A few weeks ago, I wrote an article looking at names that are illegal to name your child in the state of Michigan and much of the country. That got me thinking about what are the names Michiganders are (legally) naming their children.

Names are so important. They help shape our personality and provide context on our culture to people before they even meet us in person. When you're expecting a child, naming them is a huge undertaking. You're giving a name to another person that they have to carry for the rest of their life.

Some people like to keep names simple. After all, a rather generic name is a safe bet that your kid won't have to endure much ridicule over their name. But your kid could be a bit nixed that their name isn't unique.

Go the unique route and they could become frustrated that other people won't spell or pronounce their name properly. But they'll have the chance to cherish being one of a kind in a special way.

As you can tell by the byline, I have a rather generic name. According to Behind the Name, Jacob was the 7th-most popular name for boys in the country in 1994, the year I was born. Real original, mom. But, most Jacobs go by Jake, so sticking with my full name has lent me some points in the unique category. It's actually interesting to me that my name is even more popular in Michigan over the past decade.

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For my kids, their names are a mixture of unique and common. Something safe and something unique to help them carve out their own personalities and have a bit of a choice when it comes to deciding which of their names they'll go by.

There are so many things that inspire us to choose the names for our children, and seeing how those choices evolve over time is rather intriguing. For the list below, we're focusing on the previous decade, 2010-2019 here in the state of Michigan.

The Top 50 Baby Names in Michigan of the Past Decade

These are the top 50 names, the top 25 feminine and 25 masculine names sorted by frequency, in the state of Michigan over the last decade vital stats on the state's official website.

Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison