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Background Notes

Background Notes

CSO statistical publication, , 11am

New series

From 01 January 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 100 most popular names for boys. Seán with the síneadh fada is now included in the 2018 data onwards and both spellings are treated as 2 separate names and thus it fell out of the top 100 in 2019. 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. 2023 Babies' Names tables are based on births registered from January 1st to the 31st of December 2023. 

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 2023 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 2023 inclusive) with 3 or more occurