Utah parents often think outside the box with baby names

Sunday , May 13, 2018 - 5:00 AM

Some say naming a baby can be even harder than giving birth.

A lot of new moms and dads often turn to popular names that are shared by many other children, and some opt to come up with unique names for their newborns. Either way, it is helpful to have an idea of what the options are.

The Social Security Administration has tracked baby names by year of birth and sex at the national and state levels since 1879. Its data reveals trends in the popularity of baby names over time.

If your babies were born in the 2010s, they are very likely to know a lot of Olivias and Williams in school, because those are No.1 names in recent years in Utah, according to data from the social security agency.

Some boys’ names that used to be extremely popular in the 1910s seem to have made a strong comeback a century later. William, James and Jack ranked top three among all boys’ names 100 years ago, and now they are back in the game.

Meanwhile, Utah parents have become a bit more creative when it comes to naming baby girls. The current top 10 girls’ names in Utah in the 2010s were nowhere to be seen in the list of popular names going back 20 years.

However, Utah’s most popular girl’s name, Emma, is also the No.1 girl’s name nationwide. There have been more than 138,000 Emmas born in the 2010s across the U.S.

In most cases, the names considered timeless half a century ago now look outdated. For example, Barbara consistently ranked No.1 for 40 years in the state between the 1920s to ’50s. But the name has become much less common among newborns in this decade.

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Utahiest names

Some Utah parents have opted to go rogue when naming newborns.

Below is a list of names that can almost exclusively be seen in Utah since 2010:

• Mckay — 85 percent born in Utah

• Quinlee — 83 percent born in Utah

• Mckell — 75 percent born in Utah

• Korver — 72 percent born in Utah

• Packer — 71 percent born in Utah

• Tayzlee — 71 percent born in Utah

• Hinckley — 67 percent born in Utah

• Lesieli — 67 percent born in Utah

• Parley — 66 percent born in Utah

• Brexlee — 63 percent born in Utah

But even if yours or your baby's name doesn't top any charts now, it could still become a popular name later on.

Contact reporter Sheila Wang at 801-625-4252 or swang@standard.net. Follow her on Facebook @JournalistSheilaW or on Twitter @SheilaWang7.

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