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New Series

From the 01/01/2018 the CSO has captured the síneadh fada and other diacritics for the first time.  This marks the beginning of new series of data.  The inclusion of the síneadh fada and other diacritics has an impact in the order of the popularity of some forenames.  For example Sean (without the síneadh fada) has always been in the top 5 most popular names for boys.  Seán with the síneadh fada is now included in the 2018 data and both spellings are treated as 2 separate names and thus it falls out of the top 5.  At the beginning of the collection process, names had to be manually inputted on a database from paper records.  This was a labour-intensive task and a decision was taken in 1998 to input names without síneadh fadas.  When data became digitally available it was decided to continue as before, as any change would result in a break in the series.


It should be noted that for 2017 onwards the number of births as per the Irish Babies' Names Tables are on the basis of those births registered in the relevant year rather than the number of births recorded in the summary of the four quarters of the year.  2018 Babies' Names tables are based on births registered from 01/01/2018 to 31/12/2018 inclusive.

These results are based on an analysis of the first names registered with the General Registration Office (GRO) and the CSO began publishing this series from 1998.  All birth notifications in 2018 included the baby’s first name when the statistical return was sent to the CSO.  In addition, data on all forenames for years (1964 to 2018 inclusive) with 3 or more occurrences is available on our statbank. VSA05 and VSA12 refer -  classifying all boys and girls names respectively with 3 or more occurrences, by year, number and rank.

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 98 boys named Eoin, another 88 had the alternate spelling Eoghan.  Similarly, in 2018, if you combine the number of girls named Hanna (62) and Hannah (304) then it shares 3rd place with Emma.  Variants of names and abbreviations have also been treated as separate names. For example, Jack, Seán, John and Sean account for 1,335 boys. These were counted as separate names and rank first, thirteenth, twenty-seventh and seventy-fourth respectively.  If treated as variants of John, it would rank as the most popular boys' name.  From 2018 onwards names containing accents have been recorded with those accents therefore Seán and Sean are recorded as two separate names.


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

NUTS2 and NUTS3 Regional Authority areas - January 2018

From 1st January 2018 an Amendment of the EU NUTS legislation came into effect.  This reflects the new regional assembly structure and the other changes to the Local Government Act for Tipperary North, Tipperary South and Limerick and Waterford City and County Councils.  The composition of the new Regions breakdown is outlined below.

Up to December 2017 regional classifications were based on the NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units) classification used by Eurostat.  The NUTS3 regions corresponded to 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.  

NUTS2 and NUTS3 Regional Authority areas - January 2018

Northern and Western Regions:   Eastern and Midland Regions:  
Border Cavan Dublin Dublin City 
  Donegal   Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown 
  Leitrim   Fingal 
  Monaghan   South Dublin  
    Mid-East  Kildare 
West Galway City   Meath
  Galway County   Wicklow
  Roscommom Midland Clare
      Limerick City and County
Southern Regions:     Tipperary
South-West Cork City    
  Cork County    
 South-East Carlow    
  Waterford City and County    
 Mid-West Clare    
  Limerick City and 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.

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