While Hollywood may reflect a certain niche of baby names, parents from coast to coast aren't naming their babies after Pantone colours and farmers' market produce. While there are plenty of stories about the most popular baby names, Time decided to look at the most popular uncommon name by state.
Say what? To figure it out, the magazine looked at unique names that managed to snag a "significantly higher rank" in one particular state than any other. This isn't a popularity contest, it's a list of names that really stand out, at least in each state.
Using information from the Social Security Administration's most popular baby name data. So, while a name may not rank high on popularity, it ranks high in each specific area. In South Dakota, for example, Berkeley is the 75th most common name for a baby girl. But that name doesn't show up in many other states. In Nebraska, the state with the next highest number of kiddos named Berkeley, it's the 234th most common name. That makes it the most common uncommon name in Nebraska. Get it?
Some of the names on the list seem like pretty common ones: Angela in California and Shawn in Delaware, for example. But there are some more unique, standout names on the list, too. Reign, Bastian, Destinee, and Raegen, anyone?
Time chalks up the appearance of some of the more common names to the fact that there are over 10,000 baby names to compete with across all 50 states. That means that states with a higher population density probably have more names to choose from, pushing something like Angela to the top of this common uncommon names list. Plus, the Social Security Administration automatically disregards names that have less than five instances in any given year, so truly one-of-a-kind names don't get counted in the most common (or in this case, most uncommon) names review.
To see how your name's popularity has waxed and waned over the years, Time has a handy-dandy widget that goes all the way back to 1912. It's a pretty fun way to check out the history of your own name and waste a few minutes while you're waiting for that take-out to arrive. You can check it out, here, along with the full list of uncommon popular names.