January 26, 2022

‘Singh’ is top surname again in 2021, followed by ‘Smith’, ‘Kaur’

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‘Oliver’ & ‘Charlotte’ are most registered first names

By: Gurbir Singh

For the second year in a row, ‘Singh’ has once again emerged as the top surname of babies born in New Zealand in 2021, with the highest count of 410.

Pattern of year 2020 was repeated in 2021 with the family name ‘Smith’ relegated to the second place(318), according to the latest stats of the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

In the third place again was ‘Kaur’ for the whole of Aotearoa with a count of 303.

'Singh' on top
Family name ‘Singh’ was on top in babies born in 2021

A significant number of migrants come here from Punjab (a northern state of India)with a Sikh background where ‘Singh’ is the chosen family name for boys and ‘Kaur’ for girls- the feminine counterpart to ‘Singh’ in the Sikh faith.

In the Sikh faith, ‘Singh’ means ‘lion’ or the one with qualities of a ‘warrior’, and ‘Kaur’ reflects a similar meaning ‘lioness’ or a ‘princess’.

However, this family name ‘Singh’ is also common in a couple of northern Indian states – Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Top 10 family names (Source: DIA)

Significantly, two other Indian family names find a place in the list of top 10 – ‘Patel’ and ‘Sharma’.

The emergence of names such as Singh and Kaur, for instance, reflect both immigration diversity in our communities and religious affiliation trends noticed currently in Aotearoa.

“It’s a joy each year to get a feel for how the communities in each region are growing and thriving through looking at something as simple as the most common baby family names,” says Jeff Montgomery, Registrar-General.

In the category of baby names, Oliver once again leads the list as the most popular baby name for boys, having held the spot since 2013.

Charlotte is back at the top of the list of the most popular baby names for girls in 2021 after two years at second place.

Isla and Amelia are the second and third most popular girls’ names for 2021, having fought Charlotte for the top spot for the last three years. The same trend runs for boys’ names, with Noah and Jack coming in second and third after joining Oliver in the top three for the previous four years.

Following on from last year’s trend, Royale, Royaleliza, Royalred, Royalt and Royalty are amongst the 78 names declined by the Registrar-General, Births, Deaths and Marriages in 2021.

In 2021, 56,013 births were registered in Aotearoa, with a total of 16,790 different first names.

Also Read: www.newsviews.co.nz/singh-overtakes-smith-williams-again-as-top-surname-in-2020/

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