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)


Popular Baby Names in Israel, 2015

According to data released earlier this week by Israel’s Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS), the top three most popular baby names in the country overall in 2015 were:

  1. Mohammed
  2. Yosef (used for male babies — both Muslim and Jewish)
  3. Ariel (used for Jewish babies — both male and female)

The top baby names for Jewish babies specifically were Noa and Noam:

Girl Names (Jewish)
1. Noa
2. Tamar
3. Maya
4. Avigayil/Avigail/Abigail
5. Talya/Talia
6. Adele
7. Shira
8. Ayala/Ayela
9. Yael
10. Sarah/Sara

Boy Names (Jewish)
1. Noam
2. David
3. Ori/Uri
4. Ariel
5. Eitan
6. Yosef
7. Itai/Itay
8. Yonatan
9. Daniel
10. Moshe

The CBS also reported that the boy names Dror, Yagel/Yigal, and Alroi/Elroi/Elroy each saw a sharp rise in usage in 2015.

The top baby names for Muslim babies specifically were Maryam and Mohammad:

Girl Names (Muslim)
1. Maryam/Miryam/Mariam
2. Sha’im
3. Jana/Janah
4. Lin
5. Lian/Layan
6. Alin/Aline
7. Sa’ara

Boy Names (Muslim)
1. Mohammad
2. Ahmed
3. Yosef
4. Omar
5. Adam
6. Jud/Jod
7. Abed
8. Ali
9. Amir
10. Ibrahim

The 2012 rankings for Israel are pretty similar.

Sources: Mohammad & Noa 2015’s most common names for newborns, Most popular Jewish names: Noam for a boy and Noa for a girl, What were the most popular names for boys and girls in 2015?

Top Jewish Baby Names in Israel, Decade by Decade

Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority recently released decade-by-decade lists of the most popular Jewish baby names in Israel since the establishment of the state (in mid-1948).

Decade Top 3 Girl Names Top 3 Boy Names
1950s Esther, Rachel, Sarah Moshe, Yosef, Avraham
1960s Rachel, Esther, Ronit Yosef, Moshe, Avraham
1970s Michal, Keren, Merav Moshe, David, Yosef
1980s Michal, Adi, Moran Moshe, David, Roei
1990s Eden, Sapir, Adi Daniel, David, Moshe
2000s Noa, Shira, Yael Daniel, Itay, Uri
2010s so far Shira, Noa, Tamar Itay, Uri, Noam

In 5775, the top names for Jewish babies in Israel were Tamar and Ori (aka Uri).

Source: Israel’s most popular names by decade

Top Hebrew Baby Names in Israel, 5775

According to data from Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority, the most popular Jewish baby names in Israel for the Hebrew calendar year 5775 (September 25, 2014, to September 13, 2015) were Tamar and Ori.

The other top names were…

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Tamar
2. Noa
3. Talia
4. Shira
5. Yael
6. Avigayil
1. Ori
2. Eitan
3. Ariel
4. Noam
5. David
6. Yoseph

The top Jewish names for the previous year, 5774, were Tamar and Yosef.

(This list doesn’t include the names of Muslim babies and Christian babies born in Israel.)

Source: 5775: How Many Were Born and What Are the Most Common Names?

Popular Baby Names in South Africa, 2014

According to data from Statistics South Africa, the most popular baby names in the country in 2014 were Iminathi and Junior.

Here are South Africa’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Iminathi, 1,116 baby girls
2. Minenhle, 880
3. Rethabile, 789
4. Bokamoso, 663
5. Karabo, 655
6. Amogelang, 629 (tie)
7. Tshegofatso, 629 (tie)
8. Lesedi, 610
9. Amahle, 601
10. Thandolwethu, 548
1. Junior, 1,137 baby boys
2. Bandile, 794
3. Kungawo, 716
4. Siyabonga, 709
5. Lethabo, 683
6. Khayone, 655
7. Mpho, 647
8. Bokamoso, 641
9. Kamogelo, 627
10. Thato, 622

These rankings aren’t entirely trustworthy, though. About 24% of the names registered in South Africa in 2014 represent babies born before 2014. They were simply registered late. And the placeholder name “Junior” was used so often at registration that it erroneously ended up in the #1 spot on the boys’ side.

But it is interesting that Bokamoso, which means “future” in Sesotho, made the top 10 for both genders.

Sources: Most popular names for babies in 2014, Junior, Iminathi and Bokamoso make top 10 most popular names list in SA

Popular Baby Names in Armenia, 2015 (so far)

According to a spokesperson for the Armenian National Statistical Service, the most popular baby names in Armenia during the first five months of 2015 were Nare and Davit.

Here are Armenia’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015 so far:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Nare
2. Mari
3. Maria
4. Anahit
5. Mane
6. Milena
7. Mariam
8. Angelina
9. Ani
10. Elen
1. Davit
2. Narek
3. Tigran
4. Hayk
5. Aleks
6. Gor
7. Arman
8. Alen
9. Erik
10. Artur

Nare and Davit were also the top names in 2012, but Mane and Narek were the winners in 2010.

Source: Which are most popular names given to Armenia newborns?

Popular Names in Dubai – Mohammed, Mariam

Here are two recent sets of name rankings out of the United Arab Emirates.

In mid-2013, the UAE’s Ministry of Health released “year to date” baby name rankings topped by Mariam/Fatima and Mohammed:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Mariam (tie)
2. Fatima (tie)
3. Aiysha
4. Sara
1. Mohammed
2. Abdullah
3. Ahmed
4. Ali
5. Khalid
6. Saeed
7. Omar
8. Rashid

Earlier this month, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) of Dubai — one of the 7 emirates in the UAE — released lists of popular girl names and boy names according to a survey of school registration records. I’m not sure what age range the records covered, but these lists were also topped by Maryam and Mohammed:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Maryam
2. Sara/Sarah
3. Fatima/Fatma
4. Ayesha
5. Noor
1. Mohammed
2. Ali
3. Omar
4. Ahmed/Ahmad
5. Abdulla/Abdullah

One Dubai student named Mohammed was quoted as saying, “It is common to see four or five students share Mohammed as their first name in a class of 25 to 30 students. We usually get called by our second name.”

(I wonder where Hamad fell on these lists…)

Sources: Mohammed most popular name for boys, The baby names that Dubai happens to loves the most