What Are the Most Common Names in the World?

We are all familiar with the top 100 lists of popular names. However, are there certain names that land on the charts every time? 

The most common names in the world usually are of Hebrew origin and have great biblical significance. Common male names include Robert, John, Matthew, James, and Michael. Popular female names are Emma, Maria, Susan, Jennifer, and Nancy.

There are thousands of names to choose from as new parents, and if you are looking for name ideas or are simply curious, this article will describe the world’s most common names. We will also look at some popular names in different countries. Let’s dive into it!

What Are the Most Common Names in the World?
What Are the Most Common Names in the World?

Most Common Names in the World

Since there are over 150 countries, popular names will vary depending on where you are in the world. However, a few names have reigned the charts throughout the world. Interestingly, many of the most popular names in the world have a biblical origin. 

Most Common Male Names in the World

Even though there are hundreds of popular names globally, a certain number has predominantly been chosen repeatedly by new parents. Let’s take a look at some of the most common male names. 


The name James comes from the Hebrew name Jacob and means “supplanter.” This term means to be a follower. The name truly became popular in the 17th century when King James VI gained the throne. 


The English meaning of Robert is “bright fame,” and it has a German origin. It has been on the top 25 list for an entire decade and hit the number one spot in 1925 and 1950. Nicknames of the name include Bob, Bobby, Rob, Robby. 


Matthew has a Hebrew origin and means “gift of God.” It is a very safe and solid name and has become so popular that people have started to develop alternatives to the name. Some alternatives would be Matthias or Mateo. 


This name also has a Hebrew origin and means “God is gracious.” It is an English derivative of the Latin name “Iohannes.” The name has reigned in popularity for over 400 years. An alternative to the name is Jonathan or Johnny. 


Yet another name that has a Hebrew origin, this name means “who is like God?”. The name originally came from the Hebrew name Mikha’el. Even though the name is popular among Christians and Jews, Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan also contributed to its success. 


William is of English origin and means “resolute protection.” The name originally came from Willhelm, a Germanic name. William the conqueror first introduced the name to England. Next to John, this name has been the most popular for over 400 years. 

Parents love this name because it is conservative yet modern. Prince William has also contributed to the contemporary popularity of the name. Alternatives of William are Billy, Bill, Will, and Willy. 


Jacob has Hebrew origin and means “supplanter.” The name radiates warmth, friendship, and honesty. The biblical name was on the top charts from 1999 to 2012. However, the name received another boost of popularity after the Twilight franchise was released. A common nickname of Jacob is Jake. 


With an Aramaic origin, this name means “Twin.” The name has been in the top 100 charts for decades in England, and the U.S. Thomas has a strong and sturdy sound to it and has warm tones. An alternative of Thomas, Tom, has become increasingly popular in Paris. 

Read more: Which Name is the Longest Name in the World

Most Common Female Names in the World

Now that we have covered the most popular male name, let’s look at some female names that have topped the charts. Even though many female names have biblical origins, there is more variety regarding the origins. 


Meaning “white shadow, white wave,” this name has a Cornish origin. Even though it has been around since the 18th century, it became popular in the 20th century. Jennifer has a very simple and pretty sound, which is what increases its appeal. Even though it is not on the current top 100 list, the name will always be a classic since the 1970s when there were over 800,000 Jennifers. 


Sarah is another name with a biblical Hebrew origin. The name means “princess” and comes from the Old Testament. Parents love this name since it sounds so classic yet stylish. An alternative, more modern spelling of Sarah is Sara. 


Nancy has a Hebrew and French origin. The name has always been in the top 1000, and even though it is slowly losing traction, it will always be a classic. The name is easy to pronounce, and many love it because of the famous girl detective Nancy Drew. 


Emma is of german origin and means “universal.” The popular name has been number one for four years in the United States. There are many beloved characters named Emma, including Jane Austen’s protagonist. 


This name has been very popular in Spanish speaking countries. It is of Aramaic and Latin origin and means “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved.” Parents love this name since it is easy to pronounce and sounds elegant. 


This name means “Lily” and has a Hebrew origin. Susan was most popular from the 1930s to the sixties. There are a few alternatives to the name, including Susanna, Susanne, or Suzie. The name has a very modern yet classy feel to it.

Read more: The Most Popular Baby Names In the U.S. 1920-2019

Read more: Which Name is Most Common in the World?

Common Names in Different Countries

We have covered the most popular names worldwide, but what about in different countries? Even though certain names have reigned in popularity worldwide, it doesn’t mean they were popular in every country. Let’s take a look at common names in different countries. 


Germany has influenced Austria’s language and names. The most popular girl names in Austria are Anna, Laura, Maria, Mia, Lena, and Emma. For boy names, there are Felix, Paul, David, Jakob, and Maximillian. 


Belgium is a multicultural country with three official languages: Flemish, German and French. Popular male names in Belgium include Noah, Louis, Adam, Arthur, and Liam. For girls, common names include Olivia, Louise, Mila, Alice, and Emma. 


Even though French Catholics in Canada choose three different names for their children, most Canadians choose names based on sentimental value. The most common female names in Canada are Olivia, Amelia, Charlotte, Emma, and Chloe. Popular male names include Oliver, Benjamin, Lucas, Liam, and Logan. 

Read more: Canadian Names: Complete Guide with Facts and Inspiration

Czech Republic 

Religion does not influence naming conventions in the Czech Republic. They prefer names that come from pagan Slavic origins. Common male names include Jakub, Matyas, Jan, Tomas, and Adam. For girls, popular names are Adela, Natalie, Tereza, and Eliska. 

England and Wales

In the past, England and Wales had strict naming rules. However, naming conventions are much more relaxed today. For girls, common names are Amelia, Emily, Ava, Isla, and Olivia. Popular names for boys include Jack, Noah, George, Harry, and Oliver. 


Many names in France come from saints or have a biblical origin. Common girl names are Jade, Alice, Louise, Chloe, and Emma. For boys, there is Leo, Louis, Gabriel, Raphael, and Lucas. 

Read more: French Names: Complete Guide with Facts and Inspiration


Some Icelandic names look strange because of their alphabet. However, they have some of the most beautiful sounding names out there. Common Icelandic names for girls are Emila, Lilja, Elisabet, and Sara. Popular boy names include Aron, Jon, Kari, Mikael, and Alexander. 


Common names in Italy come from Roman Catholic saints or are modern versions of Roman names. Popular girl names include Sofia, Aurora, Ginevra, Alice, and Giulia. Popular boy names are Francesco, Alessandro, Mattia, Lorenzo, and Leonardo. 

If you want some more ideas for baby names, check out 100,000+ Baby NamesOpens in a new tab. (affiliate link to Amazon).

Related Article:

Summary Of the Most Common Names in the World?

Many of the most common names in the world have a Hebrew origin with biblical meanings. Popular names for males include James, Robert, and Matthew, while common names for girls include Jennifer, Emma, and Maria. 

Many different names are common in different countries. For instance, Emilia, Sara, Aron, and Jon are popular in Iceland, while Sofia, Alice, and Leonardo are common in Italy. 


I just love everything about names. Here I ha’ve gathered everything about names in The United States and around the world...

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