Minnesotans overwhelmingly stuck to the formula while naming newborns in 2015, largely opting for trendsetters of the last several years.
Olivia was crowned the most popular girl’s baby name in Minnesota for the second year in a row, according to the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Vital Records. It’s No. 1 in national polls as well. Jackson, a relative newcomer to Minnesota (it was No. 10 last year), rose to the boy’s No. 1 spot this year, dethroning Henry.
Following Olivia were last year’s winners, including Emma, Evelyn and Ava. Nora and Charlotte were tied for fifth. Jackson was followed by Henry, Liam, Oliver and William, the data showed.
Nationwide, Jackson was also the hottest boy’s name.
Popularity goes in waves, but it turns out that there is a subtle science to baby names and that economic, geographic and other influences combine with pop culture to shape their rise and fall.
Elsa trended nationally after the cinematic debut of “Frozen,” but has sharply declined since. Minnesota stood out in 2014 as the only state where Henry was the most popular name for boys, according to Social Security Administration data. Henry made the top five in Wisconsin and Nebraska, though, and that jived with research showing that Minnesota’s naming habits have converged with those of other Northern Plains states.
Amid bear markets, parents tend to choose more common or conforming names — a run-with-the-herd mentality in tough times. But when business is booming, American parents have been more likely to select unusual names, presumably to make their children stand out.
Perhaps Minnesota’s stable economy explains a rash of new baby names inspired by Instagram filters.
While unconventional names like Ludwig and Amaro didn’t come close to breaking the top spots, they’ve seen a bump since the social media photography tool was launched in 2010. BabyCenter reported that heretofore unusual names like Valencia and Lux were popular this year, the latter skyrocketing 75 percent since 2014.
The state Health Department will release a final list of names in January. The information released Wednesday was calculated as of Dec. 24.