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ThuMay 8

National Dakota Day – May 8, 2025

National Dakota Day is celebrated on May 8 every year. It is a day to celebrate everyone named Dakota — from the Americas to Europe and the rest of the world. Dakota is a unisex name, taken from the name of two states, North Dakota and South Dakota in the United States. The Dakota people were indigenous Native Americans. The name translates to mean ‘friend,’ ‘friendly’ or ‘allies’ in the Santee and Yankton-Yanktonai dialects of the Dakota language. The U.S. Army Calvary units use the name ‘Dakota’ as a substitution for the letter ‘D’ — this has been a tradition since the 1800s.

History of National Dakota Day

The name Dakota has been used since the 1900s and continues to be given to babies as names, especially in the United States. It has a larger prevalence in males than females as in the total population of people named Dakota — approximately 70% are male and the other 30% are female. Dakota is ranked 3,754th amongst the most popular given names in the United States and has an estimated population of 3,840. For every 100,000 Americans, there are 1.2 people named Dakota and it is used as a first name 98% of the time.

In the past 100 years, according to data from the Social Security Administration (S.S.A.), the estimated population of people named Dakota in the United States is 106,690 people. It gained the most popularity as a baby name in 1994 when its usage went up by 127.1% and has been used in the U.S. ever since. In that year, 5,533 babies were named Dakota, which was 0.1502% of the baby boys born in the U.S. that year. The most the name’s popularity ever grew to was 0.181% — in this year alone, more than 7,000 boys were named Dakota.

In the United States, the ethnicity of people bearing the name ‘Dakota’ is 78% White, 14.7% Black, 3.5% Hispanic, 1.4% Asian or Pacific Islander, 0.9% American Indian or Alaskan Native, and 1.5% of mixed races. The state where you are most likely to meet a ‘Dakota’ is Maine as there are about 8.42 people named Dakota in every 100,000 Maine natives. Texas is the state with the most Dakotas with about 316 people named after it.

National Dakota Day timeline

Dakota Staton is Born

American Jazz Singer Dakota Staton is born.

Dakota Meyer is Born

The United States Marine and Medal of Honor recipient, Dakota Meyer, is born.

Dakota Johnson is Born

“50 Shades of Grey” star, Dakota Johnson, is born.

Dakota Fanning is Born

American Actress Dakota Fanning is born.

National Dakota Day FAQs

Did Dakota Johnson use a body double?

She only used a body double in one scene of “50 Shades of Grey.”

What is a good nickname for Dakota?

Good nicknames to give someone named Dakota is ‘Kota,’ ‘Dax,’ or ‘Koko.’

What language is Dakota?

It is a Siouan language spoken by the Dakota people of the Sioux tribes.

National Dakota Day Activities

  1. Become friends with a Dakota

    Celebrate the day by becoming friends with a Dakota. As it is easy connecting with people on social media, it is always a good place to start!

  2. Wish Dakota well

    Wish everyone bearing the name Dakota well. As the day is about them, it’s only befitting to do this.

  3. Spread awareness

    Spread awareness of National Dakota Day. The more people that know about the day, the better celebrated it will be.

5 Interesting Facts About Dakota Johnson

  1. She's a natural blonde

    She is mostly known as a brunette but she’s actually a natural blonde.

  2. She started off modeling

    She started off as a model and she signed a modeling deal in 2006 to boost her career.

  3. She owns a production company

    She’s not just an actress or model, she also co-owns her production company, Teatime Pictures, with former Netflix development executive Ro Donnelly.

  4. She went to rehab

    Dakota went to Rehab at 17 for addiction and has been sober since then.

  5. She’s a winner of Miss Golden Globe

    In 2006, she won Miss Golden Globe, an award also won by her mother when she was younger.

Why We Love National Dakota Day

  1. It makes all Dakotas feel special

    Celebrating National Dakota Day makes them feel special. You don’t have to be a celebrity to be celebrated.

  2. It drives adoption of the name

    More people would give the name to their children after seeing the name being celebrated. It increases the number of people named Dakota in the world.

  3. It brings people named Dakota together

    Seeing as their name is being celebrated, Dakotas out there are more likely to meet each other. What better way to celebrate your name day than by meeting other Dakotas?

National Dakota Day dates

2025May 8Thursday
2026May 8Friday
2027May 8Saturday
2028May 8Monday
2029May 8Tuesday

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