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GIRLS

Hazel
Hazel just joined the national Top 100 as its fastest-rising name, going up 63 places to make #88: the last time it was a Top 100 name was in the 1940s. Hazel was also new to the Top 100 in New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania, and one of the Apple Isle’s fastest-rising names. The catalyst for Hazel’s debut in the Top 100 is last year’s teenage tearjerker, The Fault in Our Stars, based on the novel by John Green, and with Shailene Woodley in the role of Hazel. A fashionable retro name with a cool Z sound, chosen by several celebrities, Hazel was due for popularity. Just outside the US Top 100, it’s aready in the Top 50 in New Zealand.

Aria
Aria has been on the Top 100 since 2012, and in 2013 was the #1 fastest-rising name nationally. Last year Aria was the #1 fastest-rising name in New South Wales and Western Australia, and also rose significantly in Victoria and South Australia. I saw many more baby girls named Aria in birth notices too, so this pretty name is still going strong.

Ariana
Hard on Aria’s heels is Ariana, which just squeaked into the national Top 100 in 2013. Last year it was the #1 fastest-rising name in Tasmania, and rose 27 places to become one of the fastest-rising names nationally. It was also one of the fastest-rising names in New South Wales and Queensland. The major influence on the popularity of this name is American pop singer Ariana Grande, who has a couple of Australian connections: she dated Jai Brooks from The Janoskians in 2013/14, and her 2014 song Problem featured Iggy Azalea: it was Grande’s first Top Ten hit in Australia. Not only a multicultural choice, Ariana benefits from looking like an elaboration of Aria (it isn’t though).

Eleanor
Eleanor was new to the national Top 100 last year, and one of the fastest-rising names, as it went up 31 places to debut at #84: a classic never off the charts, Eleanor has not been in the Top 100 since the 1900s. It was also one of the fastest-rising names in New South Wales and Queensland. This is in line with international trends, as Eleanor joined the US Top 100 last year, and has been Top 100 in the UK for decades. Elegant Eleanor fits in with the trend for El- names for girls, and can be shortened to Elle, Ella, Ellie, Nell, Nellie, and Nora, among others. Such a lot of popular and fashionable nicknames!

Evelyn
Evelyn has been on the national Top 100 since 2011, and is a classic name which was last on the Top 100 in the 1940s. One of the fastest-rising names of 2013, Evelyn continues its ascent, as last year it was a fast-rising name in New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia. I saw an increase of Evelyns in birth notices during 2014.

BOYS

Maxwell
Maxwell was new to the Top 100 last year, and was the #1 fastest-rising name nationally, going up 43 places to debut at #97. It was also one of the fastest-rising names in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. Maxwell is a classic name never off the charts, and was last in the Top 100 during the 1950s. Fitting in with the trend for boys’names that shorten to Max, Maxwell is rising in the both US and UK, but has not yet become popular in either. Because of the Victorian connection, I wonder if the retirement of Nick Maxwell, captain of Collingwood, had any effect.

Fletcher
Fletcher joined the Top 100 last year, and went up 26 spots to make #99. It also joined the Top 100 in Victoria, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory, having already been Top 100 in Tasmania for some time. Although Fletcher was not a fast-rising name in any particular state or territory, that’s because it is so new on the charts that there is no data yet for that to show up. Fletcher has been rising in the charts since the 1990s, and has been a Top 100 name in New Zealand since 2010: it is still quite a way off becoming popular in either the US or UK, so this is a Trans Tasman trend.

Harvey
Harvey debuted on the Top 100 last year, rising 20 places to reach #84; this made it one of the fastest-rising names nationally, and it also rose significantly in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory – which seem to have a strong influence on the Top 100 for boys’names this year! A retro name which charted from the 1900s to the 1950s, rejoining the charts in the 1990s, Harvey has never been on the Top 100 before. It’s been a popular name in the UK since the late 1990s, so it’s in line with British trends. The death of veteran journalist Peter Harvey in 2013 may have been on influence on its rise.

George
George is a solid classic which has never been out of the Top 100, but last year it joined the Top 50 for the first time since the 1970s. After the birth of Prince George, the name George became one of the fastest-rising names of 2013, and its upwards progress continues. One of the fastest-rising names in New South Wales and Victoria, I saw many more Georges in birth notices, especially from rural and regional areas.

Nate
Nathaniel was one of the fastest-rising names of 2013, and last year more parents opted to go straight for the short form, Nate, which was one of the fastest-rising names in both New South Wales and Victoria. Nate has been in the charts since the early 2000s, and is only popular in Australia, although it once made the bottom of the Top 100 in New Zealand, and is rising in the UK.

NOTE: A quick reminder that the fastest-rising names of 2013 were Aria, Evelyn, Penelope, Samantha and Lola for girls, and Louis, Hudson, Nathaniel, George and Lincoln for boys.

I have chosen those names which increased in popularity in the most number of states and territories, making their popularity widest across the board in Australia. For the positions of each name in individual states and territories, please refer to the Name Data category for more information.

POLL RESULTS
People’s favourite fastest rising names were Hazel, gaining 38% of the vote, and Maxwell, gaining 27% of the vote (George was close behind on 26%). The least favourite were Ariana (7%), and a tie between Harvey and Nate (15%).

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