Top baby names of 2016

In 2016, parents in New Zealand chose over 18,000 different names for their newborn babies. That’s around 30% more names than during 2015! Half a century ago, the most popular boys’ name (David) was given to 1,139 babies – almost three times as many as the current favourite, despite an increased number of babies being born. Twenty years ago, the most popular choices, Joshua and Jessica, were selected around twice as often as the number one names in 2016.

Most popular names in 2016

While a greater number of parents are choosing unique names for their children, a lot of names still remain popular, year after year. Statistics released by the Department of Internal Affairs show that the most popular boys’ names in 2016 were Oliver, Jack, William, Mason and James. Noah, Lucas, Leo and Max moved into the top 10 last year. For girls, the most popular were Olivia, Charlotte, Isla, Harper and Ella. Ava is the only new entrant to the top 10.

332 babies were named Oliver in 2016. According to Kidspot’s Baby Name Finder, the meaning of Oliver is related to the olive tree and can mean a symbol of peace.

266 babies were named Olivia in 2016 – a feminine form of the name Oliver, according to Kidspot’s Baby Name Finder.

Want to know what the most popular names were in the year your baby was born (or even yourself)? Pop over to the SmartStart website to go right back to 1954.

A century of baby names

Way back in 1915, the most popular names for baby boys were John, William and James – two of which are still popular today. On the other hand, popular choices for girls a century ago – Mary, Margaret and Dorothy – are rarely heard now.

In 1965, just over half a century ago, the most popular names were Karen, Susan and Sandra for girls and David, Michael and Paul for boys.


Century of baby names

New Zealand’s 100 most popular baby names in 2016

Rank Boys Girls
1 Oliver Olivia
2 Jack Charlotte
3 William Isla
4 Mason Harper
5 James Ella
6 Hunter Amelia
7 Noah Emily
8 Lucas Mia
9 Leo Sophie
10 Max Ava
11 Liam Ruby
12 George Lily
13 Thomas Isabella
14 Charlie Chloe
15 Cooper Mila
16 Ryan Zoe
17 Ethan Lucy
18 Benjamin Grace
19 Samuel Aria
20 Blake Georgia
21 Lachlan Evelyn
22 Carter Sophia
23 Arlo Eva
24 Jackson Matilda
25 Jacob Willow
26 Henry Emma
27 Elijah Hannah
28 Joshua Hazel
29 Connor Scarlett
30 Daniel Evie
31 Alexander Ivy
32 Levi Sienna
33 Luke Layla
34 Finn Alice
35 Isaac Maddison
36 Archie Mackenzie
37 Eli Maia
38 Luca Zara
39 Oscar Millie
40 Harrison Madison
41 Austin Stella
42 Riley Paige
43 Nathan Piper
44 Matthew Violet
45 Harry Indie
46 Lincoln Isabelle
47 Joseph Quinn
48 Beau Lilly
49 Tyler Thea
50 Logan Jessica
51 Michael Riley
52 Felix Ayla
53 Toby Alexis
54 Hugo Eden
55 Jayden Abigail
56 Jaxon Aaliyah
57 Aiden Olive
58 Archer Bella
59 Theodore Ellie
60 Xavier Summer
61 Sebastian Amber
62 Theo Poppy
63 Caleb Peyton
64 Ryder Nina
65 Dylan Freya
66 Ezra Penelope
67 Roman Harriet
68 Jordan Sarah
69 Jasper Florence
70 Braxton Holly
71 Flynn Elizabeth
72 Angus Sofia
73 Hudson Frankie
74 Edward Lola
75 Ashton Anna
76 Asher Phoebe
77 David Aurora
78 Zachary Maria
79 Quinn Eleanor
80 Jake Rose
81 Charles Pippa
82 Louis Jasmine
83 Adam Taylor
84 Arthur Leah
85 Leon Isabel
86 Harvey Lucia
87 John Zoey
88 Aaron Heidi
89 Gabriel Molly
90 Patrick Faith
91 Grayson Elsie
92 Kingston Ariana
93 Fletcher Brooklyn
94 Phoenix Billie
95 Beauden Charlie
96 Zion Emilia
97 Alex Victoria
98 Micah Madeleine
99 Nixon Hayley
100 Harley Esther

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