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Most popular names in North Dakota in 2012

May 21, 2013 - Andrea Johnson
Have you met any little boys named Liam lately?

According to the Social Security Administration, Liam was the most popular name for boys born in North Dakota in 2012. I haven't encountered a single kid named Liam in all my years of covering preschools and K-12 education, so I can only assume it's one of those names that has become popular in the last year or two. I would be willing to bet that there are a lot of moms of little North Dakota Liams who were upset when that list came out because they thought they'd picked an uncommon name. The other popular names for North Dakota boys in 2012 were Mason, Ethan, James, Noah, Jacob, Jackson, Eli, Elijah and Carter.

For girls, the most popular names were Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Harper, Ava, Ella, Avery, Zoey, Grace and Aubrey. The only girl's name that surprised me was Harper. I've only interviewed one girl with the name. I believe it is the name of a celebrity's child, so that might have something to do with its popularity.

My nephews' names aren't in the top 10 this year, though they were in previous years. The names my cousins have given their children seem to be fairly popular as well. Parents seem to like to be different, but there are probably some advantages in having a common name.


Article Comments



May-31-13 8:36 AM

Try Bertha for a grandma's name. Both of my grandmas were named Bertha. LOL


May-26-13 6:03 PM

Well, I'm not a mother or grandmother and I don't know any Grandma Andreas, though I don't doubt that there are quite a few out there. Andrea is one of those names that's never been really popular and never fallen completely out of style, so it tends to belong to people of different ages. It was a bit more popular for girls born about a decade after I was, but there are also quite a few Andreas 10 or 20 years older than I am.

According to Social Security, last year there were 63 girls born named Mildred in the entire country; 377 girls named Martha and 43 girls named Agatha. By comparison, there were 22,158 girls named Sophia, the most popular name. There were 3,030 girls named Andrea; 56 girls named Tammy; 392 girls named Lisa; 366 girls named Cindy. The site includes stats for all the names given last year that had more than 5 uses. It's pretty interesting.


May-26-13 3:35 PM



May-26-13 1:31 PM

But in your list of Grandma names that don't sound too old, you forgot one: Grandma Andrea. Seems to fit right in there with the Tammys and Lisas and Cindys.


May-26-13 1:28 PM

Don't forget about Martha, Mildred and Agatha. I wonder how many new parents are using those names.


May-22-13 11:46 AM

When these kids are old enough to be grandparents, the names will sound like they could be grandparents' names. Some of the people I went to school with were young parents and are now young grandparents, so there are Grandma Tammys and Grandma Lisas and Grandma Cindys, etc., all over the place. None of those names sound particularly "old" to me, but my grandmothers were named Ruth and Margaret.


May-22-13 10:48 AM

Once should think about how the child's name will sound as he or she grows older.

Grandma Zoey? Maybe you get used to it.


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