How popular is the baby name Africa in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Africa and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Africa.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Africa

Number of Babies Named Africa

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Africa

African Nations as Baby Names

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Flag of Biafra

During the ’60s and ’70s, a slew of Africa-inspired baby names debuted in the U.S. baby name data. These included traditional African names (e.g., Abayomi, Ayanna), names taken from African and African-American public figures (e.g., Lumumba, Levar), and — the focus of today’s post — African place names, particularly country names.

Here are all the African country/region/kingdom names I’ve spotted in the SSA data so far. (I didn’t omit Chad, even though it coincides with the English name Chad.)

Name Debut year Peak usage
Chad 1914 13,400 baby boys in 1972
Tunisia 1943 (due to WWII) 39 baby girls in 1974
Rwanda 1951 5 baby girls in both 1951 & 1973
Kenya 1952 894 baby girls in 1973
Sahara 1964 248 baby girls in both 2006 & 2007
Rhodesia 1966 12 baby girls in 1977
Mali 1967 65 baby girls in 2008
Tanzania 1968 38 baby girls in 1992
Africa 1969 76 baby girls in 1972
Biafra 1969 (due to Biafra being in the news; the Biafran War lasted from 1967 to 1970) 5 baby girls in 1969; one-hit wonder
Ghana 1969 7 baby girls in 1969
Tanganyika 1969 16 baby girls in 1972
Nubia 1969 83 baby girls in 1969
Ashanti 1970 2,945 baby girls in 2002 (due to the singer)
Uganda 1973 12 baby girls in 1973
Algeria 1974 6 baby girls in both 1993 & 1995
Libya 1974 8 baby girls in 2011
Zaire 1974 316 baby boys in 2017
Egypt 1975 266 baby girls in 2017
Nigeria 1975 58 baby girls in 2000
Niger 1976 9 baby girls in both 1976 & 1977
Somalia 1977 43 baby girls in 1993
Zimbabwe 1981 5 baby boys in 1981; one-hit wonder
Sudan 1982 5 baby boys in both 1982 & 1995
Eritrea 1991 (due to Eritrea being in the news; the Eritrean War of Independence ended in 1991) 5 baby girls in 1991; one-hit wonder
Asmara 1993 (due to Asmara being in the news; it became the capital of independent Eritrea in 1993) 13 baby girls in 2013
Morocco 2005 19 baby boys in 2017

Only five of the above did not either debut or see peak usage during the 1960s/1970s.

Siblings Named Asia, Africa, Europe, America

Moses Shattuck and Naomi Weatherbee of Brookline, New Hampshire, were married in 1802 and had a total of 6 children:

  1. Roxanna, b. 1803
  2. Asia, b. 1804
  3. Africa, b. 1807
  4. Europe, b. 1809
  5. America, b. 1810
  6. Mary, b. 1812

All the continent-children are boys.

In fact, I believe all four names — Asia, Africa, Europe and America — cover the known world of 1802. At that time Australia was considered part of Asia, America hadn’t yet been split into North and South, and Antarctica wouldn’t be discovered for another couple of decades.

These days continent names are considered girl names, not boy names. Asia and America see heavy yearly usage, Africa and Australia are uncommon but not unheard of, and Europe and Antarctica are nearly non-existent.

Source: Shattuck, Lemuel. Memorials of the Descendants of William Shattuck. Boston: Dutton and Wentworth, 1855.

Popular Baby Names in Spain, 2013

What are the top baby names in Spain?

According to data from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística, the most popular baby names last year were Lucia and Hugo.

Here are Spain’s top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Lucia
2. Maria
3. Paula
4. Daniela
5. Martina
6. Carla
7. Sara
8. Sofia
9. Valeria
10. Julia
11. Alba
12. Claudia
13. Noa
14. Marta
15. Irene
16. Emma
17. Carmen
18. Laura
19. Ana
20. Ainhoa
1. Hugo
2. Daniel
3. Pablo
4. Alejandro
5. Alvaro
6. Adrian
7. David
8. Mario
9. Diego
10. Javier
11. Lucas
12. Nicolas
13. Manuel
14. Marcos
15. Iker
16. Sergio
17. Izan
18. Jorge
19. Carlos
20. Martin

I found this list via Name News by Clare, who said:

So many names I’d never have guessed (and, in some cases, have never heard of) here, like Alvaro, Ainhoa, Aitana, Leire, Nerea, and Ainara.

I agree. I also didn’t expect to see the boy names Aitor (35th), Asier (58th) or Unai (60th). Or the girl name Africa, which was 68th — way more common in Spain than here.

(Aitana, Leire, Nerea, and Ainara ranked 26th, 28th, 31st and 29th for girls, respectively.)

I haven’t blogged about the top names in Spain before, but I did have a post about the top names in Catalonia last year. Weirdly, I looked up Unai for that post — it’s Basque and means “cowherd.”

Source: Instituto Nacional de Estadística (via Name News, via Nomes e mais nomes)