Meet Noah, Sophia, Liam, Olivia, Oliver and Emma

Baby name fashions always changing

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Are people still having babies? That’s the rhetorical question posed on Page 9 of last week’s High Prairie South Peace News.

Answer: of course they are! In fact the Slave Lake Health Care Centre has been bragging lately about how many babies have been born there – as opposed to elsewhere.

And what are they naming those babies? We don’t have anything on that, except the trends in baby names, which are showing up in online sources. Alberta hasn’t released its official data on the subject for 2020 yet (and probably won’t for quite some time). But it will probably reflect the general North American trend, which is also reported in last week’s SPN, gleaned from parents.com and babycenter.com. Those sources say Sophia was the top name for girls in 2020, followed by Olivia and Riley. For boys it was Liam, followed by Noah and Jackson. Narcity.com has the top boy baby names in 2019 in Canada as Jackson, Noah and Liam. On the girls’ side of things – Sophia, Olivia and Emma.

In Alberta in 2019 (according to Alberta.ca), Olivia, Charlotte and Sophia were the top three; Noah, Liam and Oliver topped the boys’ list.

With online records going back to 1990 for Alberta, why not go back and make some comparisons? In that year, we find Michael as the most popular name for baby boys in Alberta (570), followed by Matthew (511) and Kyle (428). Girl baby name leaders that year were Amanda (394), Ashley (356) and Stephanie (345).

For comparison purposes, we checked the 1990 stats for the top three names of 2019, they were very far down the list, as follows: Olivia (36), Charlotte (12) and Sophia (7). 2019’s top baby boy names ranked like this 30 years earlier: Noah (7), Liam (23) and Oliver (13).

Fashions sure are changing.

So now let’s turn that around and see how the top names from 1990 did in 2019: Amanda (11), Ashley (13) and Stephane (4). Still alive, but on life support. The boys’ champs of 1990 are a bit better off: Michael (75), Matthew (69) and Kyle (14).

Interestingly, according to the 2020 numbers cited above, the (or ‘a’) Spanish version of Matthew (Mateo) has put in an appearance in the top 10.

Another interesting tidbit in all this is that the numbers of babies with the top three names in 2019 was much lower than for the top three in 1990.
What’s up with that? It’s not because fewer babies are being born. In 1992 in Alberta (the earliest figure we could find) 42,123 births were registered in the province.

In 2019, that was up to 51,690.

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