William and Ruby reign in 2012

William has done it again, topping the list of most popular boy names in NSW in 2012, while Ruby has sprung to the top of the girl’s list.

It’s been a solid run for the princely name, as it has taken the top spot on the state’s boy’s list since 2009 - and has been in the top 10 every year since 1998.

Ruby, however, has had a slower rise to fame - the name didn’t even appear in the NSW top 10 in 2009.


Since then, it’s been in the number two spot, behind Isabella in 2010, and then Chloe in 2011.

Interestingly, Ruby also took out the top place for girls in Queensland in 2012, but William only placed third in that state.

“It’s not easy to say for certain why a name becomes popular - maybe it’s the familiarity of hearing a name that draws people to it,” said Greg Curry, registrar of NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages

“Popularity in names does come and go over the decades. In 1912, just over 200 baby girls were given the name Ruby - 100 years on, just over 500 parents decided on the name.”

The girl’s list has remained fairly stable since 2011, but Emily was a notable entry, jumping from last year’s number 12 spot to second in 2012.

Sienna has fallen from favour, exiting the top 10.


Likewise, the boy’s list contained nine of last year’s names, with Cooper slipping off – and James coming in from number 12.

Curry acknowledges that naming a new baby is exciting, but has a request for new parents.

“While enjoying this time, I ask parents to be mindful when choosing a name. Don’t be flippant, as it is with them for life,” he said.


  1. William
  2. Oliver
  3. Lucas
  4. Jack
  5. Noah
  6. Ethan
  7. Lachlan
  8. Joshua
  9. Thomas
  10. James


  1. Ruby
  2. Emily
  3. Olivia
  4. Chloe
  5. Charlotte
  6. Mia
  7. Amelia
  8. Isabella
  9. Sophie
  10. Ava 

(NSW statistics as of January 7; parents have 60 days after the child's birth to lodge the name with NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages)