The most popular baby name in SA is…? Stats SA reveals details

December 26, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja

Now that several mothers have given birth to their Christmas babies, with some yet to decide on a name for their newborn, Stats SA has shared some of the most popular names in South Africa.

The organisation shared the details in the recorded Live Births, 2021 report.

Statistics South Africa said of the almost 1 million births that occurred in 2021, the most popular baby names were Lethabo and Melokuhle for boys and girls.

Naming a child

It said naming of a newborn child plays a very important role in most cultures around the world.

“For instance, African baby names are given for reason, relevance and purpose. Similarly, South Africa is a country with a variety of cultures and religions, and this has a profound influence on baby naming.

“From the day or time a baby is born, to the circumstances surrounding the birth, several factors influence the names parents choose for their children. For example, Lethabo signifies joy and happiness, Melokuhle represents good things, Lubanzi signifies acceptance and Iminathi signifies (God is) standing with us,” it said.

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Stats SA said for both sexes, Dlamini was the most common baby surname in 2021, followed by Nkosi and Ndlovu.

“Nine of the surnames were from the Nguni clans namely isiZulu, isiXhosa, isiNdebele and siSwati. Mokoena which featured as the sixth most popular surname was the only non-Nguni surname.”

Concerns about teenage moms

Meanwhile, Stats SA has raised concerns about the increasing number of teenage mothers in 2021.

It said more than 60% of the births registered in the country were done without the details of the children’s fathers.

“However, this is expected to change in the coming years as in September 2021 the Constitutional Court ruled that this section of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act is unconstitutional. This means unmarried fathers can now have their information registered in the birth certificate of their children at the Department of Home Affairs.”

“Of note was the increasing number of teenage mothers in 2021. A total of 45 257 births were from mothers aged 17 years and younger, and of these – 42 were births from mothers between the ages of 11 and 12,” Statistics SA reported.

Stats SA said birth registrations remained high in most populated provinces, with Gauteng at 21.4%, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 20.4%.

For more information, download the full report here.

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