The most common family name registered in New Zealand in 2020 was Singh, according to the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages. 

“Kaur” and “Patel” are the other two Indian-origin family names making in the top five list of family names of babies born in NZ this year.

A press release from the office of the Department of Internal Affairs informing about the most common names of the babies born in 2020 has highlighted the diversity in the names of new-born babies, with Singh, Kaur, Patel, Smith, Williams and Chen all make a strong showing among new-borns, with more than 26,549 individual family names registered for the more than 58,000 babies born last year.

Singh was the most common family name in 2019 as well, followed by Kaur.

Patel makes entry for first tiem in top five popular family names in NZ

Notably “Patel” has made entry for the first time this year in the list of top five popular family names of the new-born babies.

In 2019 the most common family names registered were Singh, Smith, Kaur, Wilson and Williams.

Emphasising on the increasing diversity the Executive Director of the Office of Ethnic Communities, Anusha Guler said, ““The list of the most common surnames for 2020 is yet another indication of Aotearoa New Zealand’s thriving diversity.”

“This is good news, as diversity in our communities helps make New Zealand a more culturally rich, innovative and connected place.”

The most common family names registered in 2019 were Singh, Smith, Kaur, Wilson and Williams. Patel now makes it into the top five instead of Wilson.

Patel is the most common name in Wellington.

There was some regional variation with Patel being the most common family name in Wellington, and Singh in Auckland and Bay of Plenty, while Smith took out top spot in Canterbury, Otago, West Coast and Southland.

Registrar-General Jeff Montgomery said the emergence of names such as Singh, Kaur, and Patel reflected both immigration and religious affiliation trends.

"Most new citizens come from the United Kingdom and India, with a significant number from Sikh backgrounds where Singh is the chosen family name for boys and Kaur for girls.”

Parents are also being more creative with first names. There were more than 18,000 different first names for the 58,000 babies registered last year through SmartStart. Some parents are also getting creative with family names and choosing to hyphenate names or create completely new names.”

This is the second year the Registrar-General has produced the list of family names.

Below is the list of most common family names. 

 

 

Top surname – All New Zealand

Name

Count

Singh

398

Smith

319

Kaur

274

Patel

204

Williams

198

Brown

194

Wilson

179

Taylor

152

Thompson

148

Anderson

143

Top surname by region

Region

Surname

Northland

Smith

Auckland

Singh

Bay of Plenty

Singh

Waikato

Smith

Gisborne

Allen, Brown,
Kemp, Williams

Taranaki

Smith

Hawke's Bay

Singh

Manawatu-Whanganui

Anderson

Wellington

Patel

Nelson

Marshall, Taylor, Smith,
Stewart, Thompson

Tasman

 

Marlborough

 

West Coast

Smith

Canterbury

Smith

Otago

Smith

Southland

Wilson