American Names · Analysis

Baby Boys’ Names that are Popular (Top 100) in Just One, Two, and All the States

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!

American Names · Analysis

Almost Popular: Baby Names that Just Missed the Top 1000

One week ago, the Social Security Administration honored a modern Mother’s Day tradition by releasing the previous year’s Top 1000 most popular baby names just before the holiday. The 2022 list is out and we know the names, but what about the names that *almost* made it? The names that would have been popular if not for alphabetical ranking order or alternative spellings?

In 2022, the two names ranked #1000, the names at the very bottom of the top, were Kahlani and London. Kahlani was given to 260 girls, while London is the name of 222 infant boys. Just below them were several other names that could have or should have made it. Here is a chart containing the names that were used up to 10 times fewer:

Boy NameNumberGirl NameNumber
Table created by extracting from Social Security Administration extended data

Many of the names just left the Top 1000. Massimo and Mordechai were common enough that they should have been in the Top 1000, but the SSA ranks alphabetically after their numerical rankings and does not extend the national Top 1000 further for popular names that are later in the alphabet. Other names should have made it in, but were hindered by alternate spellings; Leylani comes to mind, as Laylani was the preferred version to enter in 2022.

As I mentioned, Massimo and Mordechai were given to enough babies that they should have been in the Top 1000 this year. What are some other common-enough baby names that the SSA rejected from the Top 1000 by alphabetical order? Let’s look back 10 years:

  • 2021: Aarya** (255 girls) and Davian (218 boys) were the named ranked #1000. The same number of girls were named Ansley, Eleanora, and Jaelynn; Harris, Koen, and Merrick were equally popular for boys.
  • 2020: Belle (254 girls) and Kylian (212 boys) were the names ranked #1000. Jaelyn and Laylani were equally popular to Belle.
  • 2019: Adrienne (257 girls) and Aayan (209 boys) ranked #1000. Runner-ups: Ariadne, Dixie, Libby, and Marisol for girls; Cedric, Rome, and Seven for boys.
  • 2018: Elina (261 girls) and Kenny (207 boys) were #1000. Runner-ups: Maliah and Paityn; Korbyn, Marquis, and Zackary.
  • 2017: Zendaya (260 girls) and Jaxx (201 boys) were #1000. Runner-up: Mordechai.
  • 2016: Kensington (264 girls) and Gus (204 boys) were #1000. Runner-ups: Luz and Sonia; Jamar, Jeremias, Menachem, Reagan, Shmuel.
  • 2015: Jocelynn (269 girls) and Camren (204 boys) ranked #1000. Runner-ups: Mattie and Sidney; Deshawn, Jayvion, Simeon, Tristian.
  • 2014: Kaya (264 girls) and Musa (206 boys) were #1000. Only Musa had runner-ups: Reagan, Rylen, and Sutton.
  • 2013: Tinley (251 girls) and Clyde (196 boys) were #1000. Runner-ups for boys: Graeme and Yisroel.
  • 2012: Aurelia (253 girls) and Augustine (199 boys) were #1000. Runner-ups: Aya, Dalilah, Hayleigh, and Tegan; Ephraim, Jaylon, and Kamdyn.

**Originally, Annabella was the girls’ name ranked #1000 in 2021. The birth data changes slightly from year to year, though whether that’s due to late applications or name changes is unknown.

Do you think the SSA should extend the Top 1000 to account for alphabetical order? With the Top 1000 creating a clear demarcation between popular and rare, I’m not sure it’s fair that two equally-common baby names could be so differently classified. In 2022, a baby boys was just as likely to be named Massimo as London, and yet London is the one we call popular.

American Names · Analysis · Opinions

Baby Name Predictions for the 2022 U.S. Top 1000 (Boys)

Any day now (it could even be tomorrow!), we’ll find out what the most popular baby names in the U.S. are! Except for a COVID delay in 2020, the Social Security Administration releases a new list every May – just in time for Mothers’ Day! The new Top 10 (and especially the #1 spot) is what most people are anxious to hear since that can impact whether they pick a popular baby name. Many parents are concerned if a name even reaches the Top 100. As a name-writer, I’m more excited for the Top 1000.

Why am I so interested in the Top 1000? The Top 1000 is the best, most objective way we have to delineate the popularity or rarity of American baby names. If a name is in the Top 1000, that means at least a few hundred children received it in a given year (for 2021, the last year we have data for, a name needed at least 254 uses for girls and 217 uses for boys to be included). Generally, if a baby name is out of the Top 1000, we call it rare. Here, we’re not talking about names that are popular or unusual across age groups or globally – simply what’s popular or rare for babies born here and now in the United States.

I published my girls’ name predictions yesterday. Here are the boys’ names I think will leave or enter the U.S. Top 1000 in the 2022 dataset! If you’re viewing on mobile, be sure to scroll left to view the entire chart.

