Popular Baby Names in South Africa, 2015

According to data released last October by Statistics South Africa, the most popular baby names in the country in 2015 were Precious and Junior.

Here are South Africa’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names
1. Precious, 6,598 baby girls
2. Princess, 4,762
3. Angel, 4,684
4. Amahle, 3,998
5. Minenhle, 3,347
6. Thandolwethu, 3,204
7. Melokuhle, 2,997
8. Blessing, 2,919
9. Faith, 2,906
10. Lesedi, 2,851

Boy Names
1. Junior, 10,743 baby boys
2. Blessing, 5,819
3. Gift, 4,898
4. Bandile, 4,078
5. Prince, 3,721
6. Siyabonga, 3,713
7. Melokuhle, 3,513
8. Lethabo, 3,280
9. Banele, 2,864
10. Samkelo, 2,748

The new #1 girl name, Precious, is also new to the top 10. (It replaces former #1 Iminathi, which dropped out of the top 10.) The top boy name is still the placeholder name Junior.

Most of the names above are brand new to the rankings, which is a bit suspicious. But I’m inclined to think that these 2015 rankings are more trustworthy than the 2014 rankings, as the raw numbers are much higher this time around.

At least five of the names above are from the isiZulu language. Here’s what they mean:

  • Amahle means “the beautiful ones”
  • Bandile means “they have extended in number”
  • Minenhle means “good/lovely day”
  • Siyabonga means “we are grateful”
  • Thandolwethu means “our love”

Sources: Most popular baby names in South Africa revealed, Top 10 most popular baby names for boys and girls in South Africa, Naming in Zulu – African Studies Center (Penn)


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