In May, the Social Security Administration released the U.S. national baby name data for 2022 to much fanfare. What’s less known is that they also released state data! While SSA does publish extended state numbers stretching down to 5 births in a year (just as they do for the entire country), their website showcases the Top 100 lists for all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. Let’s look at the baby boys’ names that reached the Top 100 popularity threshold in just one, two, and all the states!
Here are the boys’ names that reached the Top 100 in only one state:
- Alaska: Alex, Killian, Mark, Timothy
- Arizona: Aziel, Javier
- California: Nicolas
- District of Columbia: Ari, Kairo, Nasir, Simon
- Hawaii: Blake, Duke, Hezekiah, Israel, Kaimana, Keanu, Koa, Koen, Makoa, Tristan, Zane
- Idaho: Grant
- Louisiana: Kash
- Maine: Gavin, Reid
- Michigan: Cade
- Minnesota: Mohamed
- Mississippi: Jamir, Karson, Kashton, Kyrie
- Montana: Bodie, Colt, Daxton, Ridge
- New Hampshire: Abel, Callum, Colby, Rory
- New Jersey: Shmuel, Yaakov, Yehuda, Yosef
- New Mexico: Luciano, Manuel
- New York: Abraham, Muhammad
- Oklahoma: Baker
- Rhode Island: Armani, Jeremy
- South Dakota: Atticus, Kyler, Odin
- Texas: Matias
- Utah: Crew
- Vermont: Brantley, Louis, Oakley, Otis, Warren
- West Virginia: Gunner, Jensen, Remington
- Wyoming: Augustus, Boone, Colson, Lukas, Tobias
Hawaii and New Jersey have especially distinct names that may or may not appear in the national Top 1000. Both states have ethnic and/or religious communities that strongly influence regional naming. Kaimana and Makoa are Native Hawaiian names; Shmuel, Yaakov, Yehuda, and Yosef are the Hebrew forms of Biblical names that are most popular among certain Jewish populations, especially Orthodox/Traditional. Kaimana, Makoa, and Yaakov did not rank within the national Top 1000, but can be found within the extended data.
And here are the names appearing in the Top 100 of two states:
- Ali: D.C., Michigan
- Bodhi: Hawaii, Vermont
- Brody: Hawaii, Wyoming
- Chaim: New Jersey, New York
- Dallas: Alabama, Mississippi
- Elliott: Maine, Vermont
- Emilio: Arizona, California
- Finley: Maine, Vermont
- Jason: Alaska, Delaware
- Jesse: Alaska, Wyoming
- Kayson: West Virginia, Mississippi
- Lane: Iowa, Montana
- Malakai: Alaska, Hawaii
- Matteo: California, Connecticut
- Moshe: New Jersey, New York
- Paxton: Maine, West Virginia
- Peter: Idaho, Utah
- Riley: Hawaii, Wyoming
- Tyler: Massachusetts, Delaware
- Walter: D.C., Montana
Finally, here are the few names that are popular enough to be in the Top 100 of every state plus D.C.!
- Liam – Ranks #1 nationally. #1 in AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, KS, KY, LA, MD, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OK, PA, RI, TN, TX, & VA.
- Noah – Ranks #2 nationally. #1 in GA, HI, IL, MA, MI, SC, WY
- Oliver – #3 nationally. #1 in AK, AR, CO, ID, IN, IA, ME, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, OR, SD, UT, WA
- James – #4 nationally. #1 in MS.
- Elijah – #5 nationally. Highest rank: #2 in AR and LA.
- William – #6 nationally. #1 in AL, MT.
- Henry – #7 nationally. #1 in D.C., VT, WS.
- Lucas – #8 nationally. Highest rank: #3 in FL, NJ, NY
- Benjamin – #9 nationally. Highest rank: #5 in MA, NH, PA, & RI. Clearly this one’s favored in New England!
- Levi – #12 nationally. Highest rank: #6 in LA & VT.
- Alexander – #17 nationally. Highest rank: #8 in D.C.
- Samuel – #20 nationally. Highest rank: #9 in GA and OR.
- Mason – #24 nationally. Highest rank: #11 in GA and PA.
- John – #26 nationally. Highest rank: #2 in MS. I was surprised by this one since it’s not in the Top 25, but it goes to show the staying power of timeless names.
- Luke – #34 nationally. Highest rank: #4 in LA.
- Grayson – #37 nationally. Highest rank: #2 in WV.
Theodore and Asher were respectively the #1 names in New Hampshire and West Virginia, though they didn’t rank in every state.
Traditionally, the Top 10 are the names parents across the country can agree on. That said, #10-ranking Theodore is curiously missing – when I looked through the states, I found that Mississippi is the culprit! Theodore was given to 27 baby Mississippians last year, while the #100 ranking name (Myles) was given to 31. Hmm…
Any remaining names that are popular across the country can typically be found within the Top 20 or so. I was surprised John, Luke, and Grayson are so universally beloved! Maybe I shouldn’t be shocked about John because it’s never dipped below the national Top 30, but Luke and Grayson have never reached the Top 25. Luke, like John, is a name with major religious significance to Christians. I can’t explain Grayson’s universality.
What do you think? Naming is incredibly regional, and it can be hard to see that just looking at the national data. I will post a girls’ list later, but in the meantime, for different ways to look at names within the states; check out Nancy’s analysis of unique appearances in the extended data and Namerology’s state style sampler!