Names Likely to Exit the Top 1000:

Name2021 Rank2021 Babies2020 Rank2020 Babies2019 Rank2019 Babies
Data extracted from the Social Security Administration


  • Nova is wildly popular and trendy as a girls’ name, and now that it’s in the top 50 with no signs of stopping the ascent, some parents may shy away from Nova as a boys’ name.
  • Re: Karsyn and Jaxtyn, I personally wonder if there’s a little bit of fatigue towards unique spellings of Jackson, Carson, and similar names. They are still popular and widespread, of course.
  • In this case, Jakobe seems more like a variation of Kobe than Jacob, or a form of Jacob inspired by Kobe. Jakobe became popular again in 2020 after Kobe Bryant’s death.
  • Ermias (a form of Jeremiah) was Nipsey Hussle’s legal name. It debuted in 2019 at a rank of #540 and has been falling ever since.
  • Kody didn’t actually drop too much (just 5 babies between 2020 and ’21, with a rank change of -24), but with a rank of #979 and all the recent Sister Wives divorce stuff I think this name could be knocked out of the Top 1000.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s going on at the bottom of the top 1000 because some of the names that look like they could fall out are surprisingly trendy or trendworthy. Parents choose from a much greater variety of baby names than they did in past generations, which makes rare names more popular as a whole. Name popularity also becomes erratic at the bottom of the charts. Karsyn dropped heavily between 2020 and 2021 as a boys’ name, but who knows if it will suddenly rebound? Mordechai is like Karsyn in that it’s dropping fast but ultimately depends on outside factors for popularity. That’s partly why I’m not marking Zev for a likely exit despite ranking #996 and dropping from 2020 to 2021; on the whole, the name is still rising.

Names Likely to Enter:

Name2021 Rank2021 Babies2020 Rank2020 Babies2019 Rank2019 Babies
Extended data extracted from the Social Security Administration

I also have a list of maybes for names I’m not sure about. These may be more likely to enter in 2023 or 2024.

Other Names that Might Enter:

Name2021 Rank2021 Babies2020 Rank2020 Babies2019 Rank2019 Babies
Extended data extracted from the Social Security Administration.


  • Rhodes – Celebrity baby name via Emma Roberts, who had her son in 2020.
  • Zen was the name of Nick Cannon’s infant son who sadly passed away from cancer. Nick Cannon has many children, most of whom were born from 2020 on. Watch for these first names too: Powerful (g), Zion (b), Zillion (b), Legendary (b), Onyx (g), Rise (b), Beautiful (g), and Halo (g).
  • We’re long past Harry Potter, so I don’t know what’s driving Draco up all of a sudden. TikTok, maybe? Did an influencer name their baby Draco?
  • Sevyn is a variation of Seven, which have both gotten more popular in part thanks to the character in The Hate U Give.
  • Re: Kilian, I wonder if Kylian Mbappe and the World Cup will give related names a boost.

Do you have any names you’re eyeing for the 2022 Top 1000? Not all of these can come or go, but I’m betting a good number will (plus a few surprises). We’ll see the results soon enough!

American Names · Analysis · Modern names

The Name Holly

Holly US Rank 465 Graphic.

For one reason or another, I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about the name Holly lately! Now that we’re into the month of December, that seems especially fitting.

Holly is the perfect name for a baby born around the Holidays because it evokes a sense of place and feeling for a joyful, magical time. It can take a religious association like the Holly & Ivy carol, but because it’s a plant it can also be as secular as the eggnog and jingles we fill our lives with in December. A baby Holly could be born to a family of any religious or cultural background who simply enjoys the time of year or celebrates a holiday in early winter and wants to commemorate the baby’s birth.

I’ve noticed that Holly is starting to rise in popularity again after a 40-year decline. It peaked in the 70s and 80s, but it doesn’t feel as dated as some of the other names that were trendy then. I suspect that’s because it’s never been in the top 10 or even the top 25, which makes it harder to associate with one specific era even if it belonged to one! At its most popular, Holly ranked only #48 in 1979 and 1983. Currently, it ranks #465 with 668 baby girls, slowly creeping from its most recent low point in 2016 at #526 (589 girls). Why has Holly stabilized and grown? My guess is that there’s a couple of things going on.

One of the biggest things the name Holly has going for it in the 2020s is that it’s a nature name. Nature names are massively trendy; I’m sure you know at least one baby girl named Violet, Hazel, or Willow. River is popular for any gender. Though Holly doesn’t have the vintage-American style laurels that Magnolia and Olive boast, it is the name of a tree (however seasonally specific). Today’s parents love tree names! You can’t find a corner of the internet where even tree-adjacent names like Asher and Oaklynn aren’t being discussed. For nature-loving parents having a December baby, Holly is the name to choose.

The other thing I think may be associated with Holly‘s growing popularity is the rising trendiness of similar-sounding names. Holland debuted in the top 1000 for girls in 2014, and now ranks its highest at #638 (462 girls; 87 boys also received the name). When one name becomes popular, similar names grow in turn; though Hollyn is still rare, it was given to 135 girls in 2021 – more than double the number named Hollyn in 2016 (56). Hollynn is an ultra-rare spelling at 11 uses, but 5 years earlier only 6 girls were given that spelling. You can also find babies named Hollynd, Hollin, and Hollan. Another increasingly trendy name to consider here is gender-neutral Hollis, which was given to 163 girls and 199 boys in 2021. Similar sounds boost names together by creating familiarity.

What do you think of Holly? Would you use it? Do you have any other ideas why it’s getting more popular? Let me know!

American Names · Analysis

Names in the U.S. Top 1000 that Aren’t in the English/Welsh Top 1000 (Boys)

Yesterday I posted a complete list of boys’ names that appeared in the English and Welsh top 1000 but not in the American top 1000.  As promised, here are the boys’ baby names that rank in the U.S. list but not the English/Welsh!

