American Names · Articles

Sneak Preview: The San Diego Baby Name Sampler, 2015

Aerial view of San Diego

In eager anticipation of tomorrow’s announcement of the most popular American baby names of 2015, I am passing the time by looking for any information I can already find.  This is the first I’ve known *exactly* when the data was being released (thank you Nameberry!), and although it’s seemingly futile to search for information when you know it will be released the next day, I did find this article about 2015’s most popular names in San Diego County, California – official information that was released a few days ago. 

The most popular baby names in San Diego County were:


  1. Mia
  2. Emma
  3. Isabella
  4. Olivia
  5. Sophia
  6. Sofia
  7. Emily
  8. Ava
  9. Victoria
  10. Charlotte


  1. Noah
  2. Liam
  3. Daniel
  4. Ethan
  5. Jacob
  6. Alexander
  7. Oliver
  8. Sebastian
  9. Benjamin
  10. David

It will be interesting to see how this list corresponds to country’s overall most popular names.  The local station that published the linked piece somewhat problematically compared the official stats to stats from BabyCenter.  BabyCenter does have a large sample size, but two things must be considered: a) it’s not the whole sample, which the Social Security Administration provides (within certain parameters) and b) IT’S NOT AN OFFICIAL TABULATION.  Moreover, just because the San Diego list compares to BabyCenter’s list doesn’t mean the San Diego set compares too closely to the rest of the country.  Indeed, how they name in California may not be too similar to elsewhere.  Naming differs from state to state and from the national average, which is what we’ll see tomorrow with the SSA data.  Some states have very distinct styles of naming, which is why in the state-by-state data there are names that will be popular in New York and New Jersey or Hawaii but not elsewhere.  It really depends on the populations living in a place. 

Until tomorrow, a comparison with the SSA 2014 data is probably better for those of us who prefer using official data.  However, even that isn’t the best idea for analysis.  I can say that in 2014 almost all the names in the 2015 San Diego list were top 20 names across the board.  Actually, the girls’ names were all in the top 20.  Sebastian, however, had ranked #34 whereas Oliver ranked #32.  Maybe tomorrow we’ll find out that Sebastian and Oliver were top 20 names for the entire country last year?

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