“Emma” rules the West Coast, while “Liam” reigns supreme in the American Midwest.
In the southeastern part of the United States, parents prefer the name “William” for boys and “Ava” for girls, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration, which compiled a list of 2018’s most popular baby names.
At the top of the list nationwide are “Liam” for boys (for the second year) and “Emma” for girls (continuing a 5-year streak). The names “Noah” and “Olivia” come in second.
While naming a child might feel like one of the most personal decisions a person can make, that choice is often heavily influenced by outside forces.
“Names say more about the parents than the kids,” Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, told VOA in an email. “How unique parents want to be, where in the country they were when the child was born, and what influences around them shape their lives.”
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