Red Deer's first 2020 baby was born just after midnight at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Olivia and Noah most popular Alberta baby names in 2020

The name Olivia is riding quite the hot streak in Alberta.

For the eighth year in a row, Olivia was the most popular name in the province, the longest streak for the most popular name since 1980.

Jessica had a six-year run from 1990-95 as the most popular name and Emily had a streak of five years between 1998-2002.

Noah tops on the boys’ names list for the second consecutive year in the province.

Overall, the province welcomed 49,030 babies in 2020 – 25,160 boys and 23,870 girls. The highest birth count recorded in recent history for Alberta was 56,744 in 2015.

“Last year was difficult for everyone, but every new baby that an Alberta family welcomed brings joy and also hope for the future,” said Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta.

“Whether parents welcomed their firstborn or a sibling to other children, they can count on the same thing: Alberta is a great place to raise a family and we have a strong future ahead of us.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic challenged much of society, positivity seemed to be a popular theme for some new parents – with names like Hope, Peace, Faith, Charity, Joy, Happy and Brave appearing on the list of registered names.

Some parents also seemed to be inspired by athletes (Kobe, Muhammad-Ali, Beckham), mythology (Artemis, Persephone, Aries, Zeus), music (Dre, Zeppelin, Bowie), video games (Zelda, Link, Eevee), literature (Guinevere, Atticus) and places (Cairo, Nile, Phoenix).

Isla appeared in the top 10 list for girls for the first time and was the 12th most popular among girls in 2019.

Theodore and Levi appeared in the top 10 list for boys for the first time.