The most popular name in 2018 for newborn boys in Ireland was Jack and for girls it was Emily. Jack has held the top spot since 2007 with the exception of 2016 when James was the most popular name. Emily has been the most popular name for baby girls since 2011.
Jack, James, Conor and Daniel have been in the top five boys' names since 2007. Three of these names - Jack, Conor and James have been in the top five since 1998. Noah is new to the top five in 2018. This is the eighth consecutive year that Emily has been the most popular name chosen for girls. Emily, Grace, Emma, Sophie and Amelia, were the top five names for girls in 2018. See table 2.1.
Frankie, Freddie and Theodore were new entrants to the top 100 for boys in 2018. Theodore and Frankie were also the names rising most in popularity. Theodore jumped from 156th place to 93rd between 2017 and 2018, (up 63 places) while Frankie rose from 131st place to 100th, (up 31 places). See tables 2.1 and 2.5.
There were four new entrants to the top 100 for girls: Ada, Bella, Bonnie and Ivy. Ada and Ivy were the girls names growing most in popularity. Ada gained 67 places, moving from 137th to 70th place between 2017 and 2018. Ivy also rose from 137th place to 84th, a jump of 53 places. See tables 2.1 and 2.5.
There is a wider variety in the names registered for girls, with 4,779 girls' names in 2018 compared with 3,712 for boys.
In most areas of the country one of the top five boys’ names took the number one spot.
Jack was the most popular name for baby boys in half of the counties in 2018. James was the second most favoured name for boys in 2018 and held the top spot in 6 counties and also in Dublin city. Some counties picked names outside the top five. Michael was ranked 8th nationally but held the top spot in Galway City. Adam and John were the most favoured names in Leitrim while Tadhg shared top place with Conor in Waterford County. See table 2.8(a).
Emily was the most chosen girls' name or joint first in eleven areas including Dublin City where it shared first spot with Olivia. Grace was the top name in seven counties and shared first place with Emily in Monaghan. Names outside the top five were chosen for girls in several counties. Ava ranked 9th nationally but was first in four counties. Ellie, the 7th most popular name was the most chosen name in Tipperary. Anna and Fiadh were tops in Galway County. Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown picked Lucy. Kate, number 17 on the national ranking was the most chosen name in Roscommon while Leah (ranked 36th nationally) was first in Sligo. See table 2.8(b).
Some of the less frequently used girls' names registered in 2018 and not included in the top 100 names were Elara, Fódla, Ríonach and Luisne.
Some of the less popular boys' names registered in 2018 were Blaise, Brádan, Cádain and Coen.
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Jack was the most popular name where both parents were Irish nationals, while Elijah, Ethan, Joseph, Oliver and Sebastian jointly were the most popular choice with parents of UK nationality. Where both parents were from the EU15 (excluding Ireland and the UK) Leonardo and Noah were the most favoured boys' names. David was the name chosen most often by parents from the EU28 excluding EU15. Muhammad was the highest ranked name of baby boys born where both parents were from outside the EU. See table 2.9.
Grace was the most popular girls' name where both parents were Irish nationals. Evelyn and Isla were the names most often chosen by parents of UK nationality. Emma 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. Sophia was the main choice where both parents were from outside the EU. See table 2.9.
The top ten surnames of babies registered in 2018 is also included in this publication. Of the 61,366 live births in 2018, 20,567 had unique surnames. These unique surnames included some double-barrelled surnames, e.g., O'Brien-Murphy. The top ten surnames accounted for 7.3% (or 4,470) of the 61,366 live births in 2018. The top three surnames for babies were Murphy at 686 (1.1%), Kelly at 584 (1.0%) and Ryan at 498 (0.8%). See table 2.10.John and Mary the most popular names in 1968
In 1968, the most popular name for boys was John with 2,863 parents choosing this name. Fifty years later, John ranked 27th in popularity in 2018 with the name chosen for 241 babies. See tables 2.1, 2.2, 2.11 and 2.12.
The top five boys’ names in 1968 were John, Patrick, Michael, James and David. The only name in this top five which was still in the top five by 2018 was James. See table 2.1 and 2.11.
Mary was the most popular girls name in 1968, when it was chosen by 2,364 parents. In 2018, Mary was given to 105 baby girls and was ranked in 58th place. Nonetheless, it was one of the five girls' names that grew most in popularity in number and rank between 2017 and 2018. See tables 2.1, 2.2, 2.11, 2.12, 2.5 and 2.6.
None of the top 10 most popular names for girls' in 2018 appeared anywhere in the top 100 girls' names in 1968.
Oliver was the name chosen most often for baby boys in England and Wales in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, while the feminine version, Olivia was the top name for girls. Parents in Northern Ireland in 2017 chose James and Emily as the most popular names. Provisional data for 2018 for Scotland shows that Jack and Olivia were the most popular names. See table 2.1, 2.2 and 2.15.
Information note: The CSO’s Irish Babies' Names 2018 publication includes the síneadh fada and other diacritics for the first time for the names registered in 2018. This change has resulted in a break in the series, with new entries created for names with the síneadh fada and other diacritics.
This 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.