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Australia's Top Baby Names of 2020

Australia's Top Baby Names of 2020

Australia’s top baby names of 2020 have arrived! (Yes, less than a week after the American charts — it’s a great time of year for name data lovers.)

This is how it works in Australia. Each state releases their own baby name statistics over the first few months of the year — more on that later — then the analysts at McCrindle put it all together into a national Top 100 report.

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Top 10 Names in Australia

The number one names in Australia, Charlotte and Oliver, are unchanged from 2019. The Top 10 names also remained almost the same, with just one change for each gender: for girls, Matilda replaced Harper, and for boys, Elijah ousted James.

Australia shares about half its Top 10 with the USA. Names on both lists — great if you’re looking for an international crowd-pleaser — are Charlotte, Amelia, Olivia, Mia and Ava for girls; and Oliver, Noah, William, Henry, Lucas and Elijah for boys.

These were Australia’s Top 10 names of 2020:

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Trends in the Top 100

Aussie parents are drawn to names with strong, sonorous vowels: most of the Top 20 girl names end in a vowel sound, and boy names with vowel endings, such as Noah, Leo and Henry, are on the rise.

Nature names remain popular for girls: Willow, Hazel, Violet and Ivy are among the fastest-rising names of the last ten years. There’s even a new nature name, River,  in the boys’ Top 100 this year.

The British royal family captures the hearts of many Australians, so it’s no surprise that many of the top baby names have an air of royalty. William, Archie, George and Charles all rose in the rankings this year.

As in other countries, names are becoming ever more varied and individual, with the most popular names no longer given to so many children. Ashley Fell, a spokesperson for McCrindle, says, “Millennial parents grew up with a lot of Sarah’s and Matthew’s in their school class rooms, and so are looking for names with greater individuality for their children… [they] are choosing more diverse (and relaxed!) names for their children, which is quite appropriate as their Generation Alpha children will be growing up in more diverse classrooms, communities and workplaces in the future.”

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Moving Up, Moving Down

The fastest-climbing girl names in the Top 100 were Addison, which shot up 33 places, followed by Rosie and Billie. For boys, the fastest climbers were Ari, Caleb and Ryder, which all rose by 15 places.

Over the last ten years (from 2010-2020), some of the names that have risen highest include fresh and vintage botanicals for girls (Willow, Hazel, Violet), and names ending in O for boys (Leo, Hugo, Arlo).

And what’s next on the horizon? In 2020, ten new girl names and five new boy names entered (or re-entered) the Top 100:

For every name that enters, one must leave. Sometimes the replacements feel like natural successors: Madeline is out, Adeline is in. Unisex girl name Riley is out, but Remi is in. We can’t generalize too much from such a small group, but this list shows names starting with L going up for boys, more nicknames rising for girls, and for both sexes, a final farewell to some of the most popular names of the 1990s.

These names dropped out of Australia’s Top 100 in 2020:

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State Favorites

Parents’ favorite names were broadly the same across the whole of Australia, but there was some regional variation.

While Charlotte and Oliver were the most popular names in most states and territories, the top girl name was Amelia and New South Wales, and Isla in Western Australia; and the most popular boy name was William in Northern Territory, and Henry in the Australian Capital Territory.

Tasmania, with its small population, was the most divergent. Charlie and Willow were the number one names, and only there were Ruby and Lucy in the Top Five.

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Australia vs USA

Since America’s top baby names of 2020 have also just been released, we compared the two countries.

Australia and the US only share about half the names in their Top 100. Many of the Aussie names have a “British” feel, such as Imogen and Archie. This shows the close cultural links between the two countries, but also that the world of baby name trends is more complex than just US versus UK.

Some names and styles, however, are distinctly Aussie. Matilda, Billie, Lachlan and Angus are all particular favorites, and no one does nicknames quite like Australians. Ashley Fell says, “In true Aussie fashion, we are… seeing the trend of parents using nicknames as first names for their child, as well as the trend of shortening names and adding an ie to the end (seen in names like Evie, Frankie and Sadie).”

These names are in the Top 100 in Australia, but not the US:

For more namespiration from down under, check out our list of Australian baby names.

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Got a name story to tell? If you'd like to write about your personal experience with your own name, your child's name, names in your family or your culture, we'd love to consider your story for publication on Nameberry. Email us a sentence or two about your idea at clare@nameberry.com

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from the next high-rising names to how to choose a multilingual name, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. She has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and lives in England with her husband and toddler. You can follow everything she reads about names on Twitter or Scoop.it, or reach her at clare@nameberry.com

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