Australia's 100 most popular baby names of 2016

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty 

The numbers are in and we've discovered the most popular baby names of the nation for 2016. It's a delightful brew of traditional names with a smattering of modern.

Some stalwarts dropped right out of the top 10, with some flashy newcomers surprising everybody. So let's break it down.

(To skip our analysis, head to the bottom of the page for the full list.)

Girls 2016

Charlotte and Olivia both keep their first and second places on the list from last year.

The national top 10 has been revamped with the new arrivals Evie and Isla. And proving vowel names are queen, six of the top 10 start with A, E, I and O (poor old U never gets a look-in).

Gone this year are Ella and Sophie - the latter is being overlooked in favour of her more flowery cousin Sophia. In fact if we add together the numbers of Sophias and Sofias, it's a name that really should be claiming eighth place.

Aria looks to be one to watch. She didn't even appear in the top 100 in 2013, coming in at 40 in 2014 and ranking 33 in 2015 - but in 2016, Aria has risen yet again, placing 27. Keep an eye on that one; we think she'll be the new Ava in no time.

The top 50 for girls is noticeably populated with traditional, hyper-feminine names. Those adding a more modern flavour are Isla, Harper, Mila, Sienna, Willow, Aria, Layla, Piper, Madison and Mackenzie.


(See also: Top trend of 2016: Nature names for girls)

Boys 2016

Henry has finally made a top 10 appearance, taking tenth place - but to make way for Henry, Liam took a dip to place 13th.

The other boys in the top 10 are established and aren't going anywhere anytime soon. In fact the top five places (Oliver, William, Jack, Noah, Thomas) haven't changed for the last three years running, so nothing to report there.

The boys names that came in places six to nine also did so in 2015. They are James, Ethan, Lucas and Lachlan.

(See also: Top trend of 2016: Surnames as first names for boys)

Top names, state by state.
Read more about WA, Queensland, Victoria and NSW lists.


Themes: surnames and nature names

While traditional names also feature strongly in the male top 50, there's much more emphasis on surnames. Harrison, Hunter, Mason, Cooper, Hudson, Riley, Jackson, Archer and Logan are as prominent in the national top 50 as they are in the NSW state list.

For girls nature names are all the go, with Isla, Ruby, Ivy, Lily, Sienna, Willow, Violet, Savannah and Jasmine making appearances.

Sound and feel: light and heavy, feminine and masculine

Parents of girls are choosing names which are musical in sound, with combinations of soft-sounding vowels. Parents having baby boys largely prefer heavier, consonant-laden one or two syllable names. Jack and Amelia, which both placed fourth, perfectly illustrate this.

While desired gender attributes have always abounded in naming, we're seeing more a division of the sexes than ever, with the eradication of 'solid' female names popular in past eras; names like Maud, Beryl, Carol, Doris, Susan, Winifred and Yvonne, just to name a few. 

It's also notable that in the girl's top 50, 21 names end with an 'a' sound, and for the boys, 15 end in 'n.' Those all-important end letters go a long way to creating the feel of the name.

1 Charlotte Oliver
2 Olivia William
3 Ava Jack
4 Mia Noah
5 Amelia Thomas
6 Isla James
7 Chloe Ethan
8 Grace Lucas
9 Emily Lachlan
10 Evie Henry
11 Sophie Mason
12 Ella Alexander
13 Zoe Liam
14 Isabella Max
15 Harper Harrison
16 Ruby Charlie
17 Evelyn Leo
18 Ivy Samuel
19 Matilda Hunter
20 Lily Isaac
21 Sophia Hudson
22 Lucy Levi
23 Scarlett Benjamin
24 Sienna Jacob
25 Willow Oscar
26 Georgia Cooper
27 Aria Xavier
28 Emma Joshua
29 Zara Harry
30 Hannah Elijah
31 Eva Ryan
32 Isabelle Archer
33 Layla Archie
34 Abigail Riley
35 Audrey Sebastian
36 Mila Harvey
37 Violet George
38 Alice Daniel
39 Piper Jayden
40 Maddison Jackson
41 Savannah Logan
42 Ellie Patrick
43 Annabelle Finn
44 Stella Lincoln
45 Imogen Flynn
46 Jasmine Nate
47 Elizabeth Eli
48 Mackenzie Edward
49 Sofia Tyler
50 Alexis Aiden