Australia’s Fastest Rising Top 100 Names


By Anna Otto, Waltzing More than Matilda

These are names which rose the fastest in Australia in 2014, calculated not only by overall national position, but by the number of states in which the name had significant gains. It also compares their progress in Australia with that in the US, UK, and New Zealand. 


Hazel just joined the national Top 100 as its fastest-rising name, going up 63 places to #88: the last time it was a Top 100 name was in the 1940s. The catalyst for Hazel’s entry to the Top 100 is last year’s teenage tearjerker, The Fault in Our Stars, based on the novel by John Green, and with Shailene Woodley in the role of Hazel. A fashionable retro name with a cool Z sound, chosen by several celebrities, Hazel was due for popularity. Just outside the US Top 100, it’s already Top 50 in New Zealand, but only in the 300s in England/Wales.

Eleanor was new to the national Top 100 last year, and went up 31 places to debut at #84. A classic never off the charts, Eleanor has not been in the Top 100 since the 1900s. Its ascent is in line with international trends, as Eleanor joined the US Top 100 last year, and has been Top 100 in the UK for decades. Elegant Eleanor fits in with the trend for El– names for girls, and can be shortened to Elle, Ella, Ellie, Nell, Nellie, and Nora. Such a lot of popular and fashionable nicknames!

Ariana just squeaked into the national Top 100 in 2013, and last year rose 27 places to #73 – around the same popularity as in New Zealand. The major influence on the popularity of this name is American pop singer Ariana Grande, who has a couple of Australian connections: she dated Jai Brooks from The Janoskians in 2013/14, and her 2014 song Problem featured Iggy Azalea: it was Grande’s first Top Ten hit in Australia. Ariana has been on the US Top 100 since 2001, and is rising steeply in England/Wales.

Aria has been on the Top 100 since 2012, and in 2013 was the #1 fastest-rising name nationally. Last year it rose 16 places to #41. A pretty multicultural choice finding favour everywhere, Aria has been aided by the TV show Pretty Little Liars, and the similar name Arya from Game of Thrones: its also one of the reasons Ariana is doing so well. Aria has been a Top 100 name in New Zealand since 2007 and is already a Top 25 name there, and been on the US Top 100 since 2012; it is rising steeply in England/Wales.

Evelyn has been on the national Top 100 since 2011, was one of the fastest-rising names of 2013, and last year rose 10 places to #33. A classic which was last on the Top 100 in the 1940s, Evelyn is benefiting from the trend for a strong V sound in girls’names, and the popular nickname Evie. Rising everywhere, Evelyn has been a Top 100 name in the US since 2002, in England/Wales since 2008, and New Zealand since 2011.


Maxwell was new to the Top 100 last year, and was the #1 fastest-rising boys’ name nationally, going up 43 places to debut at #97. Maxwell is a classic name never off the charts, and was last in the Top 100 during the 1950s. Fitting in with the trend for boys’names that shorten to Max, Maxwell is just outside the Top 100 and rising in both the US and England/Wales.

Fletcher joined the Top 100 last year, and went up 26 spots to debut at #99. Fletcher has been rising in the charts since the 1990s, perhaps under the influence of the 1980s film, The Bounty, with Mel Gibson in the role of mutineer Fletcher Christian. Fletcher joined the New Zealand Top 100 in 2010, but the name is quite a long way off popularity in either the US or England/Wales, so this is a name which resonates most in the southern hemisphere.

Harvey debuted on the Top 100 last year, rising 20 places to reach #84. A retro name which charted from the 1900s to the 1950s, rejoining the charts in the 1990s, Harvey has never been on the Top 100 before. It’s been a Top 100 name in the UK since the late 1990s, so it’s in line with British trends, and is also swiftly rising in the US.

George is a solid classic which has never been out of the Top 100, but last year it joined the Top 50 for the first time since the 1970s, rising 18 places to #42. After the birth of Prince George, the name George became one of the fastest-rising names of 2013, and its upwards progress continues. George has been highly popular in the UK for many years, and in 2013 rejoined the Top 10 in England/Wales, while in the US it also rose last year, and is higher than it’s been since 2002.

Nathaniel was one of the fastest-rising names of 2013, and last year parents opted to go straight for the short form, Nate, which rose 10 places to #43. Nate has been in the charts since the early 2000s, and this is the first time it has ever been in the Top 50. Nate is only popular in Australia, although it once made the bottom of the Top 100 in New Zealand, and is rising in the UK. It does not chart in the US.

About the Author

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