These Are The Most Popular Baby Names In The South

When it comes to baby name trends, there are regional differences. (Photo: Blend Images - JGI/Jamie Grill via Getty Images)
When it comes to baby name trends, there are regional differences. (Photo: Blend Images - JGI/Jamie Grill via Getty Images)

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

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