It's easy to see the appeal in short names. They are quick to say and easy to spell. The animated map above shows the most popular three letter names by state per year.
As it turns out, a few names have consolidated popularity over the years. Although the 1950s map for boys is very colorful, today Eli, Leo, and Ian dominate most of the map. On the girls side Ava and Mia control all fifty states.
Historically you have to respect names that have claimed the top spot in all 50 states: Ian in 2000 and Amy for an entire decade starting 1969.
The map also shows some great geographic trends. Mia is more popular in southern states with a large Spanish speaking population than Ava. In 1964 Amy dominated the east coast while Kim dominated the west.
Hit "Boy Names" or "Girl Names" to watch the animation and use the slider to stop the map on a particular year.
If you want to see the top ten most popular short names in each state by year check out the Baby Name Institute top ten short names list here. If you don't want to miss the new maps, lists, and widgets we will regularly update then follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!