Popular baby names in South Africa


A report revealed by Statistics South Africa has unveiled the most popular names for babies in the country for last year. Overall, the names that have made it into the top 10 list have a positive meaning. Stats SA also reported that slightly more male babies were born in the last two decades.

Mother and baby
Statistics South Africa revealed the country’s popular baby names for 2014 on 1 September 2015. (Image: Tostado Photo, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Compiled by Priya Pitamber

The most popular baby name for boys in 2014 in South Africa was Junior; for girls it was Iminathi, Statistics South Africa revealed in its latest Recorded Live Births 2014 Report. It was released by statistician-general Pali Lehohla, on 1 September.

Dlamini was the most common surname among babies born and registered in 2014, the report stated.

“Obviously, when a child is born and they are not named yet, they may call you ‘Junior’ or ‘Baby,'” Lehohla said.

The other names that made the top 10 list for boys:

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

The name Bokamoso appeared on both lists, but it was more popular for girls than boys.

“Although there seems to be diversity in baby forenames in terms of ethnic identities, religious influences or meanings, all the forenames for males and females appear to have positive meanings,” the report noted. “In general, the names express happiness, acceptance and thankfulness.”

Other findings

The data also showed there were slightly more male babies born from 1994 to 2014. “Sex ratios were between 100 and 102 male births per 100 female births during the entire observation period.”

Most babies were born to mothers between the ages of 20 and 29 years old.

The provinces with the highest births were Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, while most births took place in March, January and September.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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