Massachusetts’ Most Popular Baby Names Are ‘Benjamin’ and ‘Emma’

The Social Security Administration released its state-by-state data.


Newborn photo via Shutterstock

Benjamin topped the list of boys’ baby names in Massachusetts last year, the Social Security Administration announced today, followed up by Mason, Ryan, William, and Jacob. For the ladies, Emma proved most popular, followed by Sophia, Olivia, Isabella, and Ava. (You can see the top 100 most popular names for each sex here.)

When naming its progeny, Massachusetts proved itself to be incredibly dull in its dependence on old favorites. (Though Friends fans will note that our two top names are also the names of Ross Geller’s children.) This is a state where “Michael” was the most popular boys’ name for several decades, after all. (It remains #6 this year. Maybe we should use this Beyonce baby name generator, which is circulating after news that she’s expecting a second child.)

You might wonder what’s interesting about breaking out popular baby names state by state. Isn’t the national trend enough? But actually the state-by-state results diverge quite a bit, and according to Laura Wattenberg, someone the New York Times refers to as a “self-proclaimed baby-name expert” whatever that may be, the trends form an “inverted political map” meaning that progressive states like ours are more conservative in their baby name choices. (Does this mean Young Republican clubs of America are full of Ebenezers and Katnisses and the like?) Wattenberg suggests this is because “women in progressive states tend to be older when they have their children, and therefore less likely to name their children after a drink or a tattoo or a pop star.”

We have literally no idea how you would go about naming your child after a tattoo, but point taken. It’s good to be from Massachusetts, a land where you’re statistically less likely to send your kid to kindergarten with her new friend Ke$ha.