2.1% of pop.)
SofiaMartin
Navarre
(1.4% of pop.)
LuciaMateo
Cantabria
(1.2% of pop.)
LuciaMartin & Mateo (tie)
La Rioja
(0.7% of pop.)
LuciaMateo

And the #1 baby names within each of Spain’s two autonomous cities were…

Top Girl NameTop Boy Name
Melilla
(0.2% of pop.)
SaraMohamed & Rayan (tie)
Ceuta
(0.2% of pop.)
MariamMohamed

Finally, here’s a link to Spain’s 2021 rankings, if you’d like to compare last year to the year before.

Sources: Apellidos y nombres más frecuentes – INEbase, Estadística de nacimientos – INEbase, Population of Spain in 2023 by autonomous community – Statista, Spain – Wikipedia

Image: Adapted from Flag of Spain (public domain)
Map: Adapted from Autonomous communities of Spain no names by Habbit under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Popular baby names in Puerto Rico, 2022

Flag of Puerto Rico
Flag of Puerto Rico

The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is located in the Caribbean Sea, about 1,000 miles southeast of Miami, and has about 3.2 million residents.

What were the most popular baby names in Puerto Rico last year? Valentina and Liam.

Here are Puerto Rico’s top 50+ girl names and top 50+ boy names of 2022:

Girl Names

  1. Valentina, 202 baby girls
  2. Emma, 138
  3. Victoria, 121
  4. Luna, 117
  5. Aurora, 116
  6. Amaia, 104
  7. Catalina, 101
  8. Mia, 99
  9. Milena, 95
  10. Gianna, 89
  11. Isabella, 88
  12. Mikaela, 82
  13. Camila, 77
  14. Sofia, 67
  15. Amalia, 66
  16. Amanda, 59
  17. Amelia, 58
  18. Sophia, 57
  19. Amira, 55
  20. Alaia, 52 (3-way tie)
  21. Leah, 52 (3-way tie)
  22. Paula, 52 (3-way tie)
  23. Ainhoa, 49 (tie)
  24. Elena, 49 (tie)
  25. Ainara, 45 (tie)
  26. Antonella, 45 (tie)
  27. Gia, 44
  28. Alanna, 43
  29. Valeria, 41
  30. Kamila, 39 (tie)
  31. Stella, 39 (tie)
  32. Alana, 36
  33. Gabriela, 35
  34. Andrea, 34 (tie)
  35. Brianna, 34 (tie)
  36. Nahiara, 33
  37. Mariana, 32
  38. Ana, 29 (tie)
  39. Lia, 29 (tie)
  40. Marina, 28 (3-way tie)
  41. Mila, 28 (3-way tie)
  42. Paulette, 28 (3-way tie)
  43. Kailani, 27
  44. Adriana, 25 (tie)
  45. Amahia, 25 (tie)
  46. Anahia, 24
  47. Amaya, 23 (3-way tie)
  48. Cataleya, 23 (3-way tie)
  49. Katalina, 23 (3-way tie)
  50. Ariana, 22 (7-way tie)
  51. Chloe, 22 (7-way tie)
  52. Liah, 22 (7-way tie)
  53. Nahia, 22 (7-way tie)
  54. Nayla, 22 (7-way tie)
  55. Paulina, 22 (7-way tie)
  56. Samara, 22 (7-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. Liam, 269 baby boys
  2. Thiago, 254
  3. Noah, 253
  4. Mateo, 186
  5. Sebastian, 184
  6. Lucas, 152
  7. Dylan, 145
  8. Ian, 128
  9. Nicolas, 103
  10. Ethan, 98
  11. Jayden, 94
  12. Adrian, 91
  13. Jacob, 82 (tie)
  14. Matias, 82 (tie)
  15. Angel, 77
  16. Fabian, 69
  17. Elias, 68
  18. Diego, 65
  19. Gael, 64
  20. Matteo, 63
  21. Eithan, 62 (tie)
  22. Elian, 62 (tie)
  23. Mauro, 57 (tie)
  24. Milan, 57 (tie)
  25. Isaac, 56 (tie)
  26. Luis, 56 (tie)
  27. Aaron, 53
  28. Gian, 48
  29. Daniel, 47
  30. Alan, 45 (tie)
  31. Julian, 45 (tie)
  32. Damian, 43
  33. Gabriel, 41 (tie)
  34. Jose, 41 (tie)
  35. Isaias, 40
  36. Matthew, 40
  37. Leonardo, 39
  38. Alejandro, 38 (3-way tie)
  39. Carlos, 38 (3-way tie)
  40. Evan, 38 (3-way tie)
  41. Caleb, 37
  42. Eliam, 36 (tie)
  43. Nathan, 36 (tie)
  44. Enzo, 33 (3-way tie)
  45. Keyden, 33 (3-way tie)
  46. Zabdiel, 33 (3-way tie)
  47. Juan, 32 (3-way tie)
  48. Kaleb, 32 (3-way tie)
  49. Ryan, 32 (3-way tie)
  50. Andres, 30 (tie)
  51. Kayden, 30 (tie)

In 2021, the top names in Puerto Rico were also Valentina and Liam.

And what were the most popular baby names in all the other U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands) combined last year? Luna and Jayden.

Sources: Popular Names by Territory – SSA, Puerto Rico – Wikipedia

Image: Adapted from Flag of Puerto Rico (public domain)