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Most popular baby names of the 21st century in every state

  • Most popular baby names of the 21st century in every state

    The names given to babies by their parents are usually rich in meaning, often from Hebrew words and with roots in the Bible—from Abigail, which can be translated as “my father’s joy," to Noah, who escaped the great flood with all of the species of animals.

    Many baby names honor prophets and saints admired for their characteristics of bravery or charity. There is Grace, for example, as in actress Grace Kelly and who later became Princess Grace of Monaco. Some names began as nicknames, Jack for John, or short versions of an original, such as Mia for Maria.

    Several first names were originally family names, such as Ryan; or are the name of a near or far place on a map, like Logan; while others such as Hunter and Mason describe an original occupation. Then there are the names that break out after the popularity of a television show or movie. That’s what happened with Madison as a first name. Puritans brought some of the most popular names with them to the colonies while others came later and reflect the diversity of the United States—from Jose to Isabella to Owen. Many cultures and religions welcome their new babies with naming ceremonies.

    Throughout the years, whether babies’ names are influenced by family background, nicknames, occupations, religion or a box office hit, there have always been those that rise to the top in popularity. Sometimes it’s the names on those lists that attract the parents’ attention as well. What were the top five names 100 years ago? For girls, they were Mary, Dorothy, Helen, Margaret, and Ruth, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). For boys, they were John, William, Robert, James, and Charles.

    For the latest list, Stacker calculated the most popular baby names of the 21st century in every state using the Social Security Administration’s historical baby names data. It tallied up babies born from 2000 to 2019, then pulled the top five picks for boys’ and girls’ names in every state. The data on the 2019 baby names was released in September 2020.

    Take a look at your state to see which names are popular and then compare them to other states to see how they differ. And if you want to do more research, check out one of the websites recommended by the New York Public Library to find out more about what’s behind popular baby names today.

    You may also like: What having a baby was like the year you were born

  • Alabama

    Most popular names for girls:
    - #1. Emma (5,971 babies born)
    - #2. Madison (5,591 babies born)
    - #3. Olivia (4,456 babies born)
    - #4. Anna (4,449 babies born)
    - #5. Emily (4,335 babies born)

    Most popular names for boys:
    - #1. William (10,141 babies born)
    - #2. James (7,228 babies born)
    - #3. John (6,821 babies born)
    - #4. Jacob (6,407 babies born)
    - #5. Joshua (5,703 babies born)

    The name Olivia appears to have come from William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” in which the character is a noblewoman who falls in love with a page. It is possibly a form of the Latin word “oliva” meaning “olive,” or from the name Oliver. Olivia Newton-John is the British-born, Australian-raised singer who starred in the musical “Grease.”

  • Alaska

    Most popular names for girls:
    - #1. Emma (942 babies born)
    - #2. Olivia (798 babies born)
    - #3. Sophia (695 babies born)
    - #4. Madison (692 babies born)
    - #5. Emily (683 babies born)

    Most popular names for boys:
    - #1. James (989 babies born)
    - #2. Michael (942 babies born)
    - #3. Jacob (939 babies born)
    - #4. William (901 babies born)
    - #5. Ethan (893 babies born)

    Sophia is Greek for “wisdom.” It is the name of a famous place of worship in Istanbul—Hagia Sophia or “holy wisdom”—which has been a Byzantine church, a mosque, and a museum. The Italian actress Sophia Loren is among the most famous with this name.

  • Arizona

    Most popular names for girls:
    - #1. Isabella (7,865 babies born)
    - #2. Emma (7,446 babies born)
    - #3. Sophia (7,371 babies born)
    - #4. Emily (6,940 babies born)
    - #5. Mia (6,776 babies born)

    Most popular names for boys:
    - #1. Jacob (9,383 babies born)
    - #2. Daniel (8,946 babies born)
    - #3. Michael (8,453 babies born)
    - #4. Anthony (8,327 babies born)
    - #5. Jose (7,955 babies born)

    Mia is short for Maria in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, and Germany. It also means “mine” in Italian. Mia Farrow is an actress who was once married to Frank Sinatra and whose longtime partner was Woody Allen. She appeared in 13 of his movies before they split acrimoniously. Another famous person with this name is Mia Hamm, a retired soccer player and two-time Olympic gold medalist for the United States.

  • Arkansas

    Most popular names for girls:
    - #1. Emma (3,578 babies born)
    - #2. Madison (3,444 babies born)
    - #3. Emily (3,077 babies born)
    - #4. Olivia (2,843 babies born)
    - #5. Abigail (2,557 babies born)

    Most popular names for boys:
    - #1. William (4,242 babies born)
    - #2. Jacob (3,917 babies born)
    - #3. Ethan (3,370 babies born)
    - #4. James (3,250 babies born)
    - #5. Joshua (3,020 babies born)

    Emily is the feminine version of Emil, derived from the Latin word, “aemulus,” which means “rival” or “competitor.” The name became popular in England after the German House of Hanover ascended to the British throne. Emily’s List is a fundraising organization that works to electe pro-choice Democratic women to office. Emily Bronte was a British author who wrote “Wuthering Heights,” and Emily Blunt is a British actress who appeared in “The Devil Wears Prada.”