  • A: Abram, Abdiel, Achilles, Adan, Adonis, Adrien, Agustin, Ahmir, Alberto, Alden, Aldo, Alejandro, Alexzander, Alfonso, Alfredo, Alijah, Allan, Allen, Alonso, Alonzo, Alvaro, Alvin, Amare, Ameer, Anakin, Anders, Anderson, Andres, Angel, Anson, Apollo, Ares, Ariel, Armando, Armani, Arturo, August, Augustine, Augustus, Axton, Azariah
  • B: Barrett, Baylor, Beckett, Beckham, Benicio, Bennett, Benson, Bentlee, Benton, Blaine, Blaise, Blaze, Bo, Bode, Bodie, Boone, Boston, Bowen, Braden, Braeden, Braiden, Branson, Brantlee, Brantley, Braydon, Braylen, Braylon, Brayson, Brecken, Brenden, Brennan, Brent, Brentley, Brett, Bridger, Briggs, Brixton, Brock, Bronson, Brooks, Bryant, Bryce, Brycen, Brysen, Bryson
  • C: Camden, Camdyn, Camilo, Camron, Canaan, Cannon, Carmelo, Case, Casen, Cash, Cason, Castiel, Cedric, Cesar, Chad, Chaim, Chance, Chandler, Channing, Clyde, Coleman, Collin, Colt, Colten, Conner, Corbin, Craig, Creed, Crew, Cristiano, Crosby, Cullen
  • D: Dakota, Dallas, Damari, Dane, Dangelo, Darian, Dariel, Dario, Darrell, Darwin, Dash, Davian, Davion, Davis, Dax, Daxton, Dayton, Deandre, Demetrius, Denver, Derek, Derrick, Desmond, Devin, Dimitri, Dominick, Dominique, Donald, Drake, Draven, Duke, Duncan, Dustin, Dwayne
  • E: Eason, Easton, Eduardo, Elian, Eliezer, Eliseo, Elisha, Emery, Emiliano, Emmet, Emmitt, Emory, Enoch, Enrique, Ephraim, Erick, Ernesto, Esteban, Eugene, Everett, Ezequiel
  • F: Felipe, Fernando, Finnegan, Fisher, Ford, Foster, Francisco
  • G: Gael, Gage, Gannon, Garrett, Gary, Gauge, Gavin, Gerardo, Giancarlo, Gianni, Gibson, Giovani, Gordon, Grady, Graham, Grant, Graysen, Grey, Greysen, Griffin, Guillermo, Gunnar, Gunner, Gustavo
  • H: Hank, Harold, Hayes, Henrik, Hezekiah, Holden, Houston, Howard
  • I: Ignacio, Iker, Immanuel, Ira, Isaias, Izaiah
  • J: Jabari, Jacoby, Jad, Jadiel, Jagger, Jairo, Jaime, Jair, Jalen, Jamar, Jamari, Jamarion, Jameson, Jamir, Jamison, Jasiah, Jase, Javier, Javion, Javon, Jaxen, Jaxton, Jayceon, Jaziel, Jedidiah, Jeffery, Jefferson, Jeffrey, Jeremias, Jericho, Jermaine, Jerome, Jerry, Jessie, Jesus, Joaquin, Johnathan, Jon, Jonathon, Jordy, Josue, Joziah, Juan, Judson, Julien, Julio, Julius, Justice, Justus
  • K: Kalel, Kamari, Kamden, Kamdyn, Kameron, Kannon, Kase, Kasen, Kash, Kashton, Kaysen, Keanu, Keenan, Keith, Kellan, Kellen, Kelvin, Kendall, Kingston, Knox, Koda, Kohen, Kolby, Kolten, Kolton, Konner, Konnor, Korbin, Kristopher, Kyler, Kymani, Kyree, Kyrie, Kyson
  • L: Lamar, Lance, Landen, Landon, Landry, Landyn, Lane, Langston, Larry, Layne, Leandro, Leif, Legend, Leonel, Leroy, Lionel, London, Luciano, Lyric
  • M: Mack, Madden, Maddux, Major, Makai, Malcolm, Marcelo, Marcos, Markus, Marquis, Marvin, Maurice, Mauricio, Maximiliano, Maximo, Maxton, Mayson, Mekhi, Melvin, Memphis, Merrick, Messiah, Micheal, Misael, Moises, Moshe
  • N: Nash, Nasir, Nehemiah, Neymar, Nickolas, Nikolai, Nixon, Noe
  • P: Pablo, Paxton, Peyton, Pierce, Porter, Princeton
  • Q: Quentin, Quincy, Quinton
  • R: Raiden, Ramiro, Ramon, Randy, Rayden, Raylan, Reed, Reese, Remington, Rene, Rey, Rhett, Ricky, Ridge, Roberto, Rodney, Rodrigo, Rogelio, Roger, Roland, Rolando, Ronin, Rowen, Roy, Royal, Royce, Russell, Ryker, Rylan, Ryland
  • S: Sage, Salvador, Salvatore, Santana, Santos, Sawyer, Seamus, Sergio, Shawn, Shepherd, Shiloh, Silas, Sincere, Skylar, Skyler, Sterling, Stetson, Steve, Sutton, Sylas
  • T: Tadeo, Talon, Tanner, Tatum, Terrance, Terrell, Terrence, Terry, Thaddeus, Thatcher, Titan, Titus, Trace, Trent, Trenton, Trevor, Trey, Tripp, Tristen, Tristian, Tucker, Turner, Ty
  • U: Ulises, Uriah, Uriel, Urijah
  • V: Valentin, Van, Vance, Vaughn, Vicente
  • W: Walker, Waylon, Wayne, Wesson, Westin, Westley, Weston, Wilder, Willie
  • X: Xzavier
  • Y: Yahir, Yehuda, Yisroel, Yosef
  • Z: Zaiden, Zaire, Zechariah, Zeke, Zyaire

Thoughts on these names?  Let me know in the comments!  I’ll post the girls’ names soon.


