The top names for boys and girls vary by U.S. region.
When it comes to baby name trends, there are regional differences.
Blend Images - JGI/Jamie Grill via Getty Images
When it comes to baby name trends, there are regional differences.

The Social Security Administration’s data on popular baby names in the U.S. is full of interesting trends, especially on the regional level.

Looking at the most recent SSA data from 2017, we identified the most popular baby names for boys and girls in the South. While most of these names align with the national popularity list, there are points of divergence.

Obviously, what constitutes the South is a topic of much debate. So for simplicity’s sake, we mostly followed what the Census Bureau defines as the South: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. (The bureau also includes Delaware, Maryland and D.C., but as a Louisiana native, I had to put my foot down.)

Elijah, the fourth most popular name for boys born in the South, is only No. 8 on the national list of baby names. Oliver ― the ninth hottest name for baby boys nationally ― is down at No. 19 for the region, and Joseph (No. 19 nationally) is No. 30 for Southern boys.

The top eight names for girls are identical, but Harper comes in at No. 9 in the South, versus No. 11 nationally (perhaps because of the influence of Southern author Harper Lee). Evelyn, which is No. 9 nationally, is No. 12 in the South.

Layla is also more popular in the South than in the U.S. as a whole, hitting No. 20 in the regional list, versus No. 26 nationally. Same goes with Paisley ― No. 45 in the U.S. versus No. 30 in the region. Grace, Nora and Mila are at Nos. 21, 28 and 30 nationwide, respectively, but don’t even crack the top 35 in the Southern rankings. And Aubrey and Addison are more popular in the South, at Nos. 23 and 29, versus Nos. 31 and 34 nationally.

Below, find the top 35 boys’ and girls’ names for Southern babies. For more data and state-by-state breakdowns, visit the SSA website.


  1. Emma
  2. Olivia
  3. Ava
  4. Isabella
  5. Sophia
  6. Mia
  7. Charlotte
  8. Amelia
  9. Harper
  10. Abigail
  11. Elizabeth
  12. Evelyn
  13. Emily
  14. Madison
  15. Avery
  16. Sofia
  17. Ella
  18. Victoria
  19. Scarlett
  20. Layla
  21. Chloe
  22. Camila
  23. Aubrey
  24. Aria
  25. Riley
  26. Lillian
  27. Zoey
  28. Caroline
  29. Addison
  30. Paisley
  31. Skylar
  32. Brooklyn
  33. Penelope
  34. Savannah
  35. Lily


  1. Noah
  2. Liam
  3. William
  4. Elijah
  5. James
  6. Mason
  7. Jacob
  8. Logan
  9. Michael
  10. Aiden
  11. Benjamin
  12. Lucas
  13. Matthew
  14. Ethan
  15. Alexander
  16. John
  17. Daniel
  18. Samuel
  19. Oliver
  20. David
  21. Jayden
  22. Jackson
  23. Luke
  24. Carter
  25. Sebastian
  26. Grayson
  27. Wyatt
  28. Christopher
  29. Gabriel
  30. Joseph
  31. Dylan
  32. Joshua
  33. Levi
  34. Jaxon
  35. Josiah

Before You Go


Popular in the Community


HuffPost Shopping’s Best Finds