New Zealand's most common surnames for babies born in 2021 revealed

Happy baby being held in the air by mum
The list of the most common surnames for babies born in New Zealand last year has been revealed. Photo credit: Getty Images

Singh is once again the most common surname for babies born in Aotearoa, taking out the top spot in both 2020 and 2021 respectively.

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.

In third place is Kaur, historically the feminine counterpart to Singh in Sikh communities.  

"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," Registrar-General Jeff Montgomery said on Friday. 

"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."

For example, common Chinese surnames Wang and Li take fifth and sixth place respectively in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau's top 10, but neither appear in the 10 most common surnames nationwide. 

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.

Aotearoa's most popular names, from forenames to family names to pet names, are gathered each year from SmartStart data. 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.

New Zealand's most common surnames for babies born in 2021 revealed
Photo credit: Department of Internal Affairs