Names in the English/Welsh Top 1000 that Aren’t in the United States Top 1000 (Boys)

Over the past few days I’ve been sifting through the new English and Welsh baby name data so I can compare to the U.S. list.  Mainly, I want to get a sense of what makes a more distinctly “British” or “American” name.  It’s also fun because there are so many names on the English and Welsh lists that I’ve never even heard before!

Although the U.S. is the only country that really advertises its top 1000 most popular baby names, England and Wales release enough data and reflect a large enough population that we can easily view their top 1000 too.  Yay! 

Here is a list of every boys’ name that appeared in the England and Welsh top 1000 for 2016 but *not* in the American top 1000.  

  • A: Aadam, Aahil, Aariz, Aaryan, Aayan, Abbas, Abdirahman, Abdul, Abdullahi, Abdulrahman, Abdurrahman, Abu, Abubakar, Abubakr, Addison,* Adem, Adil, Adnan, Adyan, Ahyan, Ajay, Alastair, Albi, Albie, Alby, Aleksander, Alessio, Alexandre, Alexandros, Alexandru, Alfie, Alfie-James, Amaan, Aman, Amar, Amin, Ammar, Anas, Andreas, Andrei, Aneurin, Angus, Antoni, Antony, Aran, Archibald, Archie, Arham, Ariyan, Arjan, Armaan, Arman, Arnie, Arnold, Aronas, Arran, Artur, Arun, Ashley,* Aston, Aubrey,* Ayan, Ayaz, Ayman, Ayrton, Ayub, Ayyub, Azaan
  • B: Bailey,* Baran, Barnaby, Barney, Bartosz, Baxter, Bear, Benas, Benedict, Benny, Bernard, Bertie, Bilal, Bobbie, Boris, Bowie, Brogan, Brooklyn, Bryn, Buddy, Buster
  • C: Caelan, Caiden, Caio, Calum, Caspar, Casper, Caspian, Charley, Che, Chester, Cian, Ciaran, Cillian, Coby, Cormac
  • D: Danielius, Daniyal, Danyal, Dawid, Dawood, Dawud, Deen, Denis, Deniz, Denny, Dev, Dhruv, Dilan, Dion, Domas, Dominykas, Dougie
  • E: Eben, Edmund, Eduard, Eesa, Eisa, Eliot, Elis, Elvis, Elwood, Emil, Emir, Emre, Emrys, Eoin, Eren, Ernie, Eryk, Esa, Eshaan, Eshan, Essa, Etienne, Euan, Ewan
  • F: Faizan, Farhan, Faris, Fergus, Filip, Finlay, Fionn, Francesco, Franciszek, Frankie,* Franky, Fraser, Frazer, Fred, Freddie, Freddy, Fredrick, Fynn
  • G: Gene, Georgie, Gerard, Gethin, Griff, Guy
  • H: Haaris, Hadi, Hadley,* Haider, Hamish, Hamzah, Hari, Haris, Harlow,* Haroon, Harri, Harlen, Harun, Hasan, Hashim, Hashir, Hasnain, Haydn, Henley,* Henri, Herbert, Herbie, Hubert, Huey, Hughie, Hussain, Huw, Huzaifa
  • I: Ianis, Ibraheem, Idrees, Idris, Iestyn, Ieuan, Igor, Ilyas, Imran, Ioan, Iosif, Isa, Ishaaq, Ishaq, Ismaeel, Ismail, Ivo, Ivor, Iwan
  • J: Jac, Jago, Jai, Jakub, Jamie,* Jan, Jaxx, Jaydan, Jaydon, Jeevan, Jenson, Jonny, Josef, Josh, Jovan
  • K: Kabir, Kacper, Kaelan, Kairo, Kaiser, Kajus, Kamil, Karam, Karol, Kasper, Kaya,* Kayan, Kaylan, Kaylen, Kenzie,* Keon, Keyaan, Kiaan, Kieron, Kit, Kiyan, Klay, Kobi, Kobie, Koby, Kodi, Konrad, Krystian, Krzysztof, Ksawery, Kuba, Kurtis, Kush, Kyan, Kyran, Kyron
  • L: Laith, Laurence, Lennie, Lenny, Leopold, Lewie, Leyton, Lloyd, Loki, Lorcan, Lowen, Lucien, Luqman
  • M: Maciej, Mackenzie,* Macsen, Mahdi, Mahir, Maksim, Maksymilian, Malachy, Manveer, Matas, Matei, Mateusz, Maxime, Maximillian, Mckenzie,* Md, Mehmet, Michal, Mikaeel, Mikail, Mikey, Mikolaj, Mohamad, Montague, Montgomery, Monty, Muhammed, Mylo
  • N: Natan, Nataniel, Nate, Ned, Neo, Niall, Niam, Nikita, Nikodem, Noa,* Nojus
  • O: Oisin, Olaf, Olivier, Oliwier, Ollie, Olly, Omer, Orson, Osian, Oskar, Osman, Owain, Owais
  • P: Paddy, Patryk, Percy, Piotr, Presley*
  • Q: Qasim
  • R: Raees, Rafe, Rafferty, Raheem, Raife, Raja, Ralphie, Ralphy, Ranveer, Rares, Rayaan, Rayyan, Reagan,* Reegan, Regan, Reggie, Rehan, Reign,* Remi, Rian, Richie, Rico, Ridwan, Riley-James, Rio, Rishi, Robbie, Robin, Rogan, Rome, Ronny, Roscoe, Roshan, Ross, Ruairi, Rudi, Rueben, Rufus, Rupert, Rylee,* Ryley
  • S: Safwan, Sai, Saif, Sahib, Sahil, Salman, Sami, Saxon, Seb, Sebastien, Shae, Shay, Shayan, Shayaan, Shea, Sheikh, Shiv, Sidney, Simeon, Sol, Stanislaw, Steffan, Subhaan, Subhan, Sufyan, Sulaiman, Sulayman, Sultan, Syed, Szymon
  • T: Taha, Talha, Taylan, Ted, Teddie, Teddy, Teo, Teodor, Theodor, Theon, Tiago, Tom, Tomasz, Tommy, Tommy-Lee, Tomos, Tudor, Tyler-James, Tymon, Tymoteusz, Tyrese
  • U: Umair, Umar, Usman, Uzair
  • V: Veer, Viktor, Vinnie, Vinny, Vlad
  • W: Waleed, Wiktor, Wilbur, Wilf, Wilfred, Wojciech, Woody
  • Y: Yanis, Yaqub, Yaseen, Yash, Yasin, Yasir, Youssef, Yousuf, Yunus, Yuvraj
  • Z: Zac, Zach, Zack, Zak, Zakaria, Zakariya, Zakariyah, Zakariyya, Zaki, Zayaan, Zayan, Zayd, Zayyan, Zephaniah, Zidan, Ziggy

