The SSA publishes lists of baby names from each state every year. From this list, it's possible to determine the names that are uniquely popular to each state. While the main all-USA baby name list includes every name that appears more than 5 times, the state lists show names that are used 5+ times in each state. So, if a name is on the Unique to State list, it may be used in other states, but not more than 4 babies were given the name in any other single state. Thus said, here's a map of some names uniquely popular to most states (a few states didn't have any unique names, usually because their populations are very low, so they don't have as many baby names to register). There are several names that are truly unique to states (that is, their popularity in the state data matches the number given in the national data), but these only occur in 2 states for girls: California and NY, and 6 states for boys (California, NY, Texas, Hawaii, and surprisingly Indiana and South Carolina). See individual states below for lists of these.
It's no surprise that the states with the largest populations have the most state-unique baby names. California, which has the largest population of any state had the most. The most popular Californian boys' name, Narek is Armenian, which corresponds to CA's high Armenian population. The Boys' names in California that don't show up at all in the rest of the country are Avetis, which is Armenian, and Jasraj & Shant, which are Sanskrit in origin.
California also has a high Indian population, and the most popular state-unique girls' name, Avni, reflects that. California has 100% of girls named Guillermina and Gayane (the frequencies of these names correspond exactly to the frequency of the names in the general USA list).
The next most populous state is Texas, which correspondingly, had the second largest amount of state-unique names. The most well-used unique boys' name is Roel, which is popular among Spanish-speakers. Brazos is the only boy name whose usage is 100% in Texas. It's Spanish for "arms" and also the name of a river in Texas. The river's name is a shortening of "Los Brazos de Dios" or "arms of God."
For girls, the most popular state-unique name was Darianna. All the other names on this list showed up in the rest of the country, but no state had more than 4 babies given each of these names. Texas didn't have any girl names that weren't also found in the rest of the country in low levels, but it did have more girls named Debanhi (64% were born in Texas) and Alayssa, Bayler, and Efrata (all 55%) than in the rest of the country combined. Texas also had 53% of all girls in the country named Steelie.
On the other coast, NY is the 4th most populous state (Florida is the 3rd), but it had the third largest collection of state-unique names. Many of these names reflect NY's large population of Jewish people. New Jersey, right next door, has similar population demographics, so I included NJ's state-unique names as well. The top state-unique boys' names in NY are:
Mendel, Lipa, Simcha, Shmiel, Usher, Yechiel, Avrum, Cheskel, Naftuli, Yossi, Pinchus, & Hershel,
all oh which are Yiddish or Hebrew.
The same trends apply to NJ:
(boys) Avrohom, Boruch, Laksh, Moksh, Nachum
3 of the top NJ state-unique boys' names are Yiddish or Hebrew, while Laksh and Moksh are of Sanskrit origin, reflecting the state's large Indian population.
NY had 100% of the country's babies named Avrumi, Berel, Burech, Chaskel, Cheskel, Leibish, Luzer, Mechel, Meilech, Naftula, Naftuli, Naftuly, Nuta, Pinches, Pinchus, Shiya, Shloime, Shloime, Volvi, Volvy, Yida, and Yidel. All of the above names are Yiddish and/or Hebrew, with many being Yiddish forms of Hebrew names.
The most popular state-unique girls' names in NY are: Gitty, Malky, Chany, Esty, Goldy, Pessy, Shifra, Perel, Frady, Shaindel, Fraida, & Tzirel, all of which are Yiddish or Hebrew. In fact, the names Blimi, Brany, Brucha, Bruchie, Feigy, Frady, Freidy, Frimy, Henchy, Kreindy, Nechuma, Ratzy, Rifka, Serel, Trany, Tzivy, Udy, Yachy, and Yittel are all Yiddish or Hebrew and only are given to girls in NY, making them truly unique to the state.
For NJ, the top 5 state-unique girls' names are: Gittel, Leeba, Shulamis, Tzvia, & Leba, all of which are Yiddish or Hebrew.
As for the rest of the states, Alaska, Connecticut and Delaware did not have any state-unique names. Neither did Idaho, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wyoming. These all happen to be states with very small populations, so it makes sense.
Here are all the state-unique names in Alabama. Crimson makes sense since the Crimson Tide is the University of Alabama's football team!
Arizona only had 5 state-unique girls' names: Ariza, Aolanis, Graciella, and Nizhoni. Nizhoni is a Navaho name meaning "beautiful", while the other three are Spanish. The only state-unique boys' name was the Spanish compound name Luisfernando.
Arkansas had only 2 state-unique names, and they were for boys: Aycen and Jadyn.
Colorado had one state-unique name, and it was for boys: Angelito.
Florida had the following names, reflecting its large African-American as well as Spanish-speaking populations. The most popular state-unique girls' name was Keisha, and for boys it was Marvens.
