Each year, McCrindle Research releases their “Baby Names Australia Report” which provides the top 100 baby names for boys and girls.
For babies born in 2022, they are part of Generation Alpha, children born since 2010. The report refers to them to be the most digital, global and visual generation on the planet.
It is no surprise that the names their Millennial parents draw from a wide range of sources.
Here, we run through the trends appearing in the top 100, as well as some of the names that are decreasing in popularity.
Uniqueness in names is trending
The report points to uniqueness as a popular movement in choosing names, particularly with girls. This is due to their parents today with much more access to tools, options and information than at any other time in history, to help research and choose baby names. Parents may be creating uniqueness by shortening the name, turning it into a nickname, or having the name with a different spelling.
Isla, debuts as first new girl name in top spot since 2015
For the first time since 2015, there is a new girl name in the number one spot. Previously, Charlotte held this position, but Isla has been rising in popularity from 34th position in 2010, to be the most popular name now. Charlotte still sits at 2nd position, followed by Olivia and Amelia.
Oliver holds top spot for nine years
Henry has gained popularity and now places as the 4th most popular boys name. Theodore has also seen a surge in popularity over the last couple of years and makes an entrance into the Top 10 boys name for the first time placing at number 8.
Names that have debuted for Generation Alpha
Some of the most popular names that have debuted in the last decade for girls include Hazel, Florence, Daisy, Frankie, Luna, Ayla, Sadie, Billie, Millie, Aurora and Mila.
Some of the most popular names that have debuted for boys in the last decade include Theodore, Hudson, Arlo, Archer, Harvey, Carter, Arthur, Sonny and Asher.
Three boys names that have risen significantly in popularity in the past decade include Theodore, Sonny and Arthur.
Names to watch
Mila, Sadie, Remi and Maeve and Delilah are some newer names that have made a debut in recent years in the Top 100.
Boys names that are emerging and have debuted in the top 100 in recent years include Arthur, Ari, Ezra, River, Theo, Billy and Luka.
New names enter the top 100 in 2021
Names that appeared in the top 100 for the first time in 2021, were Riley, Lyla, Indiana, Nora, Heidi and Zoey.
For the boys names that entered the top 100 for the first time in 2021, they were Miles, Nicholas and Elias.
Names that left the top 100 in 2021
Girls names that were fell out of the top 100 were Molly, Sarah, Maddison, Isabel and Clara.
Lewis, Dylan and Marcus were the boys names that left the top 100.
More creativity in girls names, more tradition for boys names
While parents are drawing on more original and traditional names for boys, there is greater variety in the names parents are choosing for their daughters.
Creative ways of baby names
Ways that parents are making their baby names more special and unique include:
-Writing the name in different ways: For example in Zoe and Zoey Sophia and Sofia and Amelia and Emilia
-Shorter names as first names: For example, Jack outranks Jackson, Leo vs Leonardo, Archie (13th) outranks Archer, Ella vs Isabella.
Where parents are drawing inspiration
Botanical themes and nature
Top botanical names include Willow, Lily, Ivy, all three of them making the top 20. Other botanical names featuring in the top 100 are Violet, Daisy, Poppy, Olive and Delilah.
Nature-inspired names that feature in the top 100 include those have an atmospheric theme, such as Luna, Aurora and Stella for girls, while other names like Evie, Evelyn and Summer are also examples of nature inspired names. For boys, names like Kai River and Bodhi are examples of nature-inspired names that feature in the top 100.
Place names and colours
If you have a favourite colour, perhaps use that as inspiration like many others have, particularly for girls. These names include Jasmine, Ruby, Rose, Scarlett, Violet, Hazel and Olive and Jasmine that feature in the top 100.
Perhaps you have holidayed somewhere particularly memorable, somewhere you had your honeymoon or where another special event occurred. Parents who have used this kind of inspiration have named their children Georgia, Sofia, Savannnah, Indiana and Eden for girls. For boys places of names have inspired names such as Jackson, Jordan, Hudson Austin and Logan.
The ending matters
Softer-sounding names for girls and firmer sounding names for boys
The McCrindle report found that interestingly, 90% of girls names in the top 20 end with a vowel or ‘y’ sound, with almost half ending with the letter ‘a’ producing the gentle ‘ah’ sound.
This seems to be a consistent trend, with softer sounding names for girls. The only names in the Top 20 girls names that end with a consonant are Willow and Harper. In fact, more than half of the Top 100 list of girls’ names end in an ‘ah’ or ‘ie’ sound.
For boys, the trend is for firmer sounding names with most of the Top 20 boys’ names still ending in a consonant.
Names ending in ‘ie’ for girls and ‘o’ for boys
In line with the softer sounding names, there has been a recent trend for girls names in particular, for them to be shortened by adding an ‘ie’ to the end. Examples of this include from Savannah to Sadie, Isabella to Billie, and Elizabeth to Ellie.
For boys it’s about shortening and ending with an ‘o,’ like Leo, Arlo and Hugo.
Gender neutral names
For names that can works for both girls and boys, the only two names in the Top 100 that appear on both lists in exactly the same spelling, are Charlie and Riley.
Some girls names from the Top 100 that can be interchanged for boys’ names. include Harper, Frankie, Mackenzie, Quinn and Peyton.
If you like the sound of boys names but have a baby daughter, these names are popular ones that other parents have used to name their daughters. These are Jesse, Bhodhi, Dylan, Luka, Ali, Ezra and Bailey.
Short and sharp for boy names
The trend is for longer, more flowing names for daughters and shorter, more solid-sounding names for sons.
Looking to the Royal family
As the Royal Family have given birth to Generation Alpha babies, it seems natural that Millennials are using their names for ideas for their own children. For example, George as a name has risen in popularity since Prince George was born. It currently sits at position number 27. Other royal family babies that have helped boost the popularity of names since they were born, include Prince Louis for the name Louis, and Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor for the name Archie, now ranked 13th.
Ever since Princess Charlotte was born in 2015, her name has remained in the top two.
It is no surprise that Millennial parents, with the ease of access to social media, mass exposure to pop culture, and marketing campaigns that they are gaining ideas from celebrities when choosing baby names.. Since the conception of Generation Alpha, the following names and their celebrities have become popular and feature in the top 100. They include Isla Fisher, Noah Centineo, Leonardo DiCaprio, Scarlett Johansson, all actors and singers Harry Styles, George Ezra, Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande.
Return of traditional names
There seems to be an interest and return of older traditional names. For example, Grace was unpopular from the 1910s to 1970s but has been slowly rising and now in the top 10. Charlotte is another example, with the influence of the birth of Princess Charlotte and Stella, a name that returned to the Top 100 at the commencement of Gen Alpha in 2010.
For boys, Jack is a great example of the 100 year return, a name that was not even in the top 100 in 1985, but has had more years at number once this century than another boys name. William is another traditional boys name, with its royal influence, that has been the second most popular boys name nationally for six of the last 10 years, even though it was low in popularity during the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
Try the Huggies Baby Name Generator to find the perfect name for your baby. With thousands of names to choose from, be inspired by popular, unique and original baby names.
Written by Tracey Cheung, April 2023. Tracey is a freelance writer with particular interest in writing about topics that promote health and wellness in the community. As a mother she has personal experience in writing content that helps other parents.
Last Published* February, 2024
*Please note that the published date may not be the same as the date that the content was created and that information above may have changed since.