SAN DIEGO — New parents in California picked from some familiar favorites when naming their children last year, according to data from the Social Security Administration.
The agency released its annual list of the top names, both in the U.S. and on a state-by-state basis, earlier this month. The lists highlight some contrasts and similarities between the Golden State and the rest of the country — and the way tastes have evolved over time.
Here are the top 10 California baby names from 2021 in boys and girls:
The lists show that Californians’ tastes haven’t changed immensely since 2020.
Daniel is the only new addition to the top 10 boy names, bumping up from number 11 in 2020 and replacing Ethan, which slid a few spaces. Noah, Liam, Mateo and Sebastian held strong as the top four selections in both years.
Over on the girls’ side, there were also no huge changes, with Olivia at the top in both years while Camila and Emma swapped spots. For a second year, every one of the top 10 girl names ends in the letter “a.” There were no new additions to the girls’ list, though some shuffled around a bit.
Hopping back to 2011 shows some names had more staying power than others.
While Daniel and Alexander were in the top 10 a decade ago, boy names like Jayden, Anthony, Matthew and Nathan have slipped in popularity. Andrew took the largest fall from the top 10 over the decade, dropping from number nine in 2011 all the way to 51 in 2021.
Sophia, Isabella and Mia were already top picks in 2011, but girl names like Abigail, Samantha and Natalie fell out of favor in the ensuing 10 years. Two spellings of the same name — Sofia and Sophia — made the top 10 on the girls’ side in both 2011 and 2021, with the “ph” spelling remaining more popular.
Comparing California’s results to the U.S. rankings from 2021, Liam, Noah, Olivia and Emma remain the most popular four names across the board. But the lists are not identical.
Julian and Mateo are the most noticeable regional additions — coming in at numbers three and five respectively on California’s list for 2021, while placing 15th and 33rd on the U.S. list.
California consistently ranks among the states with the largest Hispanic populations, helping explain a boost to a Spanish variation of Matthew. The name ranked fourth in Texas and fifth in New Mexico, other states with large Hispanic populations.
Curious about how popular your name has been over time? You can use this Social Security tool to search for results.