The Most Popular Baby Names from Around the World

Though these names are the most common for newborns in other countries, they’re sure to stand out here in the U.S.

If there is a name that’s beloved in both North America and Europe, it’s Emma. Not only is it the most popular girls name registered with the Social Security Administration here in the U.S., it’s also the second most popular name in France, the third in Canada, and 19th most popular in Scotland. But besides preschool classes filled with Emma’s, how do other country’s popular names compare to the U.S.? Here, the most popular names for newborn babies from eight different countries across the globe.

India

mother-son-swing-smiling
Photo by Holly Wilmeth / Getty Images

According to BabyCenter India, the most popular name for boys was similar to those in other Eastern countries: Muhammad. The name took the top spot from Aarav, which dropped down to second after being the most popular name for five years in a row. Rounding out the top three for boys is Arjun. For girls, the names follow a global trend—ending in “A”. The most popular name for newborn girls was Aadya. It has held the top spot for the past three years. Popular names for girls also include Ananya and Shanaya.

Ireland

In Ireland, the most popular names in 2016 were Emily and James. Emily has been the most popular name for girls for the past two years, too. The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade based their data on the nearly 18,000 passports issued to children born last year. Other notable popular names were unique to Irish heritage, such as Aoife (pronounced ee-fa) and Finn. However, multicultural names such as Freya and Muhammad also were popular last year.

Note: the full list of registered names and rankings for Ireland has yet to be released.

Canada

Our neighbors to the north have similar tastes in baby names. According to BabyCenter Canada, the top name of the year was Liam for boys and Sophia for girls. According to an analysis released by BabyCenter, Sophia took the top spot for girls in the U.S. in 2016. Liam was the third most popular name.

Some names on the list were strictly Canadian, too. A few names stood out from BabyCenter’s U.S. list. Hudson (18) for boys and Zoey (7) over the American-preferred spelling Zoe. They also chose a slight differentiation of the most popular name—Sophie (19).



Scotland

According to the National Records of Scotland, Olivia and Jack were the most popular name for newborns in 2016. Though Jack has remained at the top for boys for nine years, it’s Olivia’s first time at the top, surpassing Emily in popularity. Also distinctly popular in Scotland were Lewis (4) and Finlay (15) for boys and Jessica (7), Lucy (9), and Millie (19) for girls.

Iceland

According to Mental Floss, Iceland requires parents must choose a name already approved by the Iceland Naming Committee, or submit a request for approval. This makes for a list of popular names with a distinctly Icelandic twist. According to a report by Statistics Iceland released December 2016, the most popular name for newborn boys born in 2015 was Aron, followed by Alexander, then Viktor. And for girls? Emilía, followed by Sara, then Ísabella.

England

England’s top baby names look a lot more similar to neighbor Scotland than they do the in U.S. According to BabyCentre, Olivia took the top spot for girls names in England, too. The English must really like that name since the top name for boys was the masculine derivative—Oliver. Other standouts? Alice (19) and Poppy (13) for girls, and Freddie (14) for boys. They also prefer both Isabelle (9) and Isabella (8), but pick Sophie (10) instead of Sophia. Also departing from the Scottish, the English prefer to name their sons Finley (20).



France

Leaving the United Kingdom for mainland Europe brings drastically different name trends. According to the 2015 INSEE names registry released in January 2017, the name Emma survives the jump across the pond and remains the second most popular name for newborn French girls. The other two top names, however, are distinctly French: Louise (1) and Jade (3). The most popular boys name? Nolan. And though Léo is a popular name for boys both in the U.K. and France, it ties for second most popular with Jules. Gabriel rounds out the top as the fourth most popular.

South Africa

In South Africa, popular names follow a cherubic theme. According to the Statistics South Africa’s October 2016 release on recorded live births, the most popular names for girls in 2015 were Precious, Princess, and Angel. For boys, it was Junior, Blessing, and Gift.