Popular baby names 2017
20 Feb 2017
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Blackmores

The most popular baby names of 2017

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Future social media handles and “X,Y,Z” names are tipped to be the big winners on the ‘Hottest 100 baby names’ list for 2017.

Social researcher Mark McCrindle, who releases an annual report of the most popular baby names in Australia – and the factors that influence choices, has predicted 2017 will see a wave of longer and more exotic baby names as well as those starting with more unusual letters – with names beginning with X, Y and Z being popular choice for  both boys and girls names. 

He predicts names including Zander and Zephyr for boys and Zyla and Zelda will be a popular choice for girls names, as will longer names - with  more traditional names like Alexander, William, Jackson, Nathaniel, Edward for boys, and Charlotte, Amelia, Elizabeth and Margaret experiencing surges again. Short names like Mia and Ava have seen a drop in popularity. 

Other top trends McCrindle will be expecting for 2017? A rise in the use of vowels – at the start and within names; think Ariana and Louis, and a rise in culturally diverse names (names like Ines, which enjoy the double whammy of also being the name of popular celeb couple Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds – celeb baby names often create a spike.)

Last but not least, he predicts parents will flock towards social media savvy monikers, suggesting parents will think about how the name is going to work as a Facebook page or Twitter handle (and predicts they’ll be securing their handles and webpages from birth!)

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What were the top 10 baby names in 2016?

Looking for inspo for names and the trends above don’t do it for you? Many look to popular names from previous years as inspiration. Here’s the top ten baby names form 2016:


The top ten girl names in 2016

The top ten boy names in 2016

  • 1. Charlotte
  • 2. Olivia
  • 3. Amelia
  • 4. Ava
  • 5. Mia
  • 6. Sophia
  • 7. Chloe
  • 8. Emily
  • 9. Sophie
  • 10. Grace
  • 1. Oliver
  • 2. William
  • 3. Jack
  • 4. Noah
  • 5. Thomas
  • 6. James
  • 7. Jackson / Jaxon
  • 8. Ethan
  • 9 .Lucas
  • 10. Lachlan

Other key trends

McCrindle says there’s a range of factors likely to influence what names are popular in 2017, here’s some of the reasons he says certain names are likely to be popular this year:
  • Soft sounds: there’s an ongoing popularity with gentle, softer-sounding names for girls and firmer sounding names for boys; 90% of the girls’ names (18) in the Top 20 list end with a vowel or ‘y’, and 90% of the top 20 names for boys ending in the ‘harder’ consonant sound
  • Creating unique names with spelling: Rather than just finding a distinctive name for bubs, there’s a trend for using apostrophes, hyphens, or emphasised phonetic spellings to create unique monikers. This is more common with girls names
  • Gender mix-ups: choosing names traditional to the opposite gender is another hot trend (Blake Lively called her daughter James, for example), and is again more prevalent in the female name list – think Harper, Frankie, Riley, Hayden, and Alex
  • Celeb influences: As always, actors, actresses, sports and music stars continue to significantly influence the popularity of babies within Australia. Think Penelope (rising from 79th to 62nd, one of the children of Kourtney Kardashian), Harper (rising to 24th from 19th, the daughter of David and Victoria Beckham) and Noah (remaining strong in 4th place, the son of Michael Bublé)
  • Movie madness: As well as the celebs themselves, much inspo is taken from popular character names on the big and small screens – think Emily and Jack from the television series Revenge, and Braxton from Home and Away in 83rd place
  • Place names are still a source of inspiration: Australian places are moving up the ranks – think Bronte, Avalon, Brighton and Arcadia) are yet to enter the Top 100, and others like Adelaide are now out of the Top 100. Overseas locations are more popular for boys names; think Austin (62nd) and Jordan (67th)
  • Getting biblical: 25 of the hottest 100 list of boys names (and four in the top 10) are derived from the Bible; including Noah, Thomas, James and Ethan
  • The royal touch: Having always influenced the Hottest 100, many babies are named after royalty - the birth of Prince George has increased George’s rank from 71st in 2012 to 60th in 2013, 42nd in 2014 and now 36th in 2015