Malta seems to be having some trouble tallying baby names. According to the island’s National Statistics Office, these were the top boy names of 2007:
- Luke/Luca, 98 baby boys
- Matthew/Matteo/Matthias, 88
- Jake, 56
- Julian, 40
- John/Gianni/Jean/Juan/Sean, 38
- Nicholas/Nikolai & Aiden, 37 (tie)
- Kieran, 35
- Isaac, 34
- Andrew/André/Andrea & Zack, 33 (tie)
- Nathan/Nathaniel, 32
- Jeremy/Jerome & James/Jamie & Jayden, 31 (tie)
- Daniel & Gabriel & Miguel, 29 (tie)
- Liam, 28
- Alexander/Alessandro/Alejandro & Neil, 26 (tie)
- Michael/Mikiel/Mikail/Michele & Carl/Carlo/Karl & Kyle, 24 (3-way tie)
- Benjamin & Thomas/Tommaso, 20 (tie)
- Christian/Kristian, 18
- Mark/Marc/Marco, 17
- Dejan & Denzel, 16 (tie)
- Kayden, 13
There’s nothing wrong with the list itself. But problems begin when you try to compare this list with the 2006 list.
For instance, in 2006, 49 boys were named Michael or Michele. A year later, there’s no way to tell if either of these names has became more or less popular — all we know is that 24 boys were named Michael, Michele Mikiel or Mikail, and that 29 boys were named Miguel specifically.
And that’s just the beginning. Between 2006 and 2007, Nicholas became Nicholas/Nikolai, Thomas became Thomas/Tommaso, and James became James/Jamie. Alexander became Alexander/Alessandro/Alejandro, while (accent-less) Andre became Andrew/André/Andrea. All of these odd groupings make it impossible to draw conclusions about how the popularity level of a specific name has changed over time.
I am also suspicious about spelling. Aidan (#6) and Jaydon (#19) from the 2006 list seemed to morph into Aiden (#6) and Jayden (#11) in 2007.
Finally — and this may be nit-picky — I dislike how Jeremy and Jerome were lumped together. The names may look alike, but they are unrelated.
I have issues with the girl names as well:
- Maria/Mariah, 73 baby girls
- Martina, 47
- Julia/Giulia, 42
- Christina/Kristina/Christine/Christa, 41
- Elisa/Eliza/Elizabeth, 39
- Sarah, 36
- Emma & Maya, 34 (tie)
- Nicole/Nicola/Nicolette, 31
- Amy & Jasmine/Yasmine, 30 (tie)
- Michela/Michelle, 29
- Katrina/Katie & Shania, 27 (tie)
- Aaliyah & Hayley & Jade, 21 (tie)
- Alexandra/Alessandra/Alessia, 20
- Francesca & Ylenia, 19 (tie)
- Kylie, 18
- Kaya, 17
- Emily & Kayleigh, 16 (tie)
- Kelsey & Leah & Rihanna & Thea, 15 (4-way tie)
- Ella & Elena & Kiera & Kyra, 14 (4-way tie)
- Hannah, 13
Between 2006 and 2007, Julia became Julia/Giula, Nicole became Nicole/Nicola/Nicolette, Jasmin (sans e) became Jasmine/Yasmine, and Elisa/Eliza became Elisa/Eliza/Elisabeth. Michela went from being grouped with Michaela to being grouped with Michelle.
And, as with the boys, I don’t think spelling stayed consistent. Hailey (#10, 2006) became Hayley (#12, 2007) and Kaylie (#17, 2006) became Kayleigh (#17, 2007).
Malta, you’re driving me crazy! I hope the top names of 2008 are listed more logically (i.e., using name-groupings that have been used before). I’m keeping my eye on you… :)
Source: Naming Babies: 2007 [pdf]