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New Jersey’s Top Baby Names for 2023: Revealed

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New Jersey’s Top Baby Names for 2023: Revealed

Every year, around 100,000 babies are born in the state of New Jersey, the most densely populated state in the United States. And each year, the Social Security Administration releases state data on the most popular baby names. We will examine the most popular baby names for boys and girls in New Jersey in 2023. Additionally, we will compare the state's list with the national top ten list. Finally, we will explore the history and meaning behind each name. 

New Jersey's Top Baby Boy Names

New Jersey's top ten list differs slightly from the national top ten list. Four names on the list are absent from the national top ten: Jacob, Joseph, Luca, and Michael. It is worth noting Luca is not the same as Lucas, although they come from the same root word. Currently, Lucas ranks at number three, while Luca ranks at number nine. New Jersey has a large Italian population, which may explain why the Italian names Luca and Lucas appear in their top ten list.

Furthermore, Oliver has gained popularity in New Jersey and has moved up ten positions since 2021. This name is also trending nationwide. In contrast, Joseph, while not in the national top ten, is still the fourth most popular name in New Jersey. It has been since 2021. Overall, New Jersey's list of boy names reflects the current popularity of Biblical names. Names that lend themselves to nicknames are also popular.


Cute baby sitting on floor with word LIAM composed of wooden letters. Choosing name concept

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Liam is a popular name choice for parents these days. It is a strong Irish variation of the name William, and it means “strong-willed warrior” or “protector.” Many people attribute its popularity to famous actors like Liam Neeson and Liam Hemsworth. Singers like Liam Payne, from the boy band One Direction, and Liam Gallagher, leader singer of the British band Oasis, may also influence the name's popularity.


Toy blocks spelling out the name "NOAH"


Noah is a name with Biblical origins that originates from the Hebrew word “noach,” which means “rest” or “peace.” Some linguists also believe that it has connections with the Babylonian word “nukhu,” which means “rest” as well.

From 2013 until 2016, Noah was the most popular name given to boys born in the United States. Noah is a name that can be used for both boys and girls. However, it is currently more popular for boys. Famous people with this name include Noah Schnapp, an actor best known for his role as Will Byers in the Netflix series Stranger Things, and Noah Cyrus, an actress and singer who is Miley Cyrus's sister.


popular european and american male first name lucas

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Trending since 2018, Lucas is an ancient name with Greek and Italian roots. It has its origins in the Greek word “Loukas,” which translates to “man from Lucania.” However, others believe Lucas is the Latin version of the Greek name, interpreting the name as “bringer of light.” In Southern Italy, the name is interpreted as “shining” or “bright.” Whatever the meaning, this light-filled name is popular with parents right now.


male first names written with daisies (Bellis Perennis) on green clover

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Joseph is a traditional Hebrew name that means “he will add.” During the Middle Ages, the name was more prevalent among Jewish communities, but it has now become popular worldwide. There are several variations of this name in different languages, such as Yusuf in Arabic, Sjef in Dutch, Józef in Polish, and Peppe in Italian.


Boy's baby name James in wooden toy blocks in red and green on blanket closeup


James is a name that originated from the Biblical name Jacob, which means “one who takes by the heel” or “supplanter.” This name was given to Jacob because he held onto his twin brother Esau's heel during their birth. Nowadays, James is a popular name for boys worldwide because it is both classic and current. Moreover, it rarely drops out of the top ten baby names. There are also many variations of James, such as Giacomo (Italian), Seamus (Irish and Gaelic), and Iago (Welsh).


popular american male first name benjamin

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Another biblical name on our list, Benjamin, means “son of the right hand.” Benjamin has been in the top 100 baby names since 1968. However, since Benjamin broke into the top ten names for boys in 2016, it shows no sign of declining in popularity. Like many boys' names of the moment, Benjamin has a number of nicknames, including Ben, Benji, or Benny.


MICHAEL. Name of men and boys. Birthday concept. White letters of the alphabet on a wooden background.


Boys have been given the name Michael for almost 2500 years. Moreover, Michael ranked among the top five names for boys in the United States from 1954 to 2008. This name means “he who resembles God” and first appears in the Biblical book of Numbers. Saint Michael, also known as “Saint Michael the Archangel,” is a saint recognized by the Catholic Church. Saint Michael represents divine intervention and courage.


Popular and modern baby boy fashion name JACOB in wooden English language capital letters spilling from a pile of letters on a green background pencil sketch

©Ian Peter Morton/Shutterstock.com

The Biblical story says that Jacob held onto his twin brother's heel during birth. This story is why Jacob means “supplanter” or “holder of the heel.” Since 1900, Jacob has been a popular boy's name. It even held the number-one spot in 1999. Parents are attracted to this name for multiple reasons, such as its Biblical significance and various nicknames, including Jay, Jake, and Jack.


Popular and modern baby boy fashion name LUCA in wooden English language capital letters spilling from a pile of letters on a green background in sepia

©Ian Peter Morton/Shutterstock.com

Like Lucas, Luca means “bringer of light” and is thought to have both Italian and Greek origins. However, Luca may also be connected to the Latin word “lucus,” which means “sacred wood.” While currently popular in America as a boy's name, it is a unisex name. Currently, it is more popular as a girl's name in Hungary, albeit with a slightly different pronunciation.


