In Western States, Weirder Baby Names

You'll find more traditional names in the original 13 states
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2011 1:28 PM CST
In Western States, Weirder Baby Names
Where was this baby born?   (?impetus2)

Sarah Palin's brood—Bristol, Willow, Track, Piper, and Trig—are more typical than you think, at least when it comes to their names. Babies born in the youngest of the 50 states have more unusual names than newborns in the original 13 states and their neighbors, finds a new study. The researchers looked at baby-name data from 2007, and found that more wee ones in New England bore the most popular boys' and girls' names than those in the Mountain West and Pacific Northwest did.

Their analysis showed that, even after accounting for factors like income and ethnicity, the longer ago a state had officially become a state, the more likely it was to have babies with common names. Among the most individualistic states? Hawaii (No. 1 for both boys and girls), New Mexico, and Wyoming. The most traditional? New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Chalk it up to a lingering spirit of rugged individualism, one psychologist , told LiveScience: "Even though other people who came later may not have been so individualistic, that culture was set up. That legacy of the frontier is going to live on, and that shows up in baby names." (Click to see the best and worst celebrity baby names of the year.)

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