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0007502 Vital Statistics Babies Names 2020 Infobites_Two babies_No Gender

Jack retains top spot for the boys while Grace claims first place for the girls in 2020

The most popular name in 2020 for newborn boys in Ireland was Jack and for girls it was Grace. Jack has held the top spot since 2007 with the exception of 2016 when James was the most popular name. This is the first time that Grace has taken the number one spot, climbing from second place in 2018 and 2019. Emily had been the most popular name for baby girls since 2011 prior to this year.

X-axis labelJackGrace
This is a historical entry normally, ie. new to top 5 since names recorded.Top 5 Boys' and Girls' Names 2020

Jack, James, Daniel and Conor have been in the top five boys' names since 2007. Three of these names - Jack, James and Conor have been in the top five since 1998. Noah was new to the top five in 2018 and remains there in 2020. This is the first year that Grace has been the most popular name chosen for girls. Fiadh was a new entrant to the top five names in 2019 and has risen from third place to second place in 2020. Emily, formerly the top name for 9 consecutive years has fallen to third place. Sophie is the fourth most popular name for the third year in a row while Ava returned to the top five for the first time since 2016. Hannah dropped out of the top five this year after entering this most favoured group for the first time in 2019. See table 2.1.


Sonny is the only new entrant to the top 100 names for boys in 2020. Rian was the name rising most in popularity, jumping from 119th place to 86th between 2019 and 2020. Similarly, Eoghan moved up the ranks from 108th place in 2019 to 79th in 2020.  See tables 2.1 and 2.5.

There were seven new entrants to the top 100 for girls in 2020: Penny, Luna, Cora, Fíadh (with a síneadh fada), Croía, Elsie and Paige. Croía has grown most in popularity, rising from 162nd place in 2019 to 95th in 2020, a jump of 67 places. Cora jumped in popularity from 127th place in 2019 to 90th place in 2020. See tables 2.1 and 2.5.


There is a wider variety in the names registered for girls, with 4,624 girls' names in 2020 compared with 3,715 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 all provinces in 2020. Jack was the favourite in Dublin City also. James was the second most favoured name for boys in 2020 and held the top or joint top spot in 9 counties including Cork City. Some counties picked names outside the top five. Charlie was ranked 10th nationally yet was most favoured in Donegal.  While Michael held 17th place nationally, it was the most popular choice for boys in Galway City.  Alex was ranked 21st nationally and was the name most favoured in Limerick City. See table 2.8(a).


Grace, the most popular girls name, held first or joint first position in twelve areas of residence including South Dublin. Fiadh was the second most popular name nationally but was the top girls name in Munster. Fiadh held the top or joint top name in five counties and shared first place with Grace in Kilkenny. Names outside the top five were chosen for girls in several counties. Sophia was the top name in Dublin City yet nationally it was ranked 18th.  Freya ranked 24th nationally but was first choice in Waterford City. Ellie, the 13th most popular name was the most chosen name in Monaghan. Hannah and Isla were tops in Donegal. In Meath, Ava was the name most favoured. Although Maisie ranked 57th nationally it held top spot jointly with Sophie in Longford. See table 2.8(b).

Some of the less frequently used girls' names registered in 2020 and not included in the top 100 names were Zaria, Vienna, Marlee, Fódhla and Roxie.

Some of the less popular boys' names registered in 2020 were Creed, Klay, Orion, Séadna and Weston. 

Jack was the most popular boys' name where both parents were Irish nationals, while Alfie and Oscar were the most popular choices with parents of UK nationality. Where both parents were from the EU14 (excluding Ireland) Noah was the most favoured boys name. David was the name chosen most often by parents from the EU27 excluding EU14. 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. Alice, Mia and Olivia ranked first with parents of the EU14 (excluding Ireland) and Amelia took the top spot with parents of the EU27 excluding EU14 countries. Olivia was the main choice where both parents were from outside the EU. See table 2.9.


The top ten surnames of babies registered in 2020 is also included in this publication. Of the 55,958 live registered births in 2020, 18,976 had unique surnames. These unique surnames included some double-barrelled surnames, e.g. Byrne-O’Shea. The top ten surnames accounted for 7.5% (or 4,173) of the 55,958 live births in 2020. The top three surnames for babies were Murphy at 602 (1.1%), Kelly at 523 (0.9%) and O’Brien at 467 (0.8%). See table 2.10.

John and Mary the most popular names in 1970

In 1970, the most popular name for boys was John with 2,629 parents choosing this name. Fifty years later, in 2020, John ranked 26th in popularity with the name chosen for 193 babies. See tables 2.1, 2.2, 2.11 and 2.12.

The top five boys’ names in 1970 were John, Michael, Patrick, David and James. The only name in this top five which was still in the top five by 2020 was James. See table 2.1 and 2.11.

Mary was the most popular girls name in 1970, when it was chosen by 1,896 parents. In 2020, Mary was given to 64 baby girls and was ranked in 82nd place. None of the top 10 most popular names for girls' in 2020 appeared anywhere in the top 100 girls' names in 1970. The first names to appear in the top 100 in 2020 that were also in the top 100 list of 1970 were Anna and Emma.  Both were ranked 14th in 2020 and were ranked 58th and 93rd respectively in 1970. See tables 2.1, 2.2, 2.11 and 2.12.

None of the top 10 most popular names for girls' in 2020 appeared anywhere in the top 100 girls' names in 1970.

The most popular baby names in the U.K.

Oliver was the name chosen most often for baby boys in England and Wales in 2019, 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 2018 chose James and Noah as both their most popular boys name with Grace as the most popular girls name.  In Scotland, Jack and Olivia were the most popular names in 2019. See table 2.15.

Information note: The CSO’s Irish Babies' Names 2020 publication includes the síneadh fada and other diacritics since it was first introduced for 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 100 most popular names for boys.  Seán with the síneadh fada is now included in the data and both spellings are treated as 2 separate names since 2018, thus Seán has a rank of 20 while Sean has fallen to rank 88 in 2020.

Go to Babies' Names 2020 Tables

Link to Visualisation Tool: Baby Names of Ireland