Noah and Olivia Top Names for CT Newborns in 2017; In US it was Liam and Emma

The most popular names for children born in the United States in 2017 were Liam for boys and Emma for girls.  Connecticut, however, had different top choices, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration.  The state’s most popular names for newborns were Noah and Olivia. The top five female names in Connecticut in 2017 were Olivia (230), Emma (219), Ava (169), Mia (162) and Sophia (159).  The leading names selected for boys were Noah (222), Liam (208), Logan (189) Jacob (187), and Michael (175).

Olivia and Noah were also the leading names selected for newborns in Connecticut in 2016; Noah also topped the list in 2015 in Connecticut, when the top female name was Sophia.  In 2014, Olivia and Mason were the top choices in Connecticut.  In 2013 it was Olivia and William; in 2012 Mason and Emma were most frequently selected.

Nationally, it was the first time that Liam was atop the list of popular male names, after Noah was number one for the previous four years, Jacob for the 14 years before that, and Michael every year from 1961 to 1998.

Among girls names selected across the country, Emma has been the most popular for the past four years, Sophia for the three years before that and Isabella for the previous two years.  Emma also topped the list in 2008, after Emily had done so every year from 1996 through 2007.  From 1970 through 1995, Jennifer led the list for 15 years, Jessica for 8 years and Ashley for two years.

Since 2010 nationally, the top boys names are Noah (145,195), Jacob (140,091), Mason (133,535), Liam (133,019) and William (131,241).  The top girls names this decade are emma (158,573), Sophia (152,936), Olivia (147,486) Isabella (142,064) and Ava (125,937).  Ranking at the bottom of the 200 most popular for boys are King, Jase, Maximus and Maverick, each chsen for more than 15,000 baby boys.  At the bottom of the 200 most popular girls names since 2010 are Eliza, Angela, Athena and Leilani, each selected as the names for more than 12,000 baby girls.

One hundred years ago, in the decade beginning in 1910, the most often used boys names were John, William, James, Robert and Joseph; for girls, it was Mary, Helen, dorothy, Margaret and Ruth.

Noah, Liam, Sophia, Emma Are Top Baby Names Nationally, In Connecticut It’s William and Olivia

There are trends in names given to new born babies, and then there’s Connecticut. The Social Security Administration has released the top baby names by state for 2013, state-by-state. Emma remains the top girls' name, claiming the number one spot in 27 states. Liam, the top boys' name in 18 states, replaces last year's top state name, Mason.

babiesThe top names by state differ from the top national names overall, where Sophia and Noah take the top spots. For the first time since 1960, a new name unseated Michael or Jacob as the most popular for newborn boys, according to the Social Security Administration, which releases each year. Topping the list in 2013 was Noah. Among new born girls, Sophia held the top spot for the third year in a row.

In Connecticut, Olivia and William topped the list. Among girls names in Connecticut in 2013, the top five were: 1) Olivia, 235; 2) Isabella, 230; 3) Emma, 212; 4) Sophia, 210; and 5) Ava 188.

Olivia was also the top ranked girls name in Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, Utah and Vermont. Nearly every state in the nation was led by either Emma, Sophia, Olivia. Ava was the most favored girls name in three states: Louisiana, Delaware, and Mississippi. Only New Jersey, where Isabella topped Sophia, 618 to 607, Florida, where Isabella edged Sophia by 1,455 to 1,382, and the District of Columbia had a different girls name leading the list – Charlotte edged out Sofia in D.C., 53 to 5 2

Among boys named in Connecticut in 2013, the leaders were: 1) William, 207; 2) Mason, 198; 3) Jacob, 193; 4) Noah, 192; 5) Michael, 187.

William was also the top ranked boys name in 13 other states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky and Minnesota. The top boys name in Massachusetts was Benjamin, the only state in the nation where it ranked first. Among the 50 states and D.C., the top ranked boys names included William, Mason, Jacob, Liam, Noah, Ethan (only in Nevada), and Jayden (only in Florida).

Nationally, the Top 10 names for boys were Noah, Liam, Jacob, Mason, William, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, Jayden and Daniel. The top names for girls were Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Isabella, Ava, Mia, Emily, Abigail, Madison and Elizabeth.


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Storm Names Influence Baby Names, Research Reveals

Storm names matter – in some unexpected ways.  The more prominent a hurricane name in the news, the more likely that during the coming year there will be an increase in babies named not after the storm specifically (so don’t expect a platoon of Sandy’s), but with names that evoke the storms’ name. Writing in the October issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, researchers Jonah Berger, Eric Bradlow, Alex Braunstein and Yao Zhang of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School found that names starting with K, such as Karl and Katie, became about 9% more popular after Hurricane Katrina - evidence that parents' choices about what to call their children are influenced by the sound of names in the news. The Harvard Business Review, reporting on the research, points out that the more damaging, and thus the more prominent, a hurricane, the more popular are names containing sounds similar to the storm's oft-repeated name.

The researchers were investigating how psychological processes shape the evolution of culture.  They looked specifically at how a cultural item's popularity is shaped by the recent popularity of other items with features in common.  Using more than 100 years of first-names data, they examined how a name’s popularity is influenced by the popularity of that name’s component sound in other names in the previous year.  They demonstrated the causal impact of similarity on cultural success in an experiment using hurricane names, in their paper titled “From Karen to Katie: Using Baby Names to Understand Cultural Evolution.”  The results suggest how the similarity between cultural items affects their popularity and a way in which culture evolves more broadly.

So, perhaps we should get ready for a bump in babies named Susie, Sara, Sammy, Stacy, Stevie and Steffi in 2013.