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There have been several stories in the press about how babycenter.au has revealed the top names of 2011. What they don’t say is that this isn’t based on birth data from registries, but just on names chosen and made public by the members of the website.

Baby Center also combines spelling of names, which in some ways gives a more accurate impression of the most popular names; on the other hand, it won’t necessarily gel with what the official data says. So yes, take notice of these trends (especially as they are the closest thing we have to a national survey) but they are not the final word on the subject by any means.

Most Popular Girls’ Names

  1. Chloe
  2. Sophie
  3. Ruby
  4. Charlotte
  5. Olivia
  6. Lily
  7. Ava
  8. Ella
  9. Emily
  10. Mia
  11. Sienna
  12. Amelia
  13. Isabella
  14. Lucy
  15. Zoe
  16. Grace
  17. Isabelle
  18. Maddison
  19. Emma
  20. Charlie (tied with Hannah)

Most Popular Boys’ Names

  1. Oliver
  2. Noah
  3. William
  4. Lachlan
  5. Ethan
  6. Jack
  7. Lucas
  8. Charlie
  9. Joshua
  10. Thomas
  11. Max
  12. Riley
  13. Jacob
  14. Aiden
  15. Liam
  16. Jackson
  17. Cooper
  18. Alexander
  19. Xavier
  20. Benjamin

Trends in Boys Names

Jack declines in popularity, and loses his position at #1 to Oliver. Old Testament names for boys continue to increase in popularity; big risers include Jacob, Noah and Joshua. William went to #3, which they attribute to the Royal Wedding, although William has been extremely popular for many years.

Dropping from the list are James, Samuel and Ryan, to be replaced by Alexander, Xavier and Benjamin. If Ryan really does drop significantly it will be interesting, as it has remained stable for around two decades.

Trends in Girls Names

Chloe moves into the #1 spot, while Lily declines in popularity. Isabella falls further down the charts, which Baby Center assures us is due to the Twilight series coming to an end. I’m not sure how they make this tally with the fact that Isabella was popular in the 1990s, while the first Twilight novel wasn’t published until 2005. Nor does this explain the increasing popularity of Jacob, which is also a name from Twilight.

Baby Center places Charlie for girls in the Top 20, because they combine it with the spellings for Charli. Although I think Charlie will be in the Girls Top 100 for 2011, I don’t think it will be Top Twenty. Baby Center also assures us most girls named Charlotte (#4) will be called Charlie in everyday life. I’m not sure where they have gained this information from.

Matilda and Georgia have dropped off the list altogether.

Unique Names

So if these are the popular names, what about the names that were given to only one baby on the website?

Boys: Audi, Brisbane, Fonzie, Harlem, Hawk, Haze, Hendrix, Hercules, Matisse, Rocky, Rome, Spirit, Toohey, Voltaire, Westin

Girls: Breeze, Clover, Deep, Halo, Justice, Lake, Oceana, Rain, Rainbow, Sailor, Serenity, Spring, Star, Storm, Vanilla, Zen

I somehow think that more than one baby received at least some of these names this year, although I expect all of them will be rare.