Twenty years ago, the most common names given to babies born in California were Daniel and Emily, followed by Anthony and Ashley, respectively. That wasn’t the case in 2022, according to the latest data from the Social Security Administration.
Instead, the most popular names were Liam and Olivia, following the national trend.
Olivia has been California’s top girl’s name since 2019 when it overtook Emma. This is the first year Liam has been at the top of the list after overtaking Noah, despite being the most popular boy’s name in the U.S. since 2017.
For girls’ names, very little changed in the rankings for California. According to SSA, Sofia (not to be confused with No. 5’s Sophia) was slightly more popular than Amelia in 2022 than in 2021.
Here were the 10 most common girls’ names in 2022 compared to 2021:
|1. Olivia||1. Olivia|
|2. Emma||2. Emma|
|3. Camila||3. Camila|
|4. Mia||4. Mia|
|5. Sophia||5. Sophia|
|6. Isabella||6. Isabella|
|7. Luna||7. Luna|
|8. Amelia||8. Sofia|
|9. Sofia||9. Amelia|
|10. Gianna||10. Gianna|
Liam and Noah weren’t the only boys’ names to shuffle rankings in California. Oliver gained one spot, according to SSA, while Benjamin fell two places. Two names, Alexander and Daniel, dropped out of the top 10 while two new names, Santiago and Ezekiel, climbed in popularity.
Here were the 10 most common boys’ names in California over the last two years, in order of popularity:
|1. Noah||1. Liam|
|2. Liam||2. Noah|
|3. Mateo||3. Mateo|
|4. Sebastian||4. Sebastian|
|5. Julian||5. Julian|
|6. Benjamin||6. Oliver|
|7. Oliver||7. Santiago|
|8. Elijah||8. Benjamin|
|9. Alexander||9. Elijah|
|10. Daniel||10. Ezekiel|
Want to see how popular your name — or the name you’re considering for your baby — is? The Social Security Administration’s database has records dating as far back as 1880.
State records only go as far back as 1960. That year, David and Karen were the most common baby names in California. David was ranked No. 28 last year, while Karen failed to land in the top 100.
As for the top 10 names in California 20 years ago, most still landed among the top 100 baby names in 2022. For the boys, Daniel has declined in popularity the least, ranking as No. 12 last year.
On the opposite side of the list, Emily, Ashley, Samantha, and Jessica reigned supreme in 2002. Half of that year’s top 10 names didn’t land in the top 100 last year: Ashley, Jessica, Jennifer, Alyssa, and Jasmine. Isabella ranked as the 6th most popular girls’ name in 2022 – the same rank it held in 2002.
It’s also important to note that the Social Security Administration doesn’t combine names with different spellings when it produces its list. For example, Sophia is ranked as the 5th most popular girl’s name in California last year, while Sofia is the 8th.