Liam and Emma may have been the top two baby names in the United States for 2018 but that wasn’t the case for each state individually. Last week, the Social Security Administration (SSA) broke down the most popular baby names for boys and girls in each of the 50 states.
For girls, Emma came out ahead in 15 states. However, Olivia was a close second with 12 states selecting it as the top name. And Ava wasn’t far behind, stealing the number one spot in 11 states, mostly on the East Coast. Other popular picks included Harper, Evelyn, and Charlotte.
The top three girls’ names fit a trend described by Laura Wattenberg, founder of Namerology. She told Quartz that parents are opting for “short names with multiple vowels, like Ella and Lila, that feel light on the ear.”
On the boys’ side, while Liam took the lead in 20 states, Oliver was the top pick in 11 states followed by Noah in nine states. William was also a common choice in seven states, particularly in the South.
Some states had more unique moniker preferences. For instance, in Alaska, the number one girls’ name was Aurora (perhaps after the state’s aurora borealis). And in South Dakota, the preferred boys’ name was Grayson, which no other state chose.
And while Liam and Emma remain the most popular names in the country, they aren’t the fastest-rising, according to the SSA’s data. The agency noted that Meghan had jumped the most for girls, likely due to Meghan Markle’s increasing popularity. And for boys, Genesis moved up over 600 spots, signifying a return to more classic names along with a trend of spiritual monikers.
— Social Security (@SocialSecurity) May 17, 2019