Australia’s Most Popular Baby Names Show Unique Style
Australia’s most popular baby names are a unique mix of international favorites and local specialties. The country’s most popular baby names of 2019 have just been revealed, so let’s dive down under and look at what’s hot and what’s new with Aussie parents.
The full Top 100 data is in McCrindle’s Baby Names Australia 2020 Report.
The Top 10
In Australia, as in other countries, change happens s-l-o-w-l-y at the very top of the charts. The most popular boy name, Oliver, is number one for the seventh year running, and Charlotte for the fifth year running, since 2015 when the UK’s Princess Charlotte was born.
Although the names themselves haven’t changed much, each year fewer children get the most popular names as parents become ever more individual in their choices — just like in many other countries. Back in 2012, 10.4% of Australian children got a Top 10 name, but in 2019 it was down to 9.3%. In 2012, 40.6% of new babies had a Top 100 name, but in 2019 only 38.4% did. The gap in numbers is also closing fast between Charlotte and the second most popular name, Olivia.
Top 100 Trends
Nicknames: One of the first things you may notice on the Top 100 list is a lot of nicknames. Welcome to Australia! Charlie is popular for both boys and girls, and there’s also vintage Sadie and Billy, cute Evie, international Max. Some of the most distinctively Australian nicknames, which we think deserve more love in the wider world, are Billie for girls and Nate for boys.
Less is more: Beside nicknames, there are lots of short standalone names on the list. Several four-letter names — Theo, Beau and Luna — were among the fastest-rising names of 2019, while Leo, Hugo and Ivy were some of the biggest climbers of the last decade. Eden, Lara and Ali are some of the most distinctively Aussie short names.
Royalty: Australia has close links to the British royal family, and it shows in the nation’s favorite names. Along with Charlotte at number one, it can’t be a coincidence that the names of the youngest generation of royals — George, Louis, Archie, Arthur and Alexander — all rose in 2019.
Biblical names: It’s out with the old, in with the new! Fresh biblical boy names Ari, Ezra and Aaron entered the Top 100 this year, while Toby and Nathan dropped out. Other biblical names rising in Australia include Eli, Jude, Gabriel, and classic Abigail and Sarah.
Scottish sweethearts: We can’t talk about Aussie baby names without mentioning the trifecta of Hamish, Angus and Lachlan. All originally Scottish and Irish, and all now enthusiastically used by parents in Australia (and New Zealand). Patrick is also more popular in Australia than anywhere else except Ireland.
Uniquely Aussie Names
How do Australia’s top names compare with other countries? As you might guess, Aussie parents have a lot in common with their neighbors in New Zealand. In 2019, 85 girl names and 80 boy names were in the Top 100 in both countries.
The UK is the next closest in name style. Australia’s Top 100 shares 69 girl names and 66 boy names with England and Wales in 2018 (the latest data available), and 70 girl names and 61 boy names with Scotland in 2019. Australia is a little more distinct from the US, although with 59 girl names and 54 boy names in common, they still share over half their Top 100. (This is America’s 2018 list, because of the delay in the 2019 data.)
A few names are only in the Top 100 in Australia, not in any of these other countries:
Australia vs USA
Aussie parents are early adopters of some names, like Bodhi, Kai, Elsie and Matilda, that are still working their way up the charts in the US. Others, like Tyler and Alexis, are past their peak for American parents but still holding out in Australia.
Popular Aussie names that are red-hot for export include nickname-style girl names Billie, Bonnie, Frankie and Pippa, and buttoned-up boy names Hugo, Jasper and Marcus. We’re also ready to ring the changes on gender — how smart would Darcy be on a boy?
These are all the names that are the Top 100 in Australia, but not in the US (in 2018).
Tell us in the comments: what are your favorite Australian baby names and trends?
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on June 6th, 2020 at 1:31 am
As an Aussie, these names are very familiar! Thanks for covering the McCrindle report, I’ve been waiting for it this year.
I was surprised that Rose has dropped off quite a bit considering the popularity of other botanical names here currently.
Also, I’ve only ever known boys called Darcy, never seen it on a girl. I figured this would increase with Bec and Chris Judd’s twins who were born a couple of years ago (one named Darcy) who are in the media quite a bit.
on June 6th, 2020 at 8:18 am
I’m also from Australia and have only ever met male Darcys. It’s much more suited to boys to me but I guess it’s what you’re used to!
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