The name Malia ranked 464th in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of 2000-2003 Social Security Administration statistics and 1921st in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census.
Between 1860 and 1967, citizens of Hawaii were required to give their children Christian names. Because the sound system of the Hawaiian language does not correspond to that of English, ''Hawaiianized'' versions of the names evolved.
Among those who revere the mystical naming practices native to Hawaii, these names are not properly Hawaiian at all. However, they have remained in use for over 150 years. Set beside the English names from which they developed, and the ancient Hawaiian names that are now enjoying a revival, they serve as a reminder of Hawaii's continuing effort to preserve its unique identity. The name can also mean ''peaceful'' or ''calm'' in Hawaiian.