Toy blocks spelling out the name "OLIVER"


The name Oliver stems from the ancient word for “olive tree.” As a result, the name has become associated with peace due to the olive branch symbol. In 2009, it entered the top 100 names for boys in the United States. Furthermore, it has since rapidly risen in popularity to become one of the top ten names for boys. Parents seeking classic yet modern-sounding names may be driving this sudden surge in popularity. Furthermore, the name's feminine counterpart, Olivia, is also in the top ten baby names.

New Jersey's Top Baby Girl Names

In New Jersey, Leah is the only girl name that does not feature in the top ten national names list. Most of the names given to girls in the state are classic names that have an emphasis on the A-sound or end with the letter A. Examples of these names include Ava, Mia, and Luna. Moreover, just like the top names for boys, parents today prefer names that have popular nicknames. Here are the top ten baby names for girls in New Jersey.


Pregnant woman holding a handmade embroidery with the name Olivia in her hands, concept in anticipation.


Olivia, like Oliver, means “olive tree” or “olive branch,” and is also associated with peace. It is a timeless name that offers a variety of possible nicknames, such as Liv, Livvy, Vivi, and even Olive. Consequently, it has become the most popular name for girls in the state.


Cute baby with word SOPHIA lying on soft blanket. Choosing name concept

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People around the world began using the name Sophia centuries ago. The name only gained popularity in America during the 1990s, but it quickly became a favorite. From 2011 to 2013, Sophia ranked as the top girl's name in the United States. This name of Greek origin means “wisdom” and is often associated with sophistication. Royalty during the Middle Ages favored the name Sophia, which surely contributed to its reputation as a name of beauty and class.


Baby name MIA composed of wooden letters on stool. Choosing name concept

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In the past, girls named Amelia and Emily had the nickname Mia. However, now parents use it as a given name on its own. Mia is a name that sounds classic and timeless. It is also another name that parents seem to adore with that “A” sound. Actress Mia Farrow is widely credited for making the name popular after she rose to fame in the 1960s.


Cute baby with word EMMA lying on bed. Choosing name concept

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Popular since the Middle Ages, Emma means “universal” or “whole.” It has been a favorite among American parents since 2003, which was the year it first made it to the top ten list of baby names. The name has a classic feel to it but also has a modern sound that parents love.

Emma Stone and Emma Thompson, two well-known actresses, have contributed to the name's current popularity. Interestingly, Jane Austen, the famous English novelist, used the name as the title of one of her most beloved novels.


Legs of cute baby and word AVA composed of wooden letters on bed. Choosing name concept

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Ava has been a popular name for girls for almost two decades, even though it was quite uncommon in the twentieth century. The name has multiple meanings, including “life,” “bird,” and “water,” despite being a short name. Some believe that it is a variation of the name Eva, while others claim that it originates from the German name “Aveline,” from which the name Evelyn also comes.


Cute baby lying on bed with toy and word AMELIA composed of wooden letters. Choosing name concept

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Amelia is a name with German and Latin roots. This name comes from the word “Amal,” which means “work.” Moreover, this name became popular centuries ago when both King George II and III named their daughters Amelia. The name also gained popularity in the twentieth century thanks to aviator Amelia Earhart. Furthermore, Peggy Parish named her popular children's book series “Amelia Bedelia” after the protagonist.


Toy blocks spelling out the name "CHARLOTTE"


The name Charlotte recently entered the top ten names, although it has almost always been in the top 100. This name of French origin means “petite” or “free man.” Charlotte has been associated with royalty for centuries, from medieval queens to Princess Charlotte, daughter of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Moreover, the name has several cute nicknames, such as Charlie (or Charley), Lola, and Lotte.


Isabella written in a speechbubble

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Meaning “God is my oath,” Isabella is a Spanish and Italian variation of the Hebrew name “Elisheba.” This name was last popular during the early twentieth century, falling out of favor during the 1940s. However, the name made a resurgence after the immense popularity of Stephenie Meyer's “Twilight” book series and the subsequent films. The main character, “Bella Swan,” in the series certainly made the name popular during the early 2000s. Currently, Isabella is not among the top five baby names in the United States, but it lingers in the national top ten.


Baby name LUNA composed of wooden letters on stool. Choosing name concept

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The name Luna has Latin roots and means “moon.” In Roman mythology, Luna is also the name of the goddess of the moon. Recently, celestial-themed names like Luna, Nova, and Aurora have become popular choices for baby names. Although Luna is a familiar name, it has rarely broken the top 500 baby names. Luna Lovegood, a beloved “Harry Potter” character, may have played a role in the name's recent popularity.


Leah Flower Name

©Erika Kirkpatrick/Shutterstock.com

Leah is a name of Hebrew origin that comes from the word “la'ah”, which means “weary” or “delicate”. It currently holds the fifty-second position on the national list of baby names, making it a unique option for parents in New Jersey. However, in 2010, it was more popular and ranked at number twenty-four on the national list. Leah Remini and Lea Thompson are two famous personalities who share this name.

Final Thoughts

New Jersey, the most densely populated state in America, may offer a glimpse into future naming trends. The state's choices for baby boy names differ from the national list more than other states. Jacob, Joseph, Luca, and Michael all fall outside the national top ten baby names. Perhaps they will be trending upward soon.

However, for baby girl names, New Jersey follows national trends more closely. There is only one outlier, the name Leah. However, Leah was popular a few years ago. Moreover, Biblical names are common right now. When it comes to choosing a name for your newborn, there are countless options to consider, whether you opt for a popular favorite or choose something less trendy.

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