Singh trumps Smith as top NZ surname
Singh has taken out the top spot for the most popular surname in both New Zealand and the Bay of Plenty for 2020.
The list of names was released by the Register-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages on Thursday.
Registrar-General Jeff Montgomery says the emergence of names such as Singh, Kaur and Patel reflect both immigration and religious affiliation trends.
He says 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.
Executive Director of the Office of Ethnic Communities Anusha Guler says it’s good news.
“Diversity in our communities helps make New Zealand a more culturally rich, innovative and connected place.”
The common surnames Singh, Kaur, Patel, Smith, Williams and Chen made up more than 26,549 of the 58,000 babies born last year.
Patel now makes it into the top five instead of Wilson.
The top surname, Singh, had almost 400 new registrations, Smith had 319 registrations, Kaur had 274, Patel had 204, and Williams came in last with nearly 200 new registrations.
Singh was the top surname is Auckland, the Bay of Plenty, and Hawkes Bay, while Smith remained number one in Northland, Waikato, Taranaki, West Coast, Canterbury and Otago.
The Register-General says parents are also becoming 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 Register-General has released the list.
The most common family names registered in 2019 were Singh, Smith, Kaur, Wilson and Williams.
View the full list below:
Top surname - All New Zealand
Name / Count
Top surname by region
Bay of Plenty Singh
Gisborne Allen, Brown, Kemp, Williams
Hawke's Bay Singh
Nelson Marshall, Taylor, Smith, Stewart, Thompson
West Coast Smith