*Asterisks follow names that are actually popular in the U.S. as girls’ names only (the purpose of this list is to sort out the differences between the boys’ lists).  Many of those names began as men’s names or surnames and have since shifted or flipped to the women’s side.  Additionally, Regan (although not currently in U.S. fashion) is a women’s name from Shakespeare, yet somehow she’s only popular as a boys’ name in her home country! 

Thoughts?  I’m going to post their American counterparts later, and hopefully I’ll have sorted the girls’ lists by the end of the week!

For this post, I compared Office for National Statistics data against Social Security Administration data.

American Names · Analysis

#1 Names by State

The national baby name data came out last Friday, but the state data was only released today!  The #1 most popular names nationally are Noah and Emma, but they aren’t the #1 names in all 50 states + DC.  Let’s take a look. 

  1. Alabama: William and Ava (no change)
  2. Alaska: Liam and EmmaOlivia was #1 in 2015.
  3. Arizona: Liam and Emma.  2015: Noah and Sophia
  4. Arkansas: Elijah and Ava.  2015: William and Emma
  5. California: Noah and MiaSophia was #1 in 2015.
  6. Colorado: Liam and OliviaEmma was #1 in 2015.
  7. Connecticut: Noah and OliviaSophia was #1 in 2015.
  8. Delaware: Liam and AvaMason was #1 in 2015.
  9. District of Columbia: William and AvaGenesis was the #1 girls’ name in 2015.
  10. Florida: Liam and Isabella.  No change.
  11. Georgia: William and Ava.  No change.
  12. Hawaii: Noah and OliviaMia was #1 in 2015.
  13. Idaho: Oliver and EmmaLiam and Olivia were #1 in 2015.
  14. Illinois: Noah and Olivia.  No change.
  15. Indiana: Oliver and EmmaLiam was #1 in 2015.
  16. Iowa: Oliver and Olivia.  Owen is #2.  Liam and Emma were #1 in 2015. 
  17. Kansas: Benjamin and EmmaLiam was #1 in 2015.
  18. Kentucky: William and Emma.  No change.
  19. Louisiana: Liam and AvaNoah was #1 in 2015.
  20. Maine: Liam and Emma.  No change.
  21. Maryland: Noah and AvaOlivia was #1 in 2015.
  22. Massachusetts: Benjamin and Olivia.  No change.
  23. Michigan: Noah and AvaOlivia was #1 in 2015.
  24. Minnesota: Henry and EvelynOlivia was #1 in 2015.
  25. Mississippi: William and Ava.  No change.
  26. Missouri: William and OliviaLiam and Emma were #1 in 2015.
  27. Montana: James and HarperWilliam and Emma were #1 in 2015.
  28. Nebraska: Liam and EmmaHenry and Olivia were #1 in 2015.
  29. Nevada: Liam and MiaSophia was #1 in 2015.
  30. New Hampshire: Noah and CharlotteJackson and Olivia were #1 in 2015.
  31. New Jersey: Liam and MiaEmma was #1 in 2015.
  32. New Mexico: Elijah and MiaNoah was #1 in 2015.
  33. New York: Liam and Olivia.  No change.
  34. North Carolina: William and Ava.  No change.
  35. North Dakota: Oliver and HarperLiam and Ava were #1 in 2015.
  36. Ohio: Liam and Emma.  No change. 
  37. Oklahoma: Liam and EmmaElijah was #1 in 2015.
  38. Oregon: Oliver and OliviaLiam and Emma were #1 in 2015.
  39. Pennsylvania: Noah and EmmaMason and Olivia were #1 in 2015.
  40. Rhode Island: Liam and OliviaNoah was #1 in 2015.
  41. South Carolina: William and Ava.  No change
  42. South Dakota: Oliver and EmmaHarper was #1 in 2015.
  43. Tennessee: William and Emma.  No change.
  44. Texas: Noah and Emma.  No change.
  45. Utah: Oliver and OliviaWilliam and Emma were #1 in 2015.
  46. Vermont: Owen and HarperLiam and Emma were #1 in 2015.
  47. Virginia: William and OliviaEmma was #1 in 2015.
  48. Washington: Liam and Emma.  Oliver and Olivia were #1 in 2015.
  49. West Virginia: Mason and HarperNoah and Emma were #1 in 2015.
  50. Wisconsin: Oliver and OliviaEmma was #1 in 2015.
  51. Wyoming: Wyatt and EmmaLiam was #1 in 2015.  

