The Lone Star State has had some surprising trends in baby names in recent years. However, there are still a lot of classic and timeless names mixed in with fun, creative, and multicultural ones. Let's take a look at the top baby boy names in Texas in 2021!
Liam is a strong and mighty name for boys that dates back to the Irish Uilliam or the Germanic William. It combines the words willa (“will” or “resolution”) and helma (“helmet”) to give it an overall meaning of “helmet of will” or “guardian.” You'll see it in many baby name lists related to strength, protection, defender, and so on.
Liam is a very popular baby name for boys. In fact, it's been #1 in the US since 2017! Before that, it was #2 or #3 between 2013 – 2016. It's enjoyed a steady rise throughout the years: While only ranked #950 in 1974, it's climbed by the hundreds to eventually reach – and stay – at the very top spot.
While you might think of Noah as a Hebrew name, it actually has origins from ancient Babylonia! It means “rest” or “repose.” This meaning stems from its association with the Biblical figure of Noah and the comfort that he brought after the flood.
Noah is a very popular baby name both in and out of Texas. It's #2 in the nation and has been since 2017, when it was overtaken by Liam, the previous #2. It was #1 from 2013 – 2016 and within the top 20 since 2006. Back in 1970, it was only #444.
Another Biblical name, Elijah comes from the Hebrew name Eliyahu and means “My God is Yahweh,” “My God is Jehovah,” or simply “The Lord is my God.” If you're looking for a name with religious meaning, it could be a good choice, though it's also used in plenty of secular households.
While Elijah is ranked #4 in the nation, it's slightly more popular in Texas at #3. It's been a top 20 baby name for boys since 2010. This is quite the upswing since its placement of #597 in 2070!
Pronounced mah-TAY-oh, Mateo is a lovely and lyrical baby name. It's the Spanish form of Matthew and similar to the Italian form of Matteo. All versions derive from the Hebrew name Matityahu meaning “gift from God.”
The popularity of Mateo is something that shows off Texas's unique blend of American and Spanish culture: It's nowhere near #4 in the top baby names for the nation. It does, however, claim the #15 spot, which is a significant jump from #171 just 10 years ago. It's also a staggering rise from #997 in 1995. We don't even have records for it before that, so you can consider Mateo a name that quickly but definitively entered our public consciousness.
Hailing from Greece, Sebastian literally means “from Sebastia,” which was an ancient city located in present-day Turkey. However, it can also be traced back to Greek root words such as sebastos (“venerable”), sebas (“awe, reverence”), and sebomai (“to feel awe”). Taken all together, Sebastian is a lovely name that can mean everything from “revered” to “respected” to “awe-inspiring.”
Sebastian is another name that's popular in Texas but less so among other states. It's only #19 in the country, a position that it's held for two years, and it's hovered around the general area of #18 – #24 since 2016. This is a pretty big jump from its hover around #68 – #73 between 2007 – 2011. It's also a huge increase from #634 in 1970, so Sebastian has definitely climbed the ranks in the past 50 years.
Santiago is a historic baby name that can be traced back centuries. Though it's technically the Spanish form of Jacob, Jacob itself is sometimes known as the Spanish form of James, and both Jacob and James have Hebrew origins. It's a complex family tree!
Its meaning is complex, too. Jacob and James can be derived from a number of Hebrew root words meaning everything from “to supplant, to circumvent” to “to follow, to be behind.” Another translation is “may God protect.”
Compared to Texas, Santiago is only ranked #63 in the top baby names in the US. It's nearly doubled its #131 ranking since 2011, and it's absolutely parachuted above its #598 ranking in 1970.
Oliver is an interesting baby name that can have multiple meanings depending on its country of origin. If derived from the Latin word olivarius, it can mean “olive tree planter” or “olive branch bearer.” If derived from the Old Norse name Óleifr or Olaf, it can mean “heirloom” or “descendant.” Some people have even traced it to the Germanic root words wulfa (“wolf”) and harja (“army”).
Oliver is the #3 baby name for boys in the US, though it's only #7 in Texas. It's had an interesting history: A top 200s name in the '40s and '50s, it sank to the 400s in the '70s and '80s before shooting back up again in the '90s. It soared to the top 100 baby boy names in 2009 and has remained there ever since.
Meaning “God is my judge” and occasionally “God is my strength,” Daniel is a Biblical name that comes from old Hebrew. It's a traditional name with strong roots, and it could be a great pick if you want a baby name that means justice, judgement, or power.
Interestingly, Daniel is less popular than it used to be. While it's been a top 30 baby name since the the 1940s, it climbed to the top 10 in the 1970s and 1980s, and it reached as high as #5 in the country in 2007 – 2008. It's slowly fallen to #16 in 2022.
Jose is another name that's had a slight decline in recent years. While it's always been in the top 100 baby names for boys, it stayed in the top 50s from 1972 – 2011 before tumbling to the 60s, 70s, and 80s in more recent years. However, it did rise from #94 in 2020 to #89 in 2021.
Benjamin is slightly more trendy in the overall US (#7) than in Texas (#10). It's risen significantly in popularity since 50 years ago when it was #81 in the country's top baby boy names. However, it's held steady at #6 – #7 since 2016, which is up from the #10 – #16 it held between 2012 – 2015.
Here are the 50 most popular baby boy names in Texas in 2022:
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The image featured at the top of this post is ©iStock.com/Emrah Onder.