I visited my hometown, Tallahassee, last year for the first time in many years. I was visiting for an old friend from high school’s baby shower. While I was there I took photos of another friend and her new baby...
August 11, 2018
Every year in May the Social Security Administration releases the baby name data from the year before. What were the top 10 baby names in North Carolina for 2018?
A couple of interesting things to note here.
First, notice both Liam and William are in the top 3. Liam is a nickname for William so “Liam” is a super popular name right now. Also the country’s data lists Liam first, Noah second, and William third which may indicate that parents in North Carolina when compared to their counterparts across the country. This could mean that parents in North Carolina prefer to bestow a more formal name that allows for a nickname to be used. It is also worth mentioning that William has been in the top 20 for over 100 years. This name is not an ebb and a flow trendy name.
Like William, James has also remained in the top 20 for over 100 years. It is also number 4 nationally
These surnames are absent from the national top ten list. Although it is worth noting that Jackson has many alternative spellings that skew the data a bit. It is currently ranked number 20 on the national list. Carter is ranked number 24 both of them have been rising over the past 10 years.
Lucas has been inching its way to the top 10 National Average over the past 20 years. It is currently sitting at number 11. I expect it will rank in the top 10 next year. I will also mention that Grayson is number 11 in North Carolina but ranked 34 nationally. It has been steadily gaining popularity after arriving to the scene in 1984.
But before you think that North Carolina must be ahead of the rest of the country on trends, lets look at Oliver which is number 9 on the national list reaching the top 10 for boys for the first time ever*! Oliver is climbing at 19 in NC. (Maybe its notable that Oliver’s female counterpart Olivia ranks behind the national average in North Carolina as well.)
These old testament favorites are absent from the North Carolina list but are present on the national list. Jacob (14 in NC) held the number one spot from 1999 to 2012 and is slowly making his way out. However this is Benjamin’s third year in the top 10 ever*. (Benjamin is 12 in NC)
Funny enough, just like the boys, the top name in North Carolina is the third most popular name nationally. The top 3 nationally go Emma, Olivia, Ava.
*By ever I mean since 1988 when they started collecting and recording this data
Harper made it to #10 nationally in 2015 and 2016 but before 2004 it was never even in the top 1000. I expect North Carolina is ahead of the trend on this one. Ranked #11 this year nationally, I think it’ll be coming back.
Mia and Evelyn are both on the top 10 nationally but absent from North Carolina’s list. This is Evelyn’s first year ever in the top 10 nationally so I expect it to continue to rise especially given the popular E sound (Elijah, Elizabeth and Emma).. And while we’re on the topic notice that 6/10 girls names begin with a vowel while only 1/10 of the boys do.
Elizabeth is not on the national top 10. It has been waiting patiently at #13 for the past 3 years. But it is by far the most time tested name and very rich with nicknames (supporting my William/Liam theory on North Carolina). Elizabeth has always been in in the top 30. Which can’t be said for any of the other names in North Carolina’s top ten line up and can’t be said for any of the national line up for girls names. In general, girls names tend to trend in and out more than boys names- which is why the boys list has 2 nearly perpetual top ten-ers while the girls only has 1 (and none for the national list.)