Delaware may have been a trailblazer in ratifying the US Constitution but when it comes to naming newborn humans, the First State closely hues to national trends. According to new data published by the Social Security Administration, Delaware parents joined their cohorts across the country in going big for Olivia, Emma, Ava, Logan, Noah and Liam when it came to monikers for their little bundles of joy.
Favored names in Delaware trended toward the traditional (including a pronounced preference for Old Testament tags like Noah, Michael, Elijah, Gabriel and Joshua), with limited apparent trace of the state’s cultural and ethnic population shifts (e.g., despite a growing Hispanic population, only Angel cracked the top 100 on the boy’s side at #57). Perennial powerhouse Emily dropped off the top ten (#11) for the first time since 1991, and one-time list-topper Ryan came in at 38th.
Harper made a major move into the top ten for the little girls (making it one rare outlier vs. national results) and if you combine boys named Kayden (13) and Kaiden (12), he’s cracking the top 35, up there with Josiah, Chase and Nolan. And in some possible good news for state Republicans, 13 baby girls were christened Reagan in Delaware last year, bringing the Gipper in at 39thplace.
Speaking of the 1980s, Jennifer, which once dominated the girls list (#1 as recently as 1984), continued its sad slide to anonymity, joining Jessica (#1 in ’87) in vanishing from the top 100 DE names (Jennifer was 310 nationally).
The name data was released amid the backdrop of another federal government report that overall births in the US fell 2 percent last year, the third year in a row of decline and a 30-year low. There were 10,992 births in Delaware last year, giving the state a fertility rate of 61.2, which slightly outpaced the national average of 60.2 births per 1,000 women ages 15 through 44.