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Hottest baby name trends of 2015

As we are winding down the whirlwind that has been 2015, we take a look at some of the weird and wonderful name trends. Read more to find out if your little one made the top 10 name list for 2015 and what experts think the trends for 2016 will be.

Baby name trends 2015 Baby name trends 2015

Baby Name trends in South Africa

The top list of baby names was released by the Statistician- General. See if your little one made the list:

Male Baby Names
Rank Male first name Number
1 Junior 1 137
2 Bandile 794
3 Kungawo 716
4 Siyabonga 709
5 Lethabo 683
6 Khayone 655
7 Mpho 647
8 Bokamoso 641
9 Kamogelo 627
10 Thato 622


The top 10 names for girls:

Female Baby Names
Rank Female first name Number
1 Iminathi 1 116
2 Minenhle 880
3 Rethabile 789
4 Bokamoso 663
5 Karabou 655
6 Amogelang 629
7 Tshegofatso 629
8 Lesedi 610
9 Amahle 601
10 Thandolwethu 548


Here are the top 10 most popular baby names of 2015:


  1. Sophia
  2. Emma
  3. Olivia
  4. Ava
  5. Mia
  6. Isabella
  7. Zoe
  8. Lily
  9. Emily
  10. Madison


  1. Jackson
  2. Aiden
  3. Liam
  4. Lucas
  5. Noah
  6. Mason
  7. Ethan
  8. Caden
  9. Logan
  10. Jacob

The lists are based on the names of more than 340,000 babies born in 2015 to moms registered on BabyCenter.com.


Hottest international baby name trends of 2015:

  • #Instagrambabies

It may sound strange, but the Baby Center Baby Names survey revealed that the hottest trend for baby names in 2015 was Instagram filters. Instagram has become a part of the daily lives of many, adding a filter can make a special memory more beautiful. These positive feelings towards Instagram filters have lead to names like Lux (up 75%), Ludwig (up 42%), Amaro, Reyes, Hudson and Kelvin all gaining popularity. For girls filters include Valencia, Juno and Willow. Some filters lost ground this year, but we expect to see more filters in 2016. Watch out for Mayfair, Sutro, Rise or Brannan - coming to a nursery near you!

  • Rise of the Royals

With the advent of the adorable baby George and Charlotte, royal names have been on trend but in 2015 we saw this taken literally. Names for girls like Royalty (leaped 88%), Royal (up 14%), Duchess (up 75%) and Princess (up 22%) all saw a rise. On the boys side we saw increases in these names too, Royal (up 36%), Reign (up 54%), Prince (up 10%), King (up 8%) and Noble and Sovereign (both up 7%). This extended to historic titles too, with Kaiser (up 45%), Sultan (up 26%), Cesar (up 16%) and Emperor (up 12%). We are waiting for the day when Prince gets detention or Royalty is caught sneaking out. "No Cesar, wait your turn!".

  •  Book worms

Since the start of Harry Potter mania we have seen a rise in names chosen from the Teen Fiction aisle. 2015 was no different in terms of name trends. With the drop in the name Katniss (down 10%) parents are looking for new heroines like Hazel (from The Fault in Our Stars - up 52%). Eleanor (from Eleanor & Park is up 20%) and Hermione (from Harry Potter is up 45%). In 2015 we saw a rise in the Authors names too - like John (up 4% - author of The Fault in Our Stars) and the name Rainbow (up 30%) for Teen fiction writer Rainbow Rowell.

  • It's in our stars, and planets

With all the talk of life on Mars in pop culture, we definitely saw an increase in the celestial names. Venus (up 68%), Gaia (up 32%), Soleil - French for Sun (up 28%) and Moon (up 4%). Stella and Luna both made the top 100 this year. Stella shot to number 68 and Luna increased by 5%. This trend didn't impact the boys names as much - Jupiter was the biggest riser (up 50%).

  • Gender-neutral

Parents have gone the extra mile to create unisex names in 2015. Generally when a name was given to a girl, it would be the feminine version with a boyish sounding nickname (like Alexandra - Alex). Once a traditional "boy-name" become popular with girls it tended to dropped in usage among boys. In 2015 we saw a rise in Carson (up 39% for girls and 14% for boys), Amari (up  9% for girls and 16% for boys), Karter (up 45% for girls and 9% for boys) and Sawyer (up 20% for girls and 7% for boys). We see a trend in celebs giving their daughters traditional boy names - Wyatt (Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher), Lincoln (Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard), Maxwell (Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson) and James (Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds).

How did you choose your baby name? Did you follow the international trends or follow a more South African approach?