Canadian Names Unite the Nation
Canadian baby names are a perfect way to celebrate Canada's Thanksgiving holiday on Monday, Nameberry style.
Canada has its own distinct, diverse name landscape, but often gets overshadowed by its more populous neighbor to the south, and other English-speaking countries. One reason is that Canada doesn’t publish any national baby name statistics. Instead, each Canadian province and territory releases its top names at different points in the year, with varying conventions about how to count spellings and how much data they include.
With huge differences between populations in the thirteen provinces and territories — 85% of Canadian babies are born in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta or British Columbia — grouping all Canadian top names lists together can feel a bit unbalanced.
Not to mention language differences, like the English-French divide. Although some baby names are popular everywhere in Canada (as we’ll see below), the charts in Quebec are quite distinct from anywhere else. The Top 10 includes Florence, Romy, and Edouard, but nationally these names are down in the 30s and 40s, obscuring how popular they are for French Canadians.
Many parents use names from indigenous and other minority languages, which never make the top of the charts, but are an important part of Canada’s unique baby name profile.
To give you a flavor of Canadian baby names, we’ve rounded up the nation’s most popular names, and the Top 10 in each province and territory.
All-Round Canadian Names
Top 10 Canadian Names
Three names are in the Top 10 in every province. For girls, Olivia tops the charts almost everywhere, crossing geographic and language divides. For boys, Liam and William are universally popular, and Liam is the top boy name in five provinces.
Names in the Top 10 in most provinces are Amelia, Ava, Charlotte, Emma, and Sophia; and Benjamin, Jack, Noah, and Oliver. We can certainly count all these as favorite Canadian baby names.
Top 100 Names in Canada
Looking more widely, 31 girl names and 38 boy names rank in the Top 100 for all of Canada’s most populous provinces (Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia), making them all-round popular Canadian names:
These are not too different from American parents’ tastes. The only ones not in the US Top 100 are Clara, Julia and Rose for girls; Arthur, Felix, Theo and Zachary for boys; and Charlie for both sexes.
Distinctively Canadian names
Now for more local flavor. These names rank in the Top 100 in more than one province, but not in the USA. This means that if you meet a North American child with one of these names, there’s a higher-than-average chance they’ll be Canadian.
Top names in Canadian provinces and territories
These are the most recent baby name charts for each province and territory.
Data lovers take note: some provinces publish their full name lists, down to the truly unique ones, so follow those links for more Canadian namey goodness!
Ontario, the province with the largest population (over a third of Canadians live there), releases its annual baby name data near the end of the following year, so we don’t have the 2020 figures yet. It includes all names given to six or more girls or boys. Names with accents are considered different spellings, so for example Chloe, Chloé and Chloë are counted separately. (If they were combined, it would bump Chloe up from 10th place to 7th.)
Quebecois names are a real treat. Not only do they have a unique style, with elements of both French and North American trends, but the list includes publishes every name registered each year. Even those given to just one child. Even the triple-barreled ones, like Heavenly-Joy Zoe and Kylian Yves Junior. Enjoy!
Alberta is another name-lover’s dream, publishing every single name given each year, right down to Zylpha and Zyron.
BC publishes every name given to five or more girls or boys. A relatively high number of Indian and Pakistani names rank highly, such as Asees, which is 75 for girls, and Fateh, 111 for boys.
The Keystone State only releases its top ten baby names, within its annual report for the next year.