Australian Baby Names: Fastest Rising Top 100 Names–Aria, Penelope and Lincoln

April 24, 2014 WaltzingMoreThanMatilda

By Anna Otto, WaltzingMoreThanMatilda

The Australian birth data is generally released by each state and territory between New Year and Easter, culminating in the national Top 100. Below are the names which rose the most in 2013, and some possible reasons why they might be doing so well at present. People from other countries may be interested to compare this to their own fastest-rising names, when all the data is in. I have also written an article on my site on those Top 100 names that rose significantly in several states, which has slightly different information.



In 2012 Aria was a newcomer to the national Top 100, rising more than 18 places to join it. In 2013 its success continued as the #1 rising name, leaping 27 places to #57. Aria is one of the main characters in the Pretty Little Liars book and television series, and it sounds similar to Arya from Game of Thrones. Its Italian origins make this a good cross-cultural choice too.


I suspect Penelope‘s entrance into the Top 100 has caused some dismay. It’s certainly made me eat humble pie, as I was foolish enough last year to reassure parents that Penelope was not too popular when you had a careful look at the available data. I began to get an inkling I had made a boo-boo when day after day, I saw that the search term “popularity of Penelope in Australia” had come up yet again. I couldn’t help worrying that if all these people trustingly chose the name Penelope, its popularity was sure to increase dramatically. My fears proved not unfounded, as Penelope rose more than 100 places in one state, and went up at least 20 places nationally to #81. A slew of celebrity babies named Penelope has helped this name become hot property, and it’s back on the Top 100 for the first time since the 1970s.


Eloise has risen steadily since the 1970s, and been in the Top 100 since 2011. In 2013 it rose 18 places to #68. It fits in with the trend for names beginning with El, such as Ellie and Elena, and has a similar sound to Alice and Elsie.


Lillian just scraped into the Top 100 in 2012, the first time it has been there since the 1930s. Its 2013 position shows that was no flash in the pan, as it increased its popularity by 18 places to reach #82. With Lily falling in popularity, other Lil names have stepped up as replacements, and Lillian is the most successful.


Evelyn has been in the Top 100 since 2011, and in 2012 rose 12 places. Last year it climbed 16 places to #43 – the first time it has been in the Top 50 since the 1900s, and the highest it has ever been. The fashionable V sound in Evelyn follows hard on the heels of Ivy, Evie, Eva, and Ava.



Even though Louis has charted since the 1900s, it was new to the Top 100 last year, rising at least 27 places to #74 to become the #1 rising name in the country for 2013. Louis has been rising for several years now, with a definite up-tick since One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson came on the scene. It was only a matter of time before it made the Top 100 – but being chosen as a royal middle name can’t have done any harm.


Nathaniel is another newcomer to the Top 100 charts, gaining at least 22 places to reach #79. Nathaniel has made smooth and steady progress up the charts since the 1970s, and its entry into the Top 100 coincides with the release of the first successful singles of pop singer Nathaniel (thanks to Ebony at Babynameobsessed for this tip). Another famous Australian namesake is Nathaniel Buzolic from The Vampire Diaries. Nathaniel also provides another way to get the popular short form Nate.


Ryder joined the Top 100 in 2011, perhaps influenced by the character of Flynn Rider in Disney film Tangled, and last year climbed 21 places to reach #65. With familiar Riley and Ryan beginning to fall in popularity, Ryder has stepped into the breach to give a more modern name with a Ry sound. The character of Ryder Lynn in Glee might have helped too.


Hudson entered the Top 100 in 2011, and was one of the fastest-rising names of 2012. It continues to power up the charts, rising 18 places last year to reach #33, and becoming a Top 50 name for the first time. Hudson has been doing very well since being chosen as a baby name by two celebrities – TV chef Curtis Stone in 2011, and pop star Guy Sebastian in 2012.


Lincoln has charted since the 1960s and became a Top 100 name in 2009, after rising during the years British-Australian actor Dominic Purcell played Lincoln Burrows on Prison Break. It was a fast-rising name of 2012, and before all the data had come in, I predicted it would make the national Top 50 for 2013. It rose 17 places and just scraped in at #50, so a close call! Lincoln Younes is an actor on soapie Home and Away, and the name Lincoln has been increasing in popularity ever since he joined the show in 2011.

Other Names That Rose

NOTE: The national Top 100 in Australia is calculated by McCrindle Research, from data provided by individual states and territories, and using combined spellings of names. States and territories only release a Top 100, or in some cases, just a Top 50 or even Top 20. There is no national release of all birth data each year, as there is in England/Wales and the United States.

About the author


Waltzing More Than Matilda is the creation of Anna Otto, who blogs about a wide variety of Australian names, and Aussie name trends.

View all of waltzingmorethanmatilda's articles


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