Father holding his children
(iStock)
  • A total of 1,009,065 new births were registered last year, Statistics South Africa says, up slightly from the previous year.
  • The majority of those children had the surnames Dlamini, Nkosi, or Ndlovu again. 
  • Enzokuhle was the most popular first name for both boys and girls.
  • Go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za for more stories.


Just over one million births were registered in South Africa in the 14 months between January 2018 and February 2019, Statistics South Africa said on Thursday, and most of those babies were boys born in March with the surname Dlamini – again.

Data drawn from the department of home affairsNational Population Register (NPR) showed a total of 1,009,065 births, StatsSA said. That number is up 2% compared to the previous year, though still well below the peak of 1.67 million children registered in 2003.

Most of the births were in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, both of which saw well over 200,000 new babies registered. A total of 133 new South Africans were registered on foreign soil.

Only in Mpumalanga were an equal number of girls and boys registered last year. In all other provinces, and in South Africa as a whole, there were more boys than girls registered, peaking at 103 boys for every 100 girls in the Eastern Cape.

Across both sexes the most common surnames remained the same as in the previous year, and in same order: Dlamini, then Nkosi, and then Ndlovu.

Enzokuhle (literally "do good" in isiZulu) also remained the most popular first name for both baby girls and baby boys.

The other most popular first names for boys were Lethabo and Melokuhle. For girls the second and third most popular first names were Melokuhle and then Amahle.

The most popular middle names for boys were:

  • Junior,
  • Blessing, and
  • Gift

The most popular middle names for females were:

  • Precious,
  • Princess, and
  • Angel

Other than Enzokuhle, the names Melokuhle, Omphile, and Amogelang all made the top 10 for both sexes.

"Most of the popular baby names for males and females reflect positive hopes for the child, express beliefs and are inspired by positive connotations of both love and acceptance," StatsSA said.

This is how the top 10 most popular first, middle, and surnames stacked up in South Africa last year:

Top baby names in South Africa
(Statistics South Africa)

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