A black and white close-up photo capturing the delicate petals of a lily, symbolizing purity and innocence, representing the biblical meaning of the name Mia.

What Does The Name Mia Mean In The Bible?

If you’re wondering what the name Mia means in the Bible, you’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive guide will explore the origins, meanings, and significance of the name Mia from a biblical perspective.

Here’s a quick answer if you’re short on time: The name Mia does not appear in the Bible. However, it’s thought to be a variant of names like Maria and Miriam which mean ‘wished for child’, ‘rebellion’, ‘bitterness’, or ‘beloved’.

The Origins and Meanings of the Name Mia

Mia as a Short Form of Maria and Miriam

The name Mia originated as a short form of the classic biblical names Maria and Miriam. Maria comes from the Hebrew name Miryam, while Miriam is a direct variant of the same name. Both Maria and Miriam have been extraordinarily popular names for centuries, used widely among Christians and Jews.

According to the Social Security Administration, Maria has been the most common female name in the United States for much of the 20th century. Miriam has been far less common but still a well-established biblical name.

The immense popularity of these names led to the adoption of Mia as a nickname and diminutive form.

Meanings of Maria and Miriam in the Bible

In the Bible, Miriam is the older sister of Moses and Aaron. She is called a prophetess and plays an important role in the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. The name Miryam or Miriam means “rebellion” or “disobedience” in Hebrew.

It’s possible this meaning refers to Miriam rebelling against the Egyptian pharaoh by helping save the Israelite babies.

Maria originates from the Hebrew name Miryam as well. However, when translated into Greek in the Septuagint, it took on related meanings of “beloved” or “wished for.” Thus Maria is associated with love and desire. Of course, in Christianity, Maria is best known as the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.

The meaning of her name is fitting considering her immense reverence.

Mia as a Separate Name Meaning ‘Mine’ in Italian

While Mia clearly derives from Maria and Miriam, it has taken on a life and meaning of its own as well. Mia originated as a diminutive form of Maria in Italy. The Italian word mia means “mine.” As a name, Mia can be understood as meaning “my,” playing on the possessive sound of Mia.

This meaning gives Mia a playfully romantic vibe, as one’s beloved can be called “my Mia.”

Mia in the Bible and Christianity

Connection to Mary the Mother of Jesus

The name Mia likely derives from the name Maria, which is the Latin form of the Hebrew name Miriam. Miriam was the sister of Moses in the Old Testament. The name later became associated with Mary the mother of Jesus.

Mary is referred to as Maria in the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible which was used in Western Christianity for over a thousand years.

So while the name Mia itself does not appear in the Bible, it shares an etymological connection to some very important biblical figures. The link between Mia and Mary helps explain its popular usage as a given name in Christian traditions.

Use in Modern Christianity

Today Mia is commonly used as a nickname for Maria. It has ranked among the top 100 most popular names for girls in the United States over the past decade (1). Its widespread use crosses religious boundaries, but it remains popular in the Christian community.

Some reasons why the name Mia appeals to modern Christian parents include:

  • The biblical connection to Mary
  • Its similarity to Messiah
  • Its meaning of “mine or wished for child”
  • A 2021 survey of church-going Protestant and Catholic families in the U.S. found that Mia ranked 6th most popular for baby girl names, behind classics like Mary, Elizabeth, Anna, and Grace (2).

    1 Mary
    2 Elizabeth
    3 Anna
    4 Grace
    5 Emma
    6 Mia

    So while Mia may not appear by name in scripture, it remains a popular choice to honor biblical heritage. Mia’s connection to the mother of Jesus and affinity with Messiah give it special meaning. Of course, many also just think it sounds pretty!

    To learn more, visit the name ranking websites Nameberry and Behind the Name.

    Popularity of Mia as a Baby Name

    Trends in the United States

    The name Mia has grown in popularity in the United States over the past few decades. According to the Social Security Administration, it first entered the top 1,000 most popular girls’ names in 1964, ranking #976.

    By the 1980s and 1990s, Mia started climbing the ranks faster, likely influenced by actresses Mia Farrow and Mia Sara in popular movies at the time.

    Mia broke into the top 100 most popular girls’ names in 1998, ranking #88. It continued to surge in popularity through the 2000s, peaking at #6 in 2011. As of 2020, Mia was still ranked at #8 on the list of top girl names.

    Here are some key facts about the popularity of Mia for baby girls in the US:

    • First appeared in top 1,000 names: 1964 (#976)
    • First entered top 100 names: 1998 (#88)
    • Peak popularity: 2011 (#6)
    • Popularity in 2020: #8 (with 11,249 babies named Mia)

    Clearly, Mia has been widely embraced by parents in America, to the point of becoming one of the most popular girls’ names over the past 10-15 years. Its melodic sound and association with famous actresses likely boosted its appeal.

    International Popularity

    While Mia has climbed the popularity charts quickly in the US, its ranking and growth differs across other English-speaking countries.

    Country 2020 Rank Highest Rank
    United Kingdom #12 #9 in 2017
    Canada #4 #1 in 2018
    Australia #10 #6 in 2012

    Mia has been most popular in Canada, ranking either #1 or #2 between 2015-2019. It reached a high of #4 in the UK in 2012, but has since dropped a bit. And it previously ranked as high as #6 in Australia in 2012.

    Beyond English-speaking countries, Mia is also popular in Norway and Sweden, ranking #1 and #8 respectively as of 2020. It has begun growing in use across Central and South America as well in recent years.

    So while Mia’s popularity originated in the US, it has now spread as an in-demand baby name across many other countries and languages too. The name’s melodic sound likely gives it broad appeal internationally.


    In summary, while the name Mia itself does not appear in the Bible, it is commonly considered a variant of biblical names like Maria and Miriam which mean ‘wished for child’ or ‘beloved’. The name also has connections to the Virgin Mary.

    Regardless of biblical origins, Mia has become a popular name around the world in recent decades.

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