The Most Popular Baby Names in the World
Categories: Baby Names

The Most Popular Baby Names in the World

Some baby names are universally popular (Sofia and Oliver are quite the globe-trotters), while others are uniquely international. Emma and Noah may be top picks in the US (according to 2015 Social Security applications for births), but take a peek at the most popular baby names in 17 other countries around the world.

1. Australia: The favorite name down under in 2016 for girls was Charlotte, the feminine version of royal Charles, and for boys, the Latin-based Oliver, meaning “olive tree.”

2. Brazil: Portuguese-speaking Brazilians named their baby girls Alice, a German name meaning “noble,” and their baby boys Miguel, the Spanish form of Michael.

3. Canada: Our neighbors up north chose Sophia for their daughters and Liam for their sons in 2016. Sophia is Greek for “wisdom” and Liam is the Irish short form of William.

4. Denmark: For the first half of 2016, the most popular Danish girl name was Sofia and the boy’s name was Noah. Under the country’s Law on Personal Names, parents can only choose from a list of approved names, which includes approximately 19,000+ female and 16,000+ male options.

5. England: Why mess with a good thing? Across the pond, 2016 saw a lot of babies with the feminine/masculine version of the same name: Olivia and Oliver.

6. France: According to the 2015 Birth Register Insee, bébés were most likely to have the noms Louise or Nolan.

7. Germany: 2016‘s top names were Mia for girls (the Scandinavian version of Maria, meaning “bitter”) and Ben for boys (Hebrew origin, meaning “son of”). German names must be approved by the local registration office (there is also a submission fee), must indicate a gender, and can’t be a last name or product.

8. Iceland: The hot destination of 2016 had cool popular baby names, Emilía and Aron. Most Icelandic babies receive a second name as well, with Rós the most popular for girls and Þór for boys. Baby names must be approved by the Icelandic Naming Committee and are subject to a number of conditions: They can only contain Icelandic alphabet letters, must align with Icelandic traditions, and shouldn’t embarrass the child in the future.

9. India: Of the country’s population of 1 billion+ people, the most popular baby names in 2016 were Aadya for girls (another name for the fearless warrior goddess Durga) and Muhammad for boys (Arabic for “praised one.”)

10. Italy: Istat, the national statistics agency, reports that 2015’s most popular names were Sofia (a la Loren), and Francesco (possibly influenced by Pope Francis, who chose the Latin version of the name when he took the papacy in 2013).

11. Ireland: Based on passport applications in 2016, Emily and James topped the list of names. Traditional Irish names such as Aoife and Conor also made the top 10.

12. Malaysia: The top pick for girls in 2016 was Nor, Indian for “brightness,” while Mohamed was the top choice for boys. The National Registration Department also does not allow colors, vegetables, fruits, insects, and non-human living organisms as names.

13. New Zealand: Similar to England, Olivia and Oliver were the most popular names in 2016. The Department of Internal Affairs also reported 2015’s most popular Māori names were Maia and Nikau. According to the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995, names are not allowed if they are offensive, “unreasonably long,” or includes/resembles an official title/rank.

14. Norway: The most popular baby names in the happiest country in the world were Nora (or alternative spellings Norah or Noora) for girls and William for boys.

15. Scotland: Olivia was the most popular name for lasses in 2016 for the first time since The National Records of Scotland started reporting names in 1974 (unseating Emily, which held the title for the past two years). For the lads, Jack was the most popular name for the ninth consecutive year.

16. South Africa: South Africans lean toward angelic names. Per live births in 2015, the most popular name for girls was Precious (followed by Princess and Angel), and for boys, it was Junior (followed by Blessing and Gift).

17. Sweden: The birthplace of hygge, lagom, IKEA, and all your other favorite comfy trends favored Alice for girls and Oscar for boys in 2016.

What’s your favorite international baby name? Share it with us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)