America’s Most Popular Baby Names

By Published On: August 3rd, 2022
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There are going to be a lot of Olivias graduating in 2039 and 2040.

By Ashley Ziegler

There is something that’s just so fun about watching baby name trends over the years. You don’t even have to be an expecting parent to find enjoyment in it. It’s fascinating to watch as popular baby names rise, fall, and return to the top rankings.

Of course, if you are an expecting parent, these lists can be incredibly useful in helping you decide what to name your little one. If you’re someone who likes to be on-trend, then you might find some inspiration in them. On the other hand, if your goal is to give your baby a unique name, lists of the top baby names will help you quickly eliminate options.

But where exactly can you find this data? Well, the Social Security Administration (SSA) lists the most popular baby names of the prior year every year. They save all of this data, too. So if you’re more interested in learning about the top-ranking names in the 1960s than in 2021, you can simply use the site’s search tools to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for.

The SSA isn’t the only organization that tracks top baby names, though. TOP Data, a segment of the market research firm, TOP Worldwide, recently conducted a study that analyzed more than 1 million births in the U.S. between 2021 and 2022. They collected data that helped them determine the list of most popular baby names over the last year, and they also broke the information down further to find the most popular names in each state.

So, whether you’re looking for ideas, want to know which names to avoid, or you’re just curious, here are the baby name trends for births between 2021 and 2022.

Top-Ranked Baby Boy Names

According to the SSA, the top 10 most popular baby boy names in 2021 were:

  • Liam
  • Noah
  • Oliver
  • Elijah
  • James
  • William
  • Benjamin
  • Lucas
  • Henry
  • Theodore

TOP Data’s list was similar, but instead of building their list based on the number of occurrences, they created their rankings based on what was most popular by state. So, for instance, Liam shares the number one spot on both lists, but TOP Data has Oliver listed second and Noah third. Here’s a breakdown of their findings:

Liam

The most popular baby boy name in 17 states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia

Oliver

The most popular baby boy name in 14 states: Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

Noah

The most popular baby boy name in 12 states: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Texas

William 

The most popular baby boy name in four states: Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee

Henry

The most popular baby boy name in three states: Nebraska, South Dakota, and Vermont

Another fun fact? It seems that boy names have been more popular in general over the last year. Boy names grabbed the top spot on the overall lists of top baby names for 38 out of all 50 states.

Top-Ranked Baby Girl Names

Even though baby girl names ranked first in only 12 states overall, there have still been plenty of little ladies born across the U.S. in the last year. And there are some clear favorites for names. The top 10 list of most popular baby girl names in 2021 from the SSA include:

  • Olivia
  • Emma
  • Charlotte
  • Amelia
  • Ava
  • Sophia
  • Isabella
  • Mia
  • Evelyn
  • Harper

Once again, TOP Data’s analysis is similar, but not exactly the same. Olivia is the clear winner, earning the number one spot in 34 (!) states across the U.S., followed by Charlotte, Amelia, Evelyn, and Ava; Mia, and Emma rank fifth in a tie. Here are the details:

Olivia

The most popular baby girl name in 34 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming

Charlotte

The most popular baby girl name in nine states: Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin

Amelia

The most popular baby girl name in two states: Alaska and West Virginia

Evelyn

The most popular baby girl name in two states: Oregon and South Dakota

Ava

The most popular baby girl name in one state: Mississippi

Mia

The most popular baby girl name in one state: New Mexico

Emma

The most popular baby girl name in one state: Kentucky

Olivia has been a top favorite name for a while now, according to the SSA. The name has been in the top five most popular baby girl names since 2008 and has ranked in the top two spots consistently since 2014. Judging by this data, it’s likely that the name will remain among the top baby names for the foreseeable future.

The SSA won’t release its official 2022 baby name list until sometime in 2023, so for now, all we can do is speculate. But based on TOP Data’s findings, we’d be surprised if Liam, Noah, Olivia, and Charlotte don’t end up ranking among the favorites of the year. Still, we can’t help but hope there will be a few new names on the list that surprise us all.