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Press Statement


31 May 2017

Irish Babies' Names 2016

James and Emily are tops
  • Jack, the most popular boy’s name in Ireland since 2007 is beaten into second place 9 years later in 2016
  • Emily still retains the top spot for girls, a position it has held since 2011 while Grace is second
  • 50 years earlier in 1966 John and Mary were top of the tots
  • For boys, Muhammad, Louis, Lucas Josh, Jason and Ollie had most growth in popularity
  • Willow, Matilda, Harper, Heidi and Zoey showed the most growth in popularity in girls’ names
  • Go to release: Irish Babies' Names 2016

    The CSO today (31st May, 2017) released statistics on Irish Babies’ Names 2016.  Commenting on the report, Carol Anne Hennessy, Statistician said: “2016 is the first year since 2007 that Jack didn’t head the list of most popular boys’ names.  James is now the most popular, closely followed by Jack, Daniel, Conor and Sean.

    Back in 1966, John, Michael, Patrick, James and Paul were the names most favoured by parents of new born baby boys.  While there were 3,152 baby boys named John 50 years ago, the five most popular boys’ names in 2016 together only accounted for 2,989 baby boys. 

    Emily, Grace, Ava, Lucy and Amelia jointly with Sophie were ranked in the top five names of choice by parents for their newly arrived baby girls.  Interestingly, none of these appeared in the top 100 names for girls a half century earlier when Mary, Catherine, Margaret, Ann and Anne were the most popular names for baby daughters in 1966. In 2016, there were 490 baby girls named Emily, compared with 2,857 given the name Mary in 1966. 

    As is evident from the tables, girls are given a wider variety of names than boys with 4,526 separate girls names registered, compared to 3,456 for boys.

    For boys, Muhammad, Louis, Lucas Josh, Jason and Ollie had most growth in popularity.  Muhammad jumped 36 places in the rankings since 2015, up from 119 to 83 in 2016 to make it the only new entrant into the top 100 names for boys.  Louis was ranked 106 in 2015 and took 78th position in 2016, an improvement of 28 places in the rankings.

    Willow, Matilda, Harper, Heidi and Zoey showed the most growth in popularity in girls’ names between 2015 and 2016 and these together with Aria were the only new entrants into the top 100 names for girls in 2016.  Willow was ranked 72nd in 2016 up 49 places from 121 in 2015.  Matilda also improved position, up from position 146 in 2015 to a rank of 97 in 2016, a jump of 49 places in the rankings. 

    In 2016, James was the top name for boys in Dublin City while Charlie was the most popular in Cork City and Daniel earned the top spot in Waterford City.  It was Michael that took the honours for new born baby boys in Galway City while Limerick City favoured Conor.

    Amelia proved most popular for baby girls in Dublin City and Cork City.  Waterford City made Mia best in class while Galway city made Fiadh most popular.

    Jack was the most popular name for boys and Grace the most popular for girls where both parents were of Irish nationality while Finn and Isaac shared number one spot where both parents were U.K. nationals.  Aria and Emily shared the top spot for girls that were born to U.K. nationals in 2016.

    Some less popular names for boys included Anton, Brodie, Cruz, Harris and Feilim.  Less popular girls’ names included Blake, Indigo, Lucia, Reidin, Romy and Peyton.

    Murphy, Kelly, O’Brien, Ryan and Walsh were the five most popular surnames of newborns registered in 2016”.



    For further information contact:

    Carol Anne Hennessy (+353) 21 453 5307 or Marie Crowley (+353) 21 453 5016

    or email

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