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News / Life / Lifestyles

Top Washington baby names — and which ones are on the rise

By Gene Balk, The Seattle Times
Published: May 22, 2023, 7:37am

Olivia and Oliver — both names derived from the Latin word for “olive tree” — were Washington’s top names for baby girls and boys in 2022.

New data from the Social Security Administration on the Top 100 baby names for U.S. states shows Washington was one of eight states where Olivia and Oliver were the most popular names last year.

But it’s not the first time the pair of names topped Washington’s list. Olivia and Oliver both ranked No. 1 in 2020 and 2015.

Olivia, which was also the most popular baby name for girls nationally last year, has enjoyed a long run of popularity in Washington. It’s been state’s top baby name for girls since 2017, when it overtook Emma. Olivia debuted among the Top 100 baby names for girls all the way back in 1990.

Oliver didn’t appear in the state’s Top 100 baby boys names until 2007. In 2021, it ranked third behind Liam (which topped the national list last year) and Noah. Oliver ranked third nationally in 2022.

The data shows popular girls names tend to have more staying power than boys names. For example, six of Washington’s Top 10 girls names in 2012 were still there 10 years later. For boys names, only four remained in the Top 10 from 2012 to 2022.

The most popular name for Washington baby girls in 2012 was Sophia, which remains very popular, ranking sixth last year. But for boys, the state’s top name in 2012 — Mason — took a nosedive. It only ranked 31st in 2022.

So, which Washington baby names may be on the rise, and which are losing steam?

Look out for Eloise. The name jumped from 100th in 2021 to 64th last year, the most dramatic rise of any girls name in Washington’s Top 100. And for boys names, Ian had the sharpest rise in the state rankings, going from 98th in 2021 to 67th in 2022.

Eight girls baby names and 10 boys baby names debuted in the state’s Top 100 in 2022. The most popular new name for girls was Ava, coming in at 76th, and for boys, it was Jasper, which ranked 69th.

Other names appear to be falling out of favor with Washington parents.

Among girls names in the Top 100 in 2021, Leah had the sharpest decline, dropping from 65th to 87th last year. Among boys names, there was a tie between Hunter and Andrew. From 2021 to 2022, both names fell 41 places — Hunter from 96th to 55th and Andrew from 99th to 58th.

A slew of names fell out of Washington’s Top 100 last year. The highest-ranking girls’ name to exit the list was Bella, which had been 78th in 2021. For boys names, it was Greyson, which had been 70th.

Interestingly, there was one name that debuted in Washington’s Top 100 girls names last year, and also fell out of the boys Top 100: Parker.