In the last decade, thousands of people have named their baby girl America. This is a perfect name for people who love the United States collectively but cannot pick a favorite among the 50 states.
For others it is common practice to name a child after a particular state, or at least give a name that also happens to be a state. For example, the name Virginia has been popular for decades. If you meet someone named Virginia you probably don't think of the state. However, if you look at the naming map you will see that Virginia is more popular in the state of Virginia than just about anywhere else in the country.
The lists above show the most popular state names given to babies per year. For states with two words in their names (New Jersey, North Carolina, or Rhode Island) only the unique place name part (Jersey, Carolina, or Rhode) was considered.
That leaves 19 states for which no baby has yet been named: Arkansas, Connecticut, Deleware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
Today the most popular state name for both genders is Dakota. Since 1950 the name Virginia has declined rapidly. If you remove the name Virginia from the data set state names are twice as popular now as they were in the 1950s.
Ironically sometimes a state name is more popular in another state. For instance, in 2006 the most popular state name in both North and South Dakota was Jersey while the most popular name in New Jersey was Dakota. If you want to see which state names are popular in different states check out our animated map showing the top state name in each state.
If you've been confused by this whole article, and were just looking to read about the most popular baby states in each state check out this list. And if you want to help support the Baby Name Institute you can give us a follow on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.