Following on the trend from 2020, Singh has again topped the list of most common family names for babies born in New Zealand in 2021.

According to new data released by the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages on Friday, Smith is the second most common surname for babies born in New Zealand last year.

Historically the feminine counterpart to Singh in Sikh communities, Kaur sits in third place.

Unlike the most popular first names for babies which tend to retain popularity across the country, data for family names differs, painting a beautiful picture of the cultural history of each region of Aotearoa,” said Registrar-General, Jeff Montgomery.

“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.”

Common Chinese names Wang and Li appear in fifth and sixth places respectively in the top 10 surnames for Auckland. Neither name appears in the overall top 10.

Similarly, Anderson and Thomas - which appear in sixth and eighth place for the South Island's top 10 - do not make the overall list for New Zealand.

Every year the Registrar-General shares the most popular baby names by gathering information from SmartStart. The site is a useful tool for new parents, making IRD numbers, benefits and BestStart payments simple for mums and dads. Through SmartStart birth registrations, baby name data is tracked each year to help foster a sense of belonging and inclusivity in Aotearoa.


The Department of Internal Affairs also this week released the most popular baby names of 2021, as well as the list of 78 baby names declined by the Registrar-General.

All New Zealand All North Island All South Island
Name Count Name Count Name Count
Singh 410 Singh 339 Smith 74
Smith 318 Kaur 252 Singh 64
Kaur 303 Smith 236 Wilson 57
Williams 238 Patel 185 Williams 50
Patel 215 Williams 179 Brown 47
Wilson 211 Brown 152 Anderson 46
Brown 203 Wilson 148 Jones 43
Taylor 187 Taylor 144 Thomas 40
Jones 161 Sharma 133 Kaur 38
Sharma 150 Jones 110 Taylor 35