  • California

    Most popular names for girls:
    - #1. Emily (51,081 babies born)
    - #2. Isabella (49,482 babies born)
    - #3. Sophia (48,213 babies born)
    - #4. Mia (40,522 babies born)
    - #5. Emma (40,034 babies born)

    Most popular names for boys:
    - #1. Daniel (64,104 babies born)
    - #2. Jacob (57,800 babies born)
    - #3. Anthony (56,913 babies born)
    - #4. Matthew (51,132 babies born)
    - #5. David (50,400 babies born)

    The name Jacob is derived from the Hebrew “Ya’aqov” and in the Old Testament, he is the father of 12 sons, after whom the 12 tribes of Israel were named. One possible meaning of Jacob is a “supplanter,” because this Jacob was believed to have been born holding his twin brother’s heel and later tricked him into giving up his rights as the first born son for a bowl of soup. “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” were written by brothers Jacob and Wilhelm. A modern-day famous Jacob is the actor Jake Gyllenhaal, whose full name is Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhall.

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  • Colorado

    Most popular names for girls:
    - #1. Emma (5,854 babies born)
    - #2. Olivia (5,587 babies born)
    - #3. Isabella (5,202 babies born)
    - #4. Sophia (4,778 babies born)
    - #5. Emily (4,714 babies born)

    Most popular names for boys:
    - #1. Jacob (6,485 babies born)
    - #2. Alexander (5,879 babies born)
    - #3. William (5,518 babies born)
    - #4. Noah (5,338 babies born)
    - #5. Ethan (5,296 babies born)

    Alexander is the Latin version of the Greek name, “Alexandros,” meaning “defending men” or a “warrior.” The most famous Alexander was the fourth-century king Alexander the Great, whose empire extended from Greece to Persia and Egypt. Then there was Alexander Hamilton, the founding father who was made newly popular by Lin Manuel-Miranda’s musical, and Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone. Alex Rodriguez or “A-Rod,” the former baseball player, is engaged to actress, dancer, and singer Jennifer Lopez.

  • Connecticut

    Most popular names for girls:
    - #1. Olivia (4,838 babies born)
    - #2. Emma (4,361 babies born)
    - #3. Isabella (4,221 babies born)
    - #4. Emily (3,925 babies born)
    - #5. Sophia (3,654 babies born)

    Most popular names for boys:
    - #1. Michael (5,818 babies born)
    - #2. Matthew (5,176 babies born)
    - #3. Ryan (4,867 babies born)
    - #4. Jacob (4,555 babies born)
    - #5. Alexander (4,443 babies born)

    Michael is a Hebrew name meaning “who is like God?” An archangel in the Bible, Michael is often depicted as the patron saint of soldiers, and a leader of the armies against Satan and in Christianity. The name was the most popular boy’s name from 1954 to 1998 in the United States. Canadian-born Michael J. Fox, known for the movie “Back to the Future,” created the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research after his own diagnosis of the disease. Another famous Michael is Michael Jordan, basketball player who played for the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and is the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets.

  • Delaware

    Most popular names for girls:
    - #1. Olivia (1,081 babies born)
    - #2. Emily (1,007 babies born)
    - #3. Madison (987 babies born)
    - #4. Emma (986 babies born)
    - #5. Ava (959 babies born)

    Most popular names for boys:
    - #1. Michael (1,448 babies born)
    - #2. Jacob (1,155 babies born)
    - #3. William (1,141 babies born)
    - #4. Ryan (1,082 babies born)
    - #5. Matthew (1,080 babies born)

    Ryan is an Irish name, from the surname O’Riain, which indicates a “descendent of Rian.” It could mean “little king” from the Irish word “ri” for king. Ryan O’Neal is an American actor who starred in “Love Story” and then with his daughter, Tatum, in “Paper Moon.” Ryan Gosling, the Canadian actor, played a jazz pianist in “La La Land.”

  • Florida

    Most popular names for girls:
    - #1. Isabella (26,328 babies born)
    - #2. Sophia (19,730 babies born)
    - #3. Emma (18,852 babies born)
    - #4. Emily (18,843 babies born)
    - #5. Olivia (17,714 babies born)

    Most popular names for boys:
    - #1. Michael (24,568 babies born)
    - #2. Jacob (22,659 babies born)
    - #3. Joshua (21,514 babies born)
    - #4. Daniel (20,786 babies born)
    - #5. Matthew (20,518 babies born)

    Daniel, a name that means “God is my judge” in Hebrew, has been popular in English since the 16th century. Daniel was a Jewish prophet and a slave in the Babylonian court who interpreted dreams for King Nebuchadnezzar. Thrown into the lion’s den at the urging of his enemies, he was saved by God. A few other famous Daniels: the American explorer Daniel Boone; Daniel Radcliffe, the British actor who played Harry Potter; and Dan Aykroyd, the Canadian-born comedian who gained fame on “Saturday Night Live.”

  • Georgia

    Most popular names for girls:
    - #1. Madison (11,714 babies born)
    - #2. Emma (10,739 babies born)
    - #3. Emily (10,246 babies born)
    - #4. Olivia (9,660 babies born)
    - #5. Ava (8,880 babies born)

    Most popular names for boys:
    - #1. William (17,761 babies born)
    - #2. Joshua (13,072 babies born)
    - #3. Jacob (12,943 babies born)
    - #4. Christopher (12,374 babies born)
    - #5. Michael (12,329 babies born)

    In Greek, Christopher means “bearing Christ” or “carrying Christ,” and though many consider that in a figurative way, Saint Christopher was said to have literally carried Jesus across a river: He is the patron saint of travelers. It has been in use as an English name since the 1400s. A beloved fictional character is Christopher Robin of A.A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh” children’s books. A famous real-life Christopher in today’s world, Chris Pratt, played Andy Dwyer in the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation.”

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