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What’s in a name? The most popular baby names for 2019 revealed

Baby names
There's a definite trend when it comes to today's baby names, research shows. Photo: Getty
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The news that Harry and Meghan have named their their newborn son Archie, is likely to have an effect on school roll calls in the future, according to historical naming data.

Charlotte was the most popular baby name for girls born in Australia this year – the fourth year running – a reign research body McCrindle attributes to the second royal child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate.

When Princess Charlotte was born in 2015, the ‘Kate effect’ was almost instantaneous: The name overtook Olivia as the most popular name for girls born that year.

Prince George’s 2013 birth resulted in a similar spike, jumping 37 spots in five years. Since Prince Louis arrived last year, his name has risen 14 slots.

Meanwhile, the top name for boys in 2019 is Oliver, unchanged since 2013, according to the top baby names list released by McCrindle this month.

For girls, Olivia, Amelia, Ava and Mia round out the top five girls’ names, mostly unchanged from last year.

Henry rose three spots to fifth for most popular boys’ names for 2019, a top five completed by the perennial favourite Jack at No.2, followed by William and Noah.

In a national breakdown, most states followed the status quo of the top-five favourites, with a couple of changes here and there, more so in boys’ names than girls.

Out with the old

McCrindle social researcher Kim Linco said there were definite patterns in names and naming trends across the decades.

Mrs Linco highlighted the name Jessica as a prime example. In the late 1980s to early 1990s, she said, Jessica held the No.1 slot for girls’ names for 16 years straight.

“In the mid ’90s, one in 30 girls born was named Jessica,” said Mrs Linco, who also authored the report.

“For the very first time, this year it dropped off the list. Last year it was at 99. That was a real sign to me, that popularity (of a name) can actually be the cause of its own demise.”

Mrs Linco said instead, parents were taking on a unique name trend, opting for names that stood out among the Jessicas of the world.

She cited data from New South Wales that showed in the 1950s, 30 per cent of babies born were given one of the top 10 most popular names.

In the 1980s, that percentage had dropped to 22 per cent, and in this generation, it was just 10 per cent.

“Parents want to have a bigger pool,” she said.

“And there’s more access to research … we’re more exposed to social media, more access to global names. There’s so many more options.”

This year, girls’ names on the rise include Thea, Adeline, Alyssa, Hayley, Pippa and Clara.

Emerging popular boys’ names are Nathan, Maxwell, Christian, Phoenix, Leonardo and Theo.

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