Baby Names Australia 2017 Report

Monday, May 01, 2017

Around one in ten of Australia’s 300,000 babies born in the last year were given one of the Top 10 baby names. There were 2,145 boys named Oliver and 1,817 girls named Charlotte last year. You can read the full 2017 Baby Names Australia report here

Oliver and Charlotte take out the top baby names

Maintaining the top spot from 2014 is Oliver, having overtaken Jack and William which were first in 2011 and 2012-2013 respectively. Oliver was the top boys’ name in all states (except WA where Jack ranked number one). Jack also took out the top spot in the NT, while William was number one in the ACT.

Charlotte, with 1,817 occurrences is the top girl baby name in Australia for the second year in a row, exceeding Olivia – who held the top rank in 2014. Charlotte took out the top baby girl name in every state but NSW, where Olivia was more popular.

Four new boys’ and five new girls’ names enter the top 100

Last year four new boys’ names and five new girl’s names entered the top 100 list. For boys, Sonny (84th) makes a first ever entrance into the Top 100 along with Vincent (99th) and Parker (100th). Meanwhile John (94th) makes a comeback- having been the number one name nationally throughout much of the 1930’s and 1940’s. These names enter at the expense of Braxton, Jesse, Harley and Jett.

For girls, names making the Top 100 for the first time include Bonnie (82nd), Thea (85th), Quinn (90th), Florence (97th)and Brooklyn (99th). These names enter at the expense of Lillian, Leah, Gabriella, Maryam and Maggie.

Extinction and reinvention

Wayne, Darren, Brett and Craig all achieved popularity in the 1960s /70s, but by the 90s were also out of the Top 100. Jack, which has had more years at number one this century than any other boys name, was not even in the Top 100 in 1985. It is an example of the 100 year return, having been the fifth most popular name in the 1920s, before its decline until recent years. 

Throughout the 1960s, Sharon was a Top 10 name, even becoming the second most popular name for two years in the mid-1960s. However, by the late 1970s the name had dropped towards the end of the list and has not appeared in the Top 100 since 1983. Kylie, Donna and Tracey have encountered similar patterns of popularity in the 60s/70s, but have all dropped out of the Top 100 in the 80s/90s.

Grace was a moderately popular girls’ name at the turn of the 20th century, coming to a near decline from the 1910s to 1970s but climbing significantly in popularity since the 1980s. Over the last five years it has been consistently rising in popularity and for two years now has been in the Top 10. Charlotte is another example of a near extinct name that has significant resurgence. In 1989 it debuted back in the Top 100 for the first time in the modern era, at 86th, and by 2013 it achieved first position on the list, which it has retained for four of the last five years.

Top names in previous decades

Joshua was the most popular boys’ name in Australia for almost a decade from the mid 1990’s until 2003. Its reign at the top of the list is a feat unequalled even by Jack which replaced it as the top name in 2004 but only held an uninterrupted run for five years. Not since the dominance of David in the 1960’s or Michael in the 1970’s has a boys’ name had such a run. However the decline in popularity of Joshua has been consistent since then, falling 15 places to 29th just in the last five years. 20 years ago there were four times as many babies given the name Joshua each year compared to today.

Jessica was Australia’s most popular girls’ name for an unprecedented 16 years out of the 18 years from 1984 to 2001 inclusive. By the mid 1990’s, approximately one in every 30 girls born in Australia was named Jessica compared to just one in 85 today given the current top girls’ name Charlotte. In just over a decade, Jessica dropped from first to 29th. In the five years since 2013, Jessica has dropped another 47 places to 75th. Based on the current trends, Jessica will be out of the Top 100 by 2020, less than 20 years after it was in top spot.

Botanic themes

Girls’ names are strongly influenced by all things botanical with examples being Lily (13th), Ivy (20th) Willow (27th), Violet (38th), Jasmine (46th), Poppy (52nd), Rose (76th), Daisy (79th) and Olive (81st). In contrast, no Top 100 boys’ names have botanic influences.

A Royal Influence

The original category of celebrities – the royals – have not only captured the loyalty and affections of modern Australians but contribute to significantly influence their choice in baby names. The younger generation of the Royal family have resonated with their contemporary generation Y’s in Australia who are now also in their family forming life-stage. The births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte have contributed to the popularity of these names. Like George’s rank which increased from 71st in 2012 to 38th in 2016, in 2015 we saw the name Charlotte overtake Olivia as the nation’s most popular baby girl name. Charlotte is once again the top baby girl name for 2016.

In addition to George and Charlotte, other well-known royal names that feature in the Top 100 include William, Henry, Edward, Charles, Elizabeth, Alexandra and Victoria.

Past reports 

Top Baby Names Revealed

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Around 1 in 10 Australian babies last year were given one of the Top 10 baby names; a total of 28,640 out of the total Australian annual births of 298,200. There were 2,283 boys named Oliver and 1,737 girls named Charlotte last year.

Charlotte takes top spot after Olivia’s 3 year reign

Charlotte, with 1,737 occurrences is the top girl baby name in Australia for 2015, taking the top spot from Olivia which is now in 2nd place.

Olivia was the most popular girls’ name in 2014 but has now fallen behind by 67 occurrences.

