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The Top Global Names Right Now

January 16, 2020 Emma Waterhouse

The popularity of baby names is usually country- or even region-specific, with the top names in the US different from those in the UK different from those in Sweden and Spain.

But as the world gets smaller, there’s a growing cadre of names that rank highly on the lists of a wide range of countries.

With the recent release of 2019 baby name statistics from Albania, Bulgaria, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland, Turkey and the Flanders region of Belgium, we have brand-new data on which names are the current global stars.

Top International Names 

These rankings are based primarily on the number of times each name featured in a national Top 10, taking into account other high rankings (where available) and the popularity of closely related names.

Girl Names

1. Mila — Featured in the Top 10 in Flanders, Monaco, the Netherlands and New Zealand, and in the Top 40 in Scotland. Related Milou appeared in the Dutch Top 20, alongside Milan in the Top 10 for boys.

2. Amelia — Top 10 in Albania (alongside Amelja), NZ and Scotland.

3. Olivia — Top 10 in Flanders, NZ and Scotland, and also in the Dutch Top 15.

4. Sophie — Top 10 in NL, NZ and Scotland, alongside Sophia in the Scottish Top 15.

5. Isla — Top 10 in NZ and Scotland, and soundalike Ajla featured in the Albanian Top 10. Ayla also made the Scottish Top 50.

6. Victoria — Top 10 in Monaco, and the Viktoria spelling was the #1 name in Bulgaria. Victor/Viktor also ranked highly for boys in Flanders.

7. Charlotte — Top 10 in Monaco, NZ and Scotland. Related Charlie also made the NZ and Scottish Top 10 for boys.

8. Emma — Top 10 in Flanders and NL, and Top 30 in Scotland.

9. Ella — Top 10 in Flanders and Scotland, and Top 40 in NL.

10. Ava — Top 10 in NZ and Scotland.

Boy Names

1. Noah — Top 10 in Flanders, NL, NZ and Scotland.

2. Lucas — Top 10 in Flanders, NL (alongside Luuk) and NZ, and in the Scottish Top 15. Related Luca featured in the Dutch Top 30, and Luke in the Scottish Top 50.

3. Leo — Top 10 in Monaco, NZ and Scotland, and Leon made the Flemish Top 10.

4. James — Top 10 in NL, NZ and Scotland.

5. Louis — Top 10 in Flanders (alongside Louise for girls) and Monaco, and Luis was Top 10 in Albania.

6. Liam — Top 10 in Flanders and NL, and related William was Top 10 in NZ. Both made the Scottish Top 40.

7. Jack — Top 10 in NZ and Scotland, and Top 40 in NL.

8. Oliver — Top 10 in NZ and Scotland, and Olivier featured in the Dutch Top 40.

9. George — Top 10 in NZ and Top 40 in Scotland. Georgi was in the Bulgarian Top 5.

10. Mateo — Top 10 in Albania, and the Matteo spelling was Top 10 in Monaco.

Top International Names of 2018

There’s still a lot of national data outstanding for 2019, so the above rankings are only provisional. However, we have access to a very large range of data for the previous year: from countries as far-flung as Canada, Denmark, France, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Spain and Turkey.

Here are the international stars of 2018, based on the same criteria:

Girls

1. Sofia — 21 appearances in international Top 10 lists, together with its variant spellings (including the closely related Sofie/Sophie).

2. Emma (Ema) — 17 appearances

3. Olivia (Oliwia) — 11 appearances, and brother name Oliver made 10 appearances for boys.

4. Anna (Ana) — 11 appearances

5. Ella — 10 appearances. Related Ellie and Elsa also made the Top 10 once each.

6. Amelia (Amelija) — 9 appearances. Amalie also made one Top 10 list, and soundalike Emilia/Emilija made four.

7. Mia — 9 appearances

8. Emily (Emilie) — 8 appearances. Emilia/Emilija featured in four Top 10 lists.

9. Isla — 7 appearances

10. Lena (et al) — although Lena itself made only 4 appearances, the L—a shape proved hugely popular in 2018: other international Top 10 names included Lina, Lea, Lana, Lara, Lejla, Liepa, Luca and Laura.

Honorable mentions: Ava, Alice, Mila, Julia, Hanna, Maria.

Boys

1. Noah — 13 appearances

2. Lucas (Lukas) — 11 appearances. Luke, Luuk and Luka also made one Top 10 each.

3. Leo — 10 appearances. Leon featured in two Top 10 lists and Leonardo made one.

4. Oliver — 10 appearances

5. William — 6 appearances, and the related name Liam made 5 appearances.

6. Jack — 6 appearances, and Jaka also made one list.

7. Daniel (Daniil) — 5 appearances, and short form Daan also made the Dutch Top 10.

8. Adam — 5 appearances

9. Alexander — 5 appearances, including variant spellings.

10. Elias — 5 appearances

Honorable mentions: James, Jacob, Arthur, David, Gabriel, Hugo, Jonas, Louis, Thomas.

What are your favorite top international names? And which unusual international options would you recommend? Tell us below!

About the author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse — better known as @katinka around these parts — joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from pregnancy and birth to unique baby names from fiction and fantasy. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active Forums community ticking. A linguist by background, Emma speaks six languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and three young children. You can reach her at emma@nameberry.com.

View all of Emma Waterhouse's articles

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