The #1 boys’ names of 2016 by frequency:

  • Liam (15x)
  • William (10x)
  • Noah (9x)
  • Oliver (8x)
  • Benjamin (2x)
  • Elijah (2x)
  • Henry
  • James
  • Mason
  • Owen
  • Wyatt

Compared to 2015, when they were:

  • Liam (16x)
  • Noah (13x)
  • William (12x)
  • Oliver (3x)
  • Henry (2x)
  • Mason (2x)
  • Benjamin
  • Jackson
  • Elijah

The #1 girls’ names by frequency:

  • Emma (16x)
  • Olivia (13x)
  • Ava (11x)
  • Harper (4x)
  • Mia (4x)
  • Charlotte
  • Evelyn
  • Isabella

Compared to 2015, when they were:

  • Emma (22x)
  • Olivia (12x)
  • Ava (8x)
  • Sophia (4x)
  • Mia (2x)
  • Genesis
  • Harper
  • Isabella

How is it possible for Noah to be the #1 name nationally without being the most frequent name among the states?  Answer: Noah is #1 where it matters most – California and Texas. 

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 1.10.42 PM
Visualization of #1 name frequency

Thoughts?  Are you surprised by anything?  Let me know in the comments!  

Bonus points!  The #1 names in Puerto Rico are Sebastian and ValentinaVictoria was #1 in 2015.

American Names · Analysis · Opinions

Top 1000 Entries and Exits in 2016

Here are all the names that entered and left the U.S. top 1000 in 2016!  There are 45 new girls’ names and 42 new boys’ names.  Remember, the top 1000 is America’s threshold for popularity.  Baby names below the top 1000 are considered rare.  


  • Aadhya, Ailani, Alessia, Alianna, Alyvia, Amayah, Anniston, Antonella, Antonia, Ari, Aubri, Ayana, Belle, Bexley, Blaire, Calliope, Chandler, Davina, Ellianna, Emmie, Harleigh, Itzayana, Jana, Joelle, Kaylani, Kehlani, Louise, Maren, Mavis, Maxine, Maylee, Mercy, Nalani, Novalee, Poppy, Ramona, Rayne, Reign, Riya, Rosalyn, Royalty, Saoirse, Sylvie, Tinsley, Vada
  • Ahmir, Alistair, Benicio, Brayson, Bridger, Brysen, Eason, Eliezer, Creed, Foster, Fox, Greysen, Gus, Hakeem, Harris, Howard, Ira, Jad, Jair, Jamar, Jeremias, Jericho, Karim, Keanu, Khalid, Koda, Konner, Krish, Kylo, Leif, Lyle, Maddux, Merrick, Mikael, Ramiro, Ralph, Shepherd, Tadeo, Tristian, Wesson, Westley, Zyaire

Through data adjustment, Yisroel is new for both 2016 and 2015.

Yes, Kylo (like Kylo Ren) is a popular baby name now!  My mom didn’t react very well when I told her.

Royalty (581 girls) was the highest debut in the girls’ list, followed by Reign (344).  Fox (323) was the most popular entry to the boys’ list. 

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 6.29.07 PM
Royalty was the most popular debut, followed by Reign.


  • Aimee, Alissa, Alisson, America, Aminah, Angeline, Avalyn, Asia, Aubrianna, Bryanna, Caitlin, Caitlyn, Charlize, Cordelia, Denise, Dixie, Emmalee, Giavanna, Ireland, Jaida, Janiya, Jaylin, Jenny, Jocelynn, Jordynn, Kaelynn, Katelynn, Kaitlynn, Kayden, Kensington, Kiley, Kimora, Kristen, Kyndall, Libby, Lindsay, Mollie, Natalee, Neriah, Sarahi, Saniyah, Sidney, Tara, Taya, Yaritza
  • Aaden, Aarush, Ayan, Aydan, Bishop, Boden, Brice, Camren, Chace, Chevy, Cristopher, Davin, Deangelo, Deshawn, Dilan, Ean, Frankie, Freddy, Haiden, Jadon, Jayvion, Jonael, Jordyn, Jovani, Juelz, Kaeden, Kamren, Kamron, Kylen, Malaki, Osvaldo, Quintin, Rashad, Reagan, Robin, Rodolfo, Todd, Triston, Truman, Tyrone, Yaakov, Yadiel

Due to data adjustment, Antoine is out of the top 1000 for both 2016 and 2015.

Reagan was used often enough to be in the top 1000, but was forced out by #1000 Jonathon.  When names are used equally, alphabetical order determines rank preference. 

Notice how all those spellings of Caitlin are suddenly rare?  The prevailing theory is that Caitlyn Jenner killed any popularity the name still had (which wasn’t a lot, admittedly).  I agree that this is why, but I wonder if last year’s “Kaitlyn spelled with Roman numerals” scare also turned some parents off the name. 

Thoughts?  What are your favorite entering names?  Are you disappointed that any left?  Finally, do you know any people with these names?


