When you relocated from the Midwest to the East Coast after college, you probably weren't thinking about how your new home would one day influence the names of your children. But there's a major connection between where you live and what you name your kids, says Linda Rosenkrantz, cofounder of Nameberry.com. Even your state's place on the political spectrum comes into play. "You'd expect red-state conservatives to use conservative names, but it's quite the opposite," she says. "Blue-state liberals tend to pick conservative names." So babies born in liberal states, such as Massachusetts, tend to have classic names (think Andrew or Katherine), while babies from red states, like Alaska, may have more unusual names, such as Malachi and Destiny. What's your region's spin on baby naming? We sussed out the Social Security Administration's top name lists to find out.
Creative spellings tend to be less popular here as well -- you'll see more Zo?s than Zoeys, more Chloes than Khloes, and more Aidans than Aydins.
Given the region's wide-open spaces and gorgeous scenery, it's no wonder that many parents in the Mountain and Pacific Northwest states are drawn to names with a natural, outdoorsy vibe -- like Logan and Lily. And in places with a cowboy culture (e.g., Montana and Oklahoma), any name with a Western hook, like Oakley or Wyatt, will be big, Wattenberg says.
The East and West Coasts often set fashion trends, but when it comes to naming, the Midwest picks the up-and-comers. "The sweet, old-fashioned sounding names, such as Ava, first caught on big there," Wattenberg says. Red-hot boys' name Mason also got big in the Midwest before the Kardashians made it popular on the coasts.
Thanks to neighboring Mexico, Spanish names often rank much higher in the Southwest than in the rest of the country. "In the Spanish Southwest, including California, you'll find crossover names that work in both English and Spanish both, like Sofia and Victoria," Wattenberg says. "Isabella was hot there even before the rest of the country got on the bandwagon."
Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.