Oh baby! These were the most popular boys and girls baby names in Pa. in 2020 | Monday Morning Coffee

May 17, 2021 7:20 am

(Getty Images/Virginia Mercury)

Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

So this one’s a bit off the beaten path for us — but hang in with us for this one.

Emma replaced Olivia as the most popular name for girls born in Pennsylvania in 2020, while Noah pipped Liam as the most popular name for boys, according to recently released Social Security Administration data.

Nationwide and in 30 states, Olivia was the most popular name for girls born last year. That left Pennsylvania as something as a trailblazer for states preferring Emma. After Emma, Olivia, Charlotte, Ava and Sophia were the most popular girls’ names in Pennsylvania in 2020, according to the federal data. In 2019, the most-popular honors went to Olivia, Emma, Ava, Charlotte, and Harper.

Among newborn boys in Pennsylvania in 2020, the top 5 most popular names were NoahLiamBenjaminMason, and Michael. In 2019, the most popular names were LiamNoahBenjaminLucas, and Mason.

As our sibling site, the Virginia Mercury reports, the names data is based on applications for Social Security cards. To protect people’s privacy, the Social Security Administration excludes names with fewer than five occurrences in any state.

As the federal data shows, the most popular names nationwide remained remarkably constant during the 2010s. And Pennsylvania, with its profusion of Noahs and Emmas, was right on-trend.

(U.S. Social Security Administration graphic)

And with that ‘Friends’ reunion special just days away, here’s a look at the most popular boys names nationwide during the 1990s:

(U.S. Social Security Administration graphic)

It would appear it hasn’t been the day, the week, the month or even the year for those names in quite some time. They have been, it’s safe to say, stuck in second gear.

And make of this what you will: Nationwide, “both Donald and Karen are nowhere on the top 1,000 names,” Jennifer Moss, the co-founder of the founder of the website and co-host of the Baby Names Podcast. told the Mercury.

“In 2020, the name Karen has gone the way of Dick. Both names are now associated with negative personal traits,” Moss said.

And, no, you can’t talk to the manager about it — or try to force a recount.

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller.)

Our Stuff.
In this week’s edition of The Numbers RacketCassie Miller has a bunch of those ‘Bet you didn’t know‘ facts about the Keystone State that the trivia buffs among you are just going to love.

A bill now before the state Legislature would allow parents concerned about the kids’ pandemic progress, to hold them back a year in schoolMarley Parish reports.  And Parish also takes a look at the unusual way that one GOP state lawmaker employed to spread the word about those emergency powers questions on the May 18 ballot.

An audit by Pittsburgh’s city controller shows that a select number of city cops rack up a disproportionate amount of complaints, our partners at Pittsburgh City Paper report.

Philadelphia City Council has approved a non-binding resolution calling on state lawmakers to oppose the state House GOP’s anti-transgender sports bill, our partners at the Philadelphia Gay News report.

On our Commentary Page this morning, opinion regular Dick Polman muses on whether former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is pathetic, shrewd, or pathetically shrewd as he continues to jockey for political relevance. And if you’re wondering whether your child should get the COVID-19 vaccine, a pediatric infectious disease expert has some answers for you.

En la Estrella-Capital:  La administración de Wolf: La capacidad máxima para eventos interiores y exteriores aumentará a partir del lunesY son ‘héroes anónimos’: Funcionarios de Pa. rinden homenaje a los campesinos que mantuvieron los alimentos en la mesa durante la pandemia.

The Inquirer
 talks to organizers of an effort to change the name of Taney Street, which is named for the author of the Dred Scott decision.
With budget season closing in, the Post-Gazette considers whether the General Assembly will spend more on higher education this year.
It’s Tax Day in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. PennLive has your guide on what you need to know.
Former Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta has launched a GOP bid for governor in 2022, the Associated Press reports (via the Morning Call).
The Citizens’ Voice previews the races on the Luzerne County ballot for Tuesday’s primary election.

Here’s your #Harrisburg Instagram of the Day:


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WHYY-FM talks to Philly high school students who want to get vaccinated
A Penn State political science professor has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Big 10 school, WPSU-FM reports (via WITF-FM).
Custodians in the Erie schools have signed a new contract, putting an end to outsourcing talks, GoErie reports.
Beer distributors in southwestern Pennsylvania saw an uptick in sales in 2020, the Herald-Standard reports.
PoliticsPa has last week’s winners and losers in state politics.
More than 80 Customs & Border Protection employees violated the agency’s social media policy by posting offensive content, Roll Call reports. One instance included a cartoon depicting migrant children locked in dog kennels.

What Goes On.
10 a.m., Live Streamed: 
Senate Democratic Policy Committee

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition).
11 a.m., Pittsburgh Field Club:
 Reception for the House Republican Campaign Committee. Admission runs $2,500 to $15,000.

Gov. Tom Wolf 
receives his second COVID-19 vaccination this morning at 9 a.m. in York.

Heavy Rotation.
Here’s some deep African funk to get your Monday morning going. It’s Osayomore Joseph & the Creative Seven with ‘Africa is My Root.’ If you love Fela Kuti or King Sunny Ade, you’re going to groove on this.

Monday’s Gratuitous Baseball Link.
So here’s a Baltimore-New York result that I’m not wincing at: The O’s got past New York 10-6 on Sunday at home at Camden Yards.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.