Georgia's most popular state-unique name for boys was Chauncey, and for girls was Choyce.
has the 9th smallest population of any state in the USA, it still has a lot of state-unique names. This is because it has a lot of names in use in its native language, Hawaiian. Hawaiian names have been popular on the continent for years (particularly Leilani, and other names ending in -lani), but Hawaii still has a bunch of native names that are not used elsewhere. The most popular state-uniqur girls' name is Lilinoe, which is the name of a goddess whose name means "mist; haze; fog." For boys it was Kainalu, which means "sea wave."
Illinois's most common state-unique name for girls in 2021 was Aasiya, an Arabic name whose meaning I can't find agreement on. In the Q'u'ran, Asiya was the wife of the Pharaoh who took care of the baby Moses. It may mean "melancholy; aggrieved," or "healer." It seems to be especially popular among Pakistani populations. For boys, the most popular state-unique name was Vuk, a Slavic name meaning "wolf" that is popular among Serbians.
In Indiana, Gatlin and Theodosia were tied for the two most popular state-unique girls' names. For boys, it was Oaklyn. Indiana, however, was one of the states with a name that was 100% given to boys of that state, and that name was Kenlin.
Iowa had 3 state-unique names in 2021, one for girls: Maize, and two for boys: Cael and Kinnick.
had one state-unique name. It was for girls-- Breckyn.
Kentucky had 4 state-unique names, 3 for girls: Averleigh, Caraline, and Crosley. ONe for boys: Enos.
Here are the state-unique names for Louisiana. The most popular state-unique girls' name was Amyri, and the boys' name was Acen.
Maryland had six state-unique names, two for girls: Edyn and Harlym. For boys, it was: Tavon, Edvin, Dyson, and Rahim.
Massachusetts had only 2 state-unique boys' names: The Portuguese Heitor, and Jayvien. For girls, there was: Heloisa, Maryaalice, Aleysha, Aine, Anaclara, Analiz, Eloah and Vitoria.
in Michigan, the most popular state-unique girls' name was Raneem, an Arabic name meaning "sweet voice." The most popular boys' name was Ameir, a variant on Amir, which means "prince" in Arabic.
Minnesota has a high percentage of Muslims, and this is reflected in the number of Arabic names. Almost all of these names are Arabic in origin, with a small handful being Scandinavian (Signe, Sigrid, Britta, Solveig, Solvi, Nels).
Mississippi had 3 state-unique names: Chyna and Caisley for girls, and Swayze for boys.
Missouri had 7 state-unique girls' names: Brenley, Damiya, Jozie, Kamori, Ramiyah, Renleigh, and Saloma. It had two for boys: Jansen and Lexton.
New Mexico had one state-unique name: Azriella for girls.
North Carolina's most popular state-unique girls' name was Lawson, followed by a 4-way tie for second place: Barrett, Favor, Omni, and Tailynn. For boys it was a 4-way tie for first place: Nylan, Nymir, Sampson, and Whitaker.
North Dakota had one state-unique name. It was Dekker for boys.
The most popular state-unique name for girls in Ohio was Larkyn, With Mahayla the second most popular. For boys, it was a tie between Jyaire and Marquan for first place, with Ayush, Bakari, Jibril, Mason and Pryor tied for second.
Oklahoma had three state-unique names, all for girls: Dim, Kodie, and Copelyn. Dim is possibly Arabic, meaning "light rain," although I can't find any good info about it.
Pennsylvania is the 5th most populous state in the USA, and it seems to be the only state that likes older names, like Barbie, Rosanna, Maryann, Lynda, and Suzanne. Also, I like that PennSYLVANia is the only state to boast the name Sylvan.
South Carolina has only 8 state-unique names: Naiah, Britton, Jamaica, and Kansas for girls and Bowman, Jos, Holston, and Kyland for boys. However, it does have 100% of the boys named Jos in the nation!
South Dakota has one state-unique name: Kimimila for girls, which is a Lakota name meaning "butterfly."
The most popular state-Unique girls' name in Tennessee is Callaway. Calloway is also a state-unique name for boys in Tennessee, though the most popular one was Neyland.
Utah has a lot of Mormons, who are very non-traditional baby namers. Many of the top Utah state-unique names are popular with Mormons for various reasons. Ammon, the most common state-unique boys' name is in the Book of Mormon, while Dallin and Oaks were the names of a prominent figure in Mormon history. For girls, Scotland was the most popular state-unique name, followed by Alta and Swayzee.
Virginia had 6 state-unique names for girls: Heba, Husna, Yemariam, Yohanna, Aamirah, and Jena.
The state-unique boys' names were: Ezana, Barkon, Malakhai, Raekwon, and Walid.
Washington State's state-unique girls' names were: Ellinor, Azaylia, Dempsey, Ravenna, and Solomia.
The boys' list was: Amnen, Dashel, Ole, Sven, Tor, and Vihan.
Last but not least, Wisconsin had two state-unique girls' names: Rosetta and Alona. It also had 2 boys' names: Cylas and Dameir.
Post a Comment