Baby Name Expert Predicts the 10 Names to Watch

In the 60s it was David and Susan. In the 70s it was Michael and Michelle. In the 90s it was Joshua and Jessica. Now it’s Oliver and Charlotte – the names that consistently top the charts and dominate the classrooms.

But how long can these lovely names really stay on top? I mean, it’s been a while, guys, time to take a step down and let some new names take your place. And, no, we’re not just talking about Jack, William, Olivia, and Mia either.

A new generation of top ten names is coming 

According to data analyst and baby name expert Mark McCrindle, we may finally see a new dawn of baby names.

For the past ten or so years, we’ve seen the same 20 or so names battle it out for that top spot. In case you need a reminder, here they are:

Baby names
Photo: McCrindle

But, ladies and gents, it’s time for a new name king and queen. And the crowning may just take place this next decade,

According to Mark, the overall trend for new parents is to look to the old for their naming inspiration. This is something that will continue to dominate in the next decade.

The overall trend in what makes a popular name is the 100-year return trend, the traditional over the trendy.

We are moving back towards traditional spelling over creative spelling. Other trends that play a role include the botanical theme, the non-gendered trend, the royal influence and the tendency to choose strong names.”

More variety to come

Another interesting thing Mark notes is that we can expect more variety in our playgrounds and classrooms. Parents are taking inspiration from more sources and drawing from a broader base of names.

“We did some analysis of the top 100 names in New South Wales in the past compared to today and found that in the 1950s, 30% of babies were given one of the top 10 names. In 1987, this dropped to 22%. In 2018, just 10% of babies born in NSW were given a top ten name.”

The intention that parents bring to naming – we are probably not going to see the name Jessica or Joshua type phenomena where they just dominated. But we will still see names that will get to the top and stay there for a while.” 

Which names will take the top spots? 


1. Leo One of the biggest movers of the past decade is Leo which is now on the top ten list. It’s short yet strong and may make its way to the top during the 2020s.

2. George – Since the cheeky Prince was born in 2013 this name continues to rule the charts. It’s not only royal but also has that vintage feel to it, making it a very good contender for the top spot in the future.

3. Theodore – What’s old is definitely new again, especially with Theodore. It comes with the traditional roots of our grandparents but also can be shortened to Teddy or Theo, both adorable nicknames for a new generation of tots.

4. Arthur – Also a name with royal roots, Arthur is another A name bringing its A-game. I’ve never met a child named Arthur before but this year alone, I’ve met three babies with this name.

5. Archie – Mark’s final prediction for boys is Archie, which, of course, has something to do with Archie Harrison, Prince Harry’s son. Louis is also expected to rise, perhaps not to the top ten, but, hey, you never know!


6. Penelope – Like Theodore, Penelope is an old-school name that is returning to the limelight for the next generation. With it, expect to hear a lot of mums calling ‘Penny’ at the playground.

7. Daisy – Daisy made an impressive spike in popularity this year and was just one of the MANY flower names that blossomed (see what we did there).

8. Audrey – You can’t say Audrey and not think Hepburn. The epitome of beauty, the name has graced thousands of little girls over the past decade and Mark expects this to continue in the future.

9. Olive – Olive is another name to watch. Again, this name stems from both the nature-theme and the old-school generation.

10. Willow – Pink named her daughter Willow in 2011 and, well, since then, the name has taken off. It’s currently #10 and it will most likely keep climbing in the next decade.

So, mums and mums-to-be, are any of these names on your baby name list?

What to read next

Still unsure what to call your little one? We’ve got heaps of baby names to consider. Check out:

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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