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Oliver and Olivia top Utah baby names list for third year

Olivia is the top baby name for girls in Utah -- possibly inspired by some famous Olivias.

The 2018 baby names list is out, and there are going to be elementary schools full of a very similar name — Oliver and Olivia are the top names in Utah for the third year in a row.

The top ten lists for Utah and the U.S. have a lot of repeats.  The top five names for boys in Utah are Oliver, William, Liam, James and Henry. Utah girls’ top five names are Olivia, Charlotte, Emma, Evelyn and Lucy.

In the U.S., the top boys’ names in order are Liam, Noah, William, James and Oliver; for girls nationwide, Emma is still at the top, followed by Olivia, Ava, Isabelle and Sophia.


But the list does not combine different spellings for the same name, like Jackson and Jaxon.

“I’m sure that the data here underestimate the creativity and diversity of our naming practices in Utah,” said Dr Russell T. Warne, associate professor of psychology at Utah Valley University.

Warne took a closer look at the data and trends over the years.

“One thing that’s popular in boy names is that “un” or “on” ending. Jackson is number 10 in Utah, then you see Lincoln, Logan, Hudson, Mason,” he said. “But once something becomes too popular, it falls out of fashion, and people start pulling away.”

He says girl names see more change and turnover than boy names. For example the name Emma, which tops the US list again and appears on the top 5 for Utah, was numbered in the 400s in the 1970s. But at the turn of the century, it was in the top 50. A name like James however is often ranked high for boys.

Parents are also more likely to come up with diverse girl names than boy names.

“The top 1,000 names have a smaller and smaller percentage each year of the whole,” said Warne.

Meanwhile, a blog post from Social Security Administration says pop culture names are rising fast. And Warne says that’s because most people who are naming babies, are people in their 20s and 30s. He thinks the name Liam could be popular lately because it’s the name of a band member in “One Direction,” and also Liam Nesson’s name.

But at the same time, he says some parents just like the sound of a name they are hearing out there and want to have it for their own child.

The names Genesis for boys, and Meghan for girls are growing more popular, and we’ll see if more parents choose Archie or Harrison next year because of the newest addition to the royal family, the son of Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, born earlier this month.

And Yara from “Game of Thrones” jumped 314 spots in 2018.

One person’s popularity can make or break a name. Warne says after the Twilight novels, the name Bella shot up in the lists. But the name Hillary or Hilary dropped way out of favor in the 1990s.