These are the most popular baby names in SA, finds Stats SA

A new report by Statistics South Africa found nearly 1 million babies were born in 2021, with more than 40% from two provinces – Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

More than 60% of births were registered without specifying the father.

“However, this is expected to change in the coming years, as the Constitutional Court ruled in September 2021 that this section of the Law on the Registration of Births and Children in the Ministry of the Interior is unconstitutional,” Statistics SA reported.

Statistics SA noted an increasing number of teenage mothers in 2021. A total of 45,257 births were to mothers aged 17 and younger. About 42 babies were born to mothers between the ages of 11 and 12.

The most popular baby girl names were Melokuhle (meaning good things), followed by Omphile and Iminathi.

For boys, the top name was Lethabo (meaning joy and happiness), followed by Lubanzi and Melokuhle. Melokuhle, Lethabo and Lethokuhle appeared on the list of the top ten baby names for both men and women.

Source: Statistics SA

“In general, the popular baby first names for men and women reflect positive hopes for the child, express beliefs, and are inspired by positive connotations of love and acceptance,” says Statistics SA.

Source: Statistics SA

Dlamini was the most common baby surname in 2021, followed by Nkosi and Ndlovu.

Nine of the top ten surnames came from the Nguni clans (isiZulu, isiXhosa, isiNdebele and siSwati). Mokoena (sixth on the list) was the most popular surname not from these clans.

Around 949,757 births were registered in 2021, with 21.4% from Gauteng, followed by KwaZulu-Natal (20.4%).

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