After two years at second place, Charlotte is back at the top of the list of the most popular baby names for girls in 2021. Oliver once again leads the list for boys, having held the spot since 2013.
Manaia comes in as the most evenly-split gender-neutral name, at a 50/50 split for boys and girls, with Quinn sitting just below the top of the list.
At the top of the lists for Māori baby names, based on criteria from the Te Taura Whiri Māori Language Commission, are Mia for girls and Nikau for boys.
Every year the Registrar-General shares the most popular baby names by gathering information from SmartStart. In 2021, an incredible 99% of babies born in Aotearoa were registered using the online tool for new parents.
“SmartStart makes it easy for parents to find out all the things that need to be done when a baby is born, starting with registering the birth”, says Registrar-General Births, Deaths and Marriages Jeff Montgomery.
“Registering your newborn makes sure they have an official identity from birth, so they can access their legal rights as they grow up.”
The site, which can be used anytime and on any device, also explains what parents need to do to get an IRD number for their baby, how to adjust a Ministry of Social Development benefit, and how to apply for the $60 a week BestStart payment. Registering your child in this way is free, fast and efficient. It also helps the tracking of trends in baby names.
Isla and Amelia are the second and third most popular girls’ names for 2021, having fought Charlotte for the top spot for the last three years. The same trend runs for boys’ names, with Noah and Jack coming in second and third after joining Oliver in the top three for the previous four years.
A new addition to the top ten boys’ names is Theodore, which has been creeping up the ranks in popularity since 2019.
In 2021, 56,013 births were registered in Aotearoa, with a total of 16,790 different first names. This shows a slow decline in births from the previous two years. A total of 17,749 different first names were given to 58,676 babies born in 2020. In 2019, there were 18,816 different first names given to 61,018 babies.
Tracking baby name data is one way that DIA creates a sense of belonging and collective memory to build an inclusive Aotearoa.