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:
- Yosef (used for male babies — both Muslim and Jewish)
- Ariel (used for Jewish babies — both male and female)
The top baby names for Jewish babies specifically were Noa and Noam:
Girl Names (Jewish)
Boy Names (Jewish)
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)
Boy Names (Muslim)
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?
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).
||Top 3 Girl Names
||Top 3 Boy Names
||Esther, Rachel, Sarah
||Moshe, Yosef, Avraham
||Rachel, Esther, Ronit
||Yosef, Moshe, Avraham
||Michal, Keren, Merav
||Moshe, David, Yosef
||Michal, Adi, Moran
||Moshe, David, Roei
||Eden, Sapir, Adi
||Daniel, David, Moshe
||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
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…
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?
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:
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
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:
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?
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:
1. Mariam (tie)
2. Fatima (tie)
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:
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
According to Moscow’s civil registration office, the most popular baby names in Moscow in 2014 were Alexander (for the 10th year in a row) and Sofia.
Among the names registered for the first time last year were Byzantium, Jazz, and Sevastopol. (“Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian port city of Sevastopol in March reinvigorated national pride among many Russians.”) Two other unusual names that made headlines last year were Lucifer and Olimpiyada (a baby girl born several weeks before the start of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi).
I don’t believe Russia releases country-wide baby name rankings, but the Mercator media agency has gathered a some data (“the first names of 21 million residents of Moscow and the Moscow region”) and created a cool interactive baby name popularity graph covering the 20th century.
Some observations about the Mercator data:
- Lada “became somewhat popular in 1968 when the Soviet Union began production of a car by the same name. The name debuted on the top-100 list at No. 70, then declined to No. 76 a year later before falling off the chart.” Lada was originally the name of a Slavic goddess.
- Vladimir “was the second most popular name in 1952 when current President Vladimir Putin was born.”
- Ninel “debuted on the chart at No. 66 in 1924, the year that Soviet state-founder Vladimir Lenin died. Ninel slid off the list in the mid-1930s.” (See more Revolutionary Russian Baby Names.)
Sources: Muscovites Embrace Avant-Garde Baby Names, Russian Couple Causes Outcry After Naming Baby ‘Lucifer’, Pre-Revolutionary Names Making a Comeback in Russia