  1. I’m impressed that my fellow Americans are using so heavily Irish a name as Saoirse and spelling it correctly! 
  2. Very happy that Calliope, Poppy, and Alistair are popular names now!  Davina is also a lovely surprise.  Sad to see Cordelia gone (again).   
  3. Over the years, I’ve met people named Antonella, Chandler (both genders), Gus, Lyle, Maren, and maybe Karim & Ramiro.  There was also supposed to be a Mercy in my 2nd grade class, but she never appeared. 😦  I did encounter a baby Saoirse last year, though!
  4. From the exiting names, I’ve known people called Aimee, Brice (female), Denise, Frankie (male), Lindsay, Natalee, and Todd.  I’ve also met too many Caitlin‘s (or Kaitlynn‘s, Kaitlin‘s, etc.) to count.

P.S. – You can check this list of entries and exits against my predictions


Edit 5/15/17: Fox was actually the top boys’ name debut.

American Names · Analysis

Overview of the Top 100 Baby Names, 2016 Edition

Now that I’m finally getting a chance to examine the new data more thoroughly, here is an overview of the Top 100 baby names, 2016 edition!  I’m so happy they’re here. 🙂

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 8.38.49 AM.png
Visualization of the 2016 Top 100.  The bigger the name, the more popular it is!

New to the top 100:

  • Adeline, Luna, Kinsley, Elena, Eliana, Willow
  • Bryson, Leonardo, Greyson, Roman

Left the top 100:

  • Ashley, Isabelle, Annabelle, Alexandra, Alyssa, Alexis
  • Nathaniel, Kayden, Ryder, Blake

Apparently due to data adjustment, Khloe is not only out of the 2016 top 100 but for 2015 too.  I predicted she’d leave, but not like this!

Also, that’s a lot of ‘A’ names that just left.  Every generation seems to have its trendy letters; did we just witness the start of another ‘A’ decline?   

Positive rank changes give us good sense of a name’s popularity, which is a comparative measure.  Here are the names that rose in the charts via rank:

  • Bryson (+40; new), Mateo (+26), Leo (+17), Lincoln (+16), Theodore (+16), Greyson (+15; new), Owen (+13), Easton (+12), Asher (+11) Sebastian (+11), Grayson (+10), Carson (+8), Leonardo (+ 8; new), Elias (+7), Ezra (+7), Henry (+7), Oliver (+7), Julian (+6), Nolan (+6), Benjamin (+4), Hudson (+4), Roman (+4; new), Aaron (+3), Jaxon (+3), Jose (+3), Thomas (+3), Elijah (+2), Isaiah (+2), Jack (+2), James (+2), Jason (+2), Jaxson (+2), Josiah (+2), Lucas (+2), Samuel (+2) William (+2), Xavier (+2), Connor (+1), Eli (+1), Joseph (+1), Michael (+1), Robert (+1), Wyatt (+1)
  • Adeline (+72; new), Luna (+33; new), Kinsley (+27; new), Eleanor (+19), Quinn (+18), Willow (+16; new), Riley (+13), Ruby (+12), Elena (+12; new), Hazel (+11), Camila (+10), Alice (+10), Claire (+9), Eliana (+9; new), Penelope (+7), Genesis (+7), Aria (+6), Stella (+6), Caroline (+6), Nora (+5), Mila (+5), Scarlett (+4), Ellie (+4), Maya (+4), Autumn (+4), Gianna (+4), Evelyn (+3), Violet (+3), Charlotte (+2), Eva (+2), Naomi (+2), Reagan (+2), Ava (+1), Amelia (+1), Ella (+1), Lily (+1), Skylar (+1), Sarah (+1), Cora (+1), Julia (+1)

Here are the negative rank changes, or the names that became less popular in 2016:

  • Brandon (-16), Parker (-15), Chase (-12), Gavin (-10), Kevin (-10), Tyler – 10, Colton – 9, Jonathan (-8), Jayden (-7), Caleb (-7), Landon (-7), Jordan (-7), Bentley (-7), Angel (-6), Anthony (-5), Dylan (-5), Nathan (-5), Ayden (-5), Ethan (-4), Logan (-4), Andrew (-4), Christopher (-4), Hunter (-4), Jeremiah (-4), Dominic (-4), Austin (-4), Jacob (-3), Aiden (-3), Alexander (-3), Gabriel (-3), Christian (-3), Brayden (-3), Sawyer (-3), Carter (-2), John (-2), Joshua (-2), Adrian (-2), Evan (-2), Adam (-2), Ian (-2), Cooper (-2), Zachary (-2), Mason (-1), Daniel (-1), David (-1), Luke (-1), Ryan (-1), Charles (-1), Cameron (-1), Nicholas (-1), Jace (-1)
  • Alexa (-18), Kylie (-17), Brianna (-16), Arianna (-13), Mackenzie (-12), Taylor (-12), Allison (-10), Faith (-9), Kaylee (-9), Peyton (-9), Ariana (-8), Sadie (-8), Anna (-7), Gabriella (-7), Katherine (-6), Aaliyah (-5), Addison (-5), Aubree (-5), Hannah (-5), Nevaeh (-5), Aubrey (-4), Bella (-4), Hailey (-4), Madison (-4), Natalie (-4), Samantha (-4), Brooklyn (-3), Chloe (-3), Madelyn (-3), Zoey (-3), Audrey (-2), Kennedy (-2), Lillian (-2), Zoe (-2), Abigail (-1), Clara (-1), Emily (-1), Leah (-1), Madeline (-1), Melanie (-1), Paisley (-1), Serenity (-1), Sophia (-1), Victoria (-1)

No rank change.  Consider these names steady (or a safe choice) for now:

  • Noah, Liam, Matthew, Jackson, Isaac, Levi
  • Emma, Olivia, Isabella, Mia, Harper, Elizabeth, Sofia, Avery, Grace, Layla, Savannah, Lucy, Piper, Lydia, Vivian

Next, I’ve looked at the raw usage for names.  Increasingly, I view raw usage as one way to measure how trendy names are.  It may also reflect a declining birth rate or diversifying pool of names.  To sort out attrition and distinguish the names that are indeed very trendy or not at all, I’m listing the names that went up or down at least 500 uses.

