Back to Top

Central Statistics Office

Search currently unavailable

 Skip navigation

Background Notes

Open in Excel:


These results are based on an analysis of the first names recorded on birth returns for registration and vital statistics, begun by the CSO in 1998. All birth notifications in 2016 included the baby’s first name when the statistical return was sent to the CSO.   It is hoped to have data on all forenames for years (1964 to 2016 inclusive) with 3 or more occurrences available on our statbank in the near future.

Information recorded

Only the first name was used for this analysis. Babies’ additional forenames were not extracted by the CSO. 

Spellings and variants

Different spellings of a name have been treated as separate names. For example, while there were 298 boys named Cillian, another 83 had the alternate spelling Killian. Similarly, if you combine the number of girls named Anna (288) and Annie (81) then it becomes the 5th most popular name for girls in 2016. Variants of names and abbreviations have also been treated as separate names. For example, Jack, Sean and John account for 1,454 boys. These were counted as separate names and rank second, fifth and twenty-fifth respectively. If treated as variants of John, it would rank as the most popular boys’ name. Names containing accents have been recorded without those accents e.g. Seán was recorded as Sean.


Names of equal rank have been placed in alphabetical order in Table 1.

Nuts2 and Nuts3 regions

The regional classifications in this release are based on the NUTS (nomenclature of Territorial Units) classification used by Eurostat. The NUTS3 regions correspond to the eight Regional Authorities established under the Local Government Act, 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order, 1993, which came into operation on 1 January 1994. The NUTS2 regions, which were proposed by Government and agreed by Eurostat in 1999, are groupings of the NUTS3 regions. The composition of the regions is set out below.

Border, Midland and Western NUTS2 Region      Southern and Eastern NUTS2 Region  
Border Cavan     Dublin Dublin City 
  Donegal       Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown 
  Leitrim       Fingal 
  Louth       South Dublin  
  Sligo     Mid-East  Kildare 
Midland Laois       Wicklow 
  Offaly     Mid-West  Clare 
  Westmeath       Limerick City 
          Limerick County 
West Galway City       North Tipperary 
  Galway County        
  Mayo     South-East  Carlow 
  Roscommon       Kilkenny 
          South Tipperary 
          Waterford City 
          Waterford County 
        South-West  Cork City 
          Cork County 

Nationality groups

The category EU15 excl Ireland & the UK consists of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.

The category EU15 to EU28 consists of: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.


Click here to view Quality Report and Methodology for Babies' Names.

Go to:Contact Details