Charlotte was the most popular baby girls’ name in almost every state while Olivia was top in VIC and WA.

Oliver most popular in the states but Jack more popular in the territories

Keeping the top spot from 2014 is Oliver, the top boy baby name in Australia for 2015 having overtaken Jack and William which were 1st in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Oliver was the top boys’ name in all 6 states (NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA, TAS) while Jack was the top boy baby name in the Northern Territory.

There were 421 more instances of Oliver than William, an increase on the margin of 191 from 2014. In 2015, there were 2,283 boys named Oliver, 1,862 named William and 1,802 named Jack which is a decrease for both William and Jack on 2014.

Top 10 Girl's name trends and insights

Most of the top 10 girls’ names from 2014 have held on to a top 10 ranking in 2015 except for Ruby which has slipped out of the top 10 down to 13th place. In Ruby’s place, Grace has reached top 10 status. Charlotte, Amelia, Sophia and Chloe all improved on their 2014 ranking with Olivia, Mia, Emily, Sophie and Ruby being the ones which have dropped. Ava was the only name to retain the same ranking.

Top 10 Boy’s name trends and insights

Oliver remains to be the top boy baby name of 2015, holding this position strongly since 2014. 9 out of the top 10 boys’ names held onto their top 10 ranking with Alexander falling out of the top 10 to 15th place, with Lachlan (rank 10th) taking his spot. While none of top 4 names changed positions, Jackson dropped from 5th to 7th and Thomas, James and Ethan increased their rank within the top 10 names.

7 new boy’s and 9 new girls’ names enter the top 100

The names Spencer, Jesse, Arlo, Harley, Darcy, Jett and Lewis have entered the list for the boys’ at the expense of Bailey, Mitchell, David, Aaron, John, Phoenix and Anthony.

As for the girls; Aurora, Billie, Eve, Daisy, Aisha, Leah, Gabriella, Maryam and Maggie have entered the top 100 with; Lexi, Jade, Indie, Pippa, Amelie, Amber, Elise, Natalie and Lacey dropping out of the list.

George and Charlotte; A royal influence

The original category of celebrities – the royals – have not only captured the loyalty and affections of modern Australians but continue to significantly influence their choice in baby names.

The birth of the Royal Princess in May 2014 (Charlotte Elizabeth Diana) has also contributed to the royal baby name trend. Like George’s rank, which increased from 71st in 2012 to 36th in 2015, in 2015 we saw the name Charlotte gain 1st position, taking the top spot from Olivia in 2014.

Download Baby Names Australia 2016. 

Click here to download the full report.

The Top 10 Baby Names from 2015

Friday, March 18, 2016

This just in, Charlotte and Oliver are the top baby names for 2015! Data released by Births, Deaths and Marriages has been analysed by McCrindle Research to reveal the top 10 most popular names of choice for babies born in the last year.

Charlotte regains her position as the top baby girl name

Charlotte is, once again, the top baby name for 2015, regaining her position from Olivia who was the 2014 top baby girl name. Charlotte was the most popular girls’ name from 2011-2013, and has regained first position following the birth of the Princess Charlotte of Cambridge in May of 2015.

Traditional over trendy

There is a ‘Hundred-Year Return’ theme taking place, with many of the top names of today also amongst the top names a century ago, while names of a few decades ago have fallen out of favour. Today’s parents are not choosing names of their own generation, rather, century-old names dominate the Top 10 Baby Names list. William is an example of the ‘hundred-year’ return, having ranked 2nd overall in NSW in the 1910s and ranking second in 2015. Jack climbed up to 5th place in the 1920s before seeing a steep decline from the 1940s to 1970s, with a marked resurgence over the last decade and making it to top ten, and Oliver, Ethan and Thomas have similarly returned to popularity. Grace was a popular girls’ name at the turn of the 20th century, becoming almost extinct from the 1910s to 1970s but climbing significantly in popularity since the 1980s with the rise to the Top 10 with Charlotte and AVA having followed similar trends.

Flowing girls names, short boys’ names

Parents are choosing softer-sounding girls’ names and firmer sounding boys’, through the use of vowels and consonants. Half of the top 10 girls names end with the letter ‘a’ (Olivia, Amelia, Ava, Mia and Sofia). On the boy’s list, however, majority of the top 10 end with a consonant sound (all apart from Noah).

A royal influence

The original category of celebrities – the royals – have not only captured the loyalty and affections of modern Australians but continue to significantly influence their choice in baby names. Prince William’s popularity first placed William in the Top 10 in 2001 and the name’s popularity has grown significantly since then. In 2011, the year of the royal wedding, William became the most popular boy’s name Australia-wide and maintained this position until 2012 when Oliver took the top spot.

The birth of the royal princess in May of last year, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, has also contributed to the royal baby name trend. Like George’s rank, which increased from 71st to 42nd in 2014, we have seen the name of Charlotte regain first position for baby girls born in 2015.

Download the Top 10 Baby Names media release here


Baby Names Australia is produced from a comprehensive analysis of all of the registered baby names across the 8 Births, Deaths and Marriages offices in Australia (NSW, VIC, QLD, WA, SA, TAS and NT). Because NSW and SA have only released their top 10, we have only provided the top 10 list of baby names for 2015.

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