Top baby names of 2018

For every year since 2013, Oliver has been the most popular name chosen for newborn baby boys in New Zealand – and last year was no different. In 2018, 293 Kiwi families chose the name. Last year’s new leader for the girls, Charlotte, keeps the top spot with 233 more taking on the name last year.

The most astonishing statistic released by the Department of Internal Affairs’ Smart Start website shows that in 2018, over 18,000 different names were chosen for newborn babies in New Zealand. That’s an increase of 5,000 from 2017 (or around 38% more!).

Most popular names in 2018

While parents are choosing a wider range of names for their children than in the past, a lot of names still remain popular, year after year. The most popular boys’ names in 2018 were Oliver, Jack, Noah, Leo, Hunter, George, William, Lucas, James, and Mason. Leo was the only newcomer to the top 10.

For girls, the most popular were Charlotte, Isla, Olivia, Amelia, Harper, Ella, Isabella, Emily, Mia, and Ava. Ella and Isabella were new to the top 10.

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.

The name trends for 2019

So what will be the on-trend names for 2019? Good question. I misplaced my crystal ball so unfortunately I can’t tell you. But I can take a few guesses at what may be moving up in popularity.

For girls, I think nature names like Hazel, Willow, Lily, Olive, Violet, and Ivy, will grow in popularity as society makes a more determined effort to conserve our natural environment. For the boys, I’m picking that somewhat old-school names with plenty of character will make a comeback, ie, Hudson, Quinn, Sebastian, Tyler, Jasper, and Gabriel.

If you’re planning on having a baby, what are you considering when choosing a name? For instance, are you thinking about family names? Do you prefer traditional or quirky? Where is your inspiration coming from?

New Zealand’s 100 most popular baby names in 2018

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

her world julieWritten by Julie Scanlon

Julie is Editor for Kidspot NZ and our MVP. Her hobbies include laughing uncontrollably at her own jokes, annoying her family by asking questions about movie plots, and never taking anything too seriously. She speaks a little Spanish and a lot of Yorkshire. 

Favourite motto to live by: “It ain’t nothing but a thing”


  1. Alezandra 03/03/2019 at 10:40 pm

    So many choices now and lots of options to choose from now. Saw a name that I like and it’s Phoenix :p or maybe a trend might emerge after the whole Dark Phoenix movie that may come out.

  2. kymmage 01/03/2019 at 6:50 am

    I am an unusual names mum. Haha. I look at the top 1000 names and then ban them. Both of my girls have real names but they just weren’t popular. My eldest’s name was in the top 1000 in the early 90s 😂

  3. MuddledUpMolly 27/02/2019 at 3:46 pm

    Oh dear, we have the number 2 and number 5 girl’s names in our family! Couldn’t be helped though, I just love them both 🙂

  4. SarahBlair 27/02/2019 at 1:58 pm

    My name is on the list, it always seems to be on popular name lists somewhere, my 17 year old daughter is also there, number 47, and my 15 year olds name has the number 18 spot but hers is spelled Jorja. My other 4 kids names aren’t there.

  5. dawnblyth 27/02/2019 at 11:24 am

    Both my boys make this list. When we had our first it wa an uncommon name but now it’s quite common

  6. felicity beets 24/02/2019 at 9:07 am

    I love the nature names that are becoming popular for girls. I also like that they are a bit different.

  7. Shorrty4life1 13/02/2019 at 12:52 pm

    I love the name Leo. Very cool. Wow Oliver is off the hook with top name since 2013. To be honest I’ve heard of heaps of friends calling their babies that name. But I’d rather have a child with an uncommon name that people are like wow I love that name.

  8. Jen_Wiig 13/02/2019 at 12:51 pm

    I love unusual names, all 3 of my boys have whats consoder3d different or unique names but what i did make sure of was they were spelt how they sounded… But every now and then #2s and #3s will get a veriation of their name.
    If i were to have anymore ive always lived Jett for a boy and Azra for a girl

  9. Mands1980 12/02/2019 at 12:21 pm

    These name lists have not changed much over the years my children’s names are all on here with an 8,14 and 22 so over the years I’m surprised they are still high on the list it’s great though to have more kids with these names. At my sons school I think there is 3-4 Harry’s in his year group at year 7 out of approx 30 children.

  10. Bevik1971 06/02/2019 at 4:05 pm

    Popular names from my birth year were pretty plain haha 🙂 My 6 year old daughter’s name is number 75 on the mot popular list for 2018 though 🙂 We chose it because we liked it and it wasn’t really common but not not really different either

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