These were the top baby names in Minnesota in 2017

For the first time, officials looked at how the rankings differ when you consider the mother's race and ethnicity.
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For the first time, officials looked at how the rankings differ when you consider the mother's race and ethnicity.

The most popular baby girl name in Minnesota last year was Evelyn – only because most of the women who gave birth were white.

If you break down the rankings along racial lines, you'll find some significant differences. 

It's something new the Minnesota Department of Health did this year when compiling 2017's most popular baby names.

Instead of just listing off the most frequently given names for boys and girls born in Minnesota in 2017, researchers wanted to find out how the rankings changed when they considered the mother's race and ethnicity (which parents self-identify on their child’s birth record).

They also analyzed how the rankings changed within a race when you exclude one nationality (like Somalian or Mexican).

The result is a new look into the most popular names for non-white people in Minnesota.

Top baby girl names

Last year there were 70,192 births to Minnesota residents and 70 percent were to white women. 

"For that reason it is no surprise that the top baby names overall matched the most frequently used names for whites," the department says.

For example: Evelyn was the top girls name overall, but when you exclude whites, each race category had a different top baby girl name:

American Indian: Mila

Hispanic: Camila

Hispanic (not Mexican): Sofia

Black/African: Aisha

Black/African (not Somali): Ava

Asian: Olivia

Asian (not Hmong): Olivia

Still, a lot of favorite baby girl names crossed racial lines. Olivia was number two overall, number three for girls born to white women, and number one for those born to Asian women – whether Minnesota's Hmong population was included or not.

Sofia/Sophia made the top five among both Hispanic and Asian mothers, as did Isabella. Isabelle was number five for girls born to American Indian moms.

Top baby boy names

It was a big year for Oliver – the top boys baby name overall and for white mother. It was also the number two boy name for boys born to Hispanic, non-Mexican mothers and for Asian, non-Hmong moms. 

Jayden also made the top five for both Hispanic and Asian births. Here's the complete rundown:

American Indian: Elijah

Hispanic: Mateo

Hispanic (not Mexican): Mateo

Black/African: Mohamed 

Black/African (not Somali): Elijah

Asian: Aiden

Asian (not Hmong): Aiden

The department also noted Mohamed is among the most popular baby boy names in St. Cloud – a reflection of growing diversity in the community.

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