A conversation with commenter elbowin a couple of weeks ago prompted me to do a bit of research on Maori names. And what did I stumble upon while doing that research? An official list of the top Maori baby names of 2012:
|Baby Girl Names||Baby Boy Names|
14. Te Ariki
16. Te Koha
The list was created using data from the Births, Deaths and Marriages registry of NZ’s Department of Internal Affairs. How?
The results are for the first name given to nineteen thousand Maori babies (by descent) registered in 2012. The analysis found that Maori girls are more likely to be given Maori names.
So, they tallied up and ranked all the Maori names given to babies of Maori descent. (In case you’re wondering, 61,178 babies were born in New Zealand in 2012 and 33% of these babies were of Maori descent.)
I do wish the press release had included some raw numbers, or at least mentioned what percentage of Maori babies got Maori names in 2012. Because, without this information, there’s no way to know what sort of influence (if any) Maori babies getting Maori names had on the overall 2012 list.
For instance, the top two Maori girl names, Maia and Aria — which aren’t exclusively Maori in origin — ranked 30th and 38th nation-wide. Would they have ranked as well if they hadn’t been so popular among the Maori specifically?
Anyway…it’s a cool list, regardless. Thanks, elbowin, for all the thoughtful comments. :)