Biggest gains (+500 or more) in decreasing order:

  • Adeline*, Charlotte, Riley, Ava, Amelia, Luna*, Camila, Evelyn, Eleanor, Scarlett, Kinsley*, Quinn, Aria
  • Mateo, Oliver, Bryson*, Lincoln, Benjamin, Grayson, Theodore, Greyson, Leo, Owen, Sebastian, Lucas, Ezra

The asterisk (*) indicates that a name is new to the top 100.

Biggest losses (500 or more) in decreasing order:

  • Sophia, Alexa, Madison, Emma, Aubrey, Isabella, Emily, Kylie, Ashley (left top 100), Abigail, Arianna, Avery, Allison, Alyssa (left top 100), Kaylee, Sofia, Zoey, Mia
  • Logan, Jacob, Jayden, Mason, Ethan, Aiden, Alexander, Brandon, Blake (left top 100), Landon, Caleb, Gavin, Anthony, Christopher, Andrew, David, Parker, Colton, Hunter, Gabriel, Jonathan, Kevin, Tyler, Jordan, Nathan, Joshua, Carter, Daniel, Joseph, Dylan, Jackson, Christian, Noah, Brayden, Angel, Chase, Nicholas

Comments on the falling names:

  • The huge fall of the names Alexa, Alexis, and Alexander probably relates to the confusion surrounding the Alexa device.
  • When names like Emma or Sophia lose a lot of usage, it doesn’t always mean much rank-wise.  This year a lot of names grew more popular only because all the names around them experienced comparatively greater usage loss.
  • A huge usage drop is more significant for Brandon at the bottom of the top 100 than the #1 name Noah

Questions?  Favorite names?  Are you surprised by anything?  Let me know in the comments! 

American Names · Opinions

Predictions: The Top 1000 Baby Names of 2016

In less than 12 hours, we’ll find out the most popular American baby names of 2016!  Here are my predictions for the names entering and leaving the top 1000, mostly based on what names are rising and falling near the threshold.  You can also read my top 10 and top 100 predictions.  Tomorrow, we’ll see how many of these actually appear or disappear!  

Here are the names I think will enter the top 1000:

  • Boys: Wesson, Alistair, Alaric, Harris, Taj, Keanu, Ira, Danilo, Fox, Koda, Zamir, Gatlin, Dashiell, Kabir
  • Girls: Octavia, Theresa, Tinsley, Mavis, Antonella, Raylee, Akira, Robin, Diya, Charleston, Amora, Aadhya, Harleigh, Kaylani, Maddie, Evalynn, Etta, Winnie, Sailor, Reign, Royalty

The following names compose my “maybe” list:

  • Boys: Harlem, Brysen, Kooper, Rayyan, Yaakov, Isai, Westley, Shmuel, Zyaire, Mccoy, Tadeo, Ahmir, Zayd, Aston, Greysen, Hollis, Reynaldo, Colson, Jad, Lian, Finnian, Koa, Ansel, Thorin, Benedict, Simeon, KaiserKylo
  • Girls: Winnie, India, Regan, Poppy, Ellery, Amayah, Robyn, Chandler, Elina, Araceli (?), Ramona, Spencer, Ailyn, Marian, Scout, Opal, Maisy, Jubilee, Addalynn (?), Loretta, Baylor, Novalee, Ailani, Bexley, Denver, Vada, Louise

Here are the names I think will exit:

  • Boys: Deshawn, Jaydon, Gilbert, Marquis, Keenan, Jayvion, Chevy, Kaeden, Jordyn, Jamarion, Aydan, Anton, Triston, Gibson, Alfred, Jessie, Ishaan, Ulises, Brenden, Neymar
  • Girls: Kaitlynn, Libby, Janiya, Denise, Mariyah, Sharon, Lilyanna, Emmalee, Heather, Cherish, Dixie, Wendy, Aranza, Elin, Halle, Nataly, Kiley, Kenya, Jasmin, Sariah, Kayden, Anabella, Caylee, Montserrat, Anabelle, Aryanna, Annabel, Jenny, Natalee, Sidney

Might also leave:

  • Boys: Truman, Jovani, Ernest, Davin, Rolando, Seamus, Rashad, Agustin, Steve, Darrell, Markus, Javon, Zackary
  • Girls: Tegan, Stevie, Aubriella, Aubrianna, Jocelynn, America, Kimora, Hadleigh, Ellison, Alissa, Saniyah, Susan, Aliya, Briley, Aimee, Asia, Kristen, Giana, Ally, Rylan, Emilie, Lindsay, Maleah, Kathleen, Lexie, Danica, Kailyn, Elsa

Remember, these are just predictions!  Tomorrow I could find out that I’m nowhere close.  That’s okay!  There are always wildcards, and I really just write my predictions for fun.