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Jack reclaimed the top spot as the most popular name chosen for baby boys in 2017, a position it has held since 2007 with the exception of 2016 when James was most popular.
Emily was again the name chosen most often for baby girls in 2017, a position it has retained since 2011.
The top five boys’ names Jack, James, Daniel, Conor and Sean have been the top five since 2007 with slight changes to their order. Indeed, four of the top five boys’ names (Jack, Sean, Conor and James) have been in the top five since 1998. This is the seventh consecutive year that Emily has been the most popular name chosen for girls. Emily, Emma, Amelia, Grace and Sophie, were the top five most popular names for girls in 2017. See table 2.1.
Theo and Jackson were new entrants to the top 100 for boys in 2017. They were also the names rising most in popularity, increasing 33 and 29 places respectively. Theo increased from 106th place in 2016 to 73rd place in 2017 and Jackson went from 128th place in 2016 to 99th place in 2017. See tables 2.1 and 2.5.
There were four first time entrants to the top 100 for girls: Aoibhin, Nina, Pippa and Esme. Aoibhin and Nina were also the girls' names growing most in popularity. Aoibhin increased 82 places from 150th place in 2016 to 68th place in 2017. Nina increased 41 places - from 140th place in 2016 to 99th place in 2017. See tables 2.1 and 2.5.
As in previous years, the tables show that girls are given a wider variety of names than boys with 4,493 girls’ names registered in 2017 compared to 3,472 boys’ names. Despite the greater number of male births, a smaller range of names were used for boys than for girls.
In most areas of the country one of the top five boys’ names took the number one spot.
Jack, the most popular name for boys in 2017, was also the most popular name in Kildare, Louth, Meath, Wexford, Wicklow, Clare, Cork City, Cork County, Kerry, North Tipperary, Waterford County and Mayo. In South Dublin, Jack shared the top place with Adam and James, in Limerick City Jack shared the number one place with Adam, Jack and Conor were the most popular boys names in Laois. James, the second most popular boys name in 2017, got top place in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Kilkenny, Limerick County, Galway County and Cavan. In Monaghan, James along with Ryan were the most popular. Conor got top position in South Tipperary and Sligo. Conor shared with Oisin in Donegal. Daniel was the most chosen name in Fingal and Leitrim. It was John that was most favoured in Longford. In Galway City and Roscommon Adam took first place. In Dublin City and Waterford City Noah was tops. Alex was the most popular name for baby boys in Westmeath while Offaly favoured Charlie. Harry was the favourite in Carlow. See table 2.8(a).
Emily, the top girls' name in 2017 was also the most chosen girls' name in Carlow, South Dublin, Fingal, Kildare, Longford, Westmeath, Limerick County, Galway City and Mayo. Emily shared the top place with Chloe in Galway County and Emily shared with Amelia and Aoife in Clare. The favourite name in Laois and Meath was Emma. Grace was tops in Kilkenny, Offaly, North Tipperary and Leitrim. In Louth and Wicklow Amelia was the most favoured name. Amelia shared top place with Caoimhe, Chloe, Hannah, Holly and Sophie in Cavan. Amelia shared with Sophie in Donegal. Sophie was also the most popular name in Wexford. Sophie also shared top place with Chloe in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and with Charlotte in Monaghan. Ella was the name chosen most often in Kerry and South Tipperary and Ellie was the favourite in Limerick City. Roscommon chose Caoimhe as the most favoured name. In Waterford County Fiadh topped the list. In Cork County, Kate was the favourite name and in Sligo it was Lucy that made it to the top of the list. The favourite name in Dublin City, Cork City and Waterford City was Mia. See table 2.8(b).
Some of the less common girls' names registered in 2017 and not included in the top 100 names were Everly, Teegan and Romi.
Some of the less popular boys' names registered in 2017 were Saul, Seaghan and Marley.
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Where both parents were stated as being Irish nationals, Jack was the most popular name. Charlie was the most popular choice with parents of UK nationality. Daniel was the most popular boys' name chosen by parents from the EU15 (excluding Ireland and the UK). David was the name chosen most often by parents from the EU28 excluding EU15. Parents from nations outside the EU made Muhammad the highest ranked name of baby boys registered in Ireland in 2017. See table 2.9.
For girls, where both parents were Irish nationals, Emily was the most popular name. Hannah was the name most often chosen by parents of UK nationality. Alice ranked first with parents of the EU15 (excluding Ireland and the UK) and Julia took the top spot with parents of the EU 28 excluding EU15 countries. Parents from outside the EU28 made Maria the name that ranked highest of baby girls registered in Ireland in 2017. See table 2.9.
Image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.comSurname
An analysis of the top ten most popular surnames of babies registered in 2017 is also included in this publication. There were 62,053 live births registered in 2017. Of these, there were 20,642 unique surnames. These unique surnames include some double barrelled surnames e.g. O’Brien-Murphy. The top 10 most popular surnames account for 7.4% (or 4,585) of the 62,053 births registered in 2017. The surname ‘Murphy’ accounted for over 1.2% (732 births) while ‘Kelly’ accounts for 0.9% or (587) births. See table 2.10.
An analysis was done of the baby names registered fifty years earlier in 1967. There were 2,981 boys whose registered name was John in 1967 which made it the most popular name for boys. The name John was ranked number 22 in popularity in 2017 when 266 baby boys were so named. See tables 2.1, 2.2, 2.11 and 2.12.
The top five boys’ names in 1967 were, in order, John, Michael, Patrick, James and Paul. Of these five names only James was in the top five names registered for boys fifty years later in 2017. See table 2.1 and 2.11.
While 1,349 baby boys were named James in 1967, when it was ranked 4th, there was less than half of that number (619) baby boys named James in 2017, making it the second most popular name for boys. The names Adam, Luke, Jack, Noah or Oisin did not appear anywhere on the top 100 list of male baby names in 1967. However, Conor, Daniel, Michael and Sean were in the top 100 most popular names in 1967.
For girls, Mary was the name of choice for 2,591 parents for their newborn daughters in 1967 making it the most popular name for girls born that year. It was also still among the top 100 names (ranked 91) for baby girls born in Ireland in 2017 when 64 newborn girls were named Mary. See tables 2.1, 2.2, 2.11 and 2.12.
None of the top 10 most popular names for girls' in 2017 appeared anywhere in the top 100 girls' names in 1967.
The top five girls’ names in 1967 were Mary, Margaret, Catherine, Ann and Anne. None of these names featured in the top five names registered for baby girls in 2017. Mary is the only name out of the top five in 1967 that features in the top 100 names for girls in 2017. See table 2.1 and 2.11.
The most recent data available for England/Wales and Northern Ireland is for 2016. Oliver was the name chosen most often for baby boys in England/Wales and the feminine version of the name Olivia was the name most favoured for baby girls. As in Ireland in 2016, James and Emily were the most popular names chosen in Northern Ireland. There is provisional data available for Scotland for 2017 and Jack was the name most favoured for boys while Olivia was the name of choice for girls. See table 2.1, 2.2 and 2.15.
Please note: The infographic and Top 5 Boys' and Girls' Names 2017 image have been updated to better reflect the ranking of girls' names in 2017.