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Baby names get retro

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Australians are embracing old school nomenclature, according to a new analysis of Australia’s top baby name choices in 2013. The study reveals a return to traditionalism, with names inspired by the royal family proving to be very popular. However, if they’re not choosing William, Kate or George, parents are going a bit more left-of-centre, with the study showing that Aussies are also getting more and more creative with their name choices.

Here’s what you need to know…

Oliver and Charlotte take the lead

Oliver has become the most popular boys name in Australia for the first time ever, overtaking William (a favourite for the last few years). However, William is still the most popular name in New South Wales, ACT, Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Once again, Charlotte is miles ahead in the popularity stakes for the third year in a row and Olivia is the second most popular choice. Sophia has also entered the top 10 for the first time.

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More babies, more originality

As birth rates increase, so does parental creativity.

“There were 315,000 births last year, a new record,” says Principal Researcher Mark McCrindle. “But parents are congregating less around the top 100 names.”

This trend of differentiation is especially prominent amongst female babies. However, according to Mr McCrindle, parents are still favouring “solid and reliable” names, even if they are a bit unusual. A growth in names like Noah suggests that parents like reliable, even ancient and biblical, names, but shying away from more typical options like Mark or John.

It’s all about taking something classic and trustworthy and providing a modern twist.

“Parents are ramping it up,” Mr McCrindle says. “We’re seeing a lot of double letters and alternate spellings. Parents are going retro but not 20 years retro, more like 100 years retro!”


The list of top names today is actually very similar to the list from a century ago and traditional is trendy. A lot of names that have been popular in the past decade have fallen out of favour, such as Molly and Jade for girls and Dylan and Hayden for boys.

Sexist syllables

Parents still prefer short and strong names for boys and longer, flowing names for girls. Boys’ names have less than two syllables, while the majority of girls’ names have three or more syllables.

Vowels and consonants

To continue the gender difference, most of the boy’s names end in a consonant while most of the girls’ names end in a softer sounding vowel or Y sound.

Royal inspiration

Thanks to William and Kate, the royals are back and the proof is in the baby names. 12 of 22 current royal names are baby names too.

“The year William and Kate got married, William became the number one boys’ name in Australia and has stayed there until recently,” says Mr McCrindle. “Harry is rising up the ranks, as are Kate and Katherine.”

Since the birth of Prince George, the rank of his name has risen to its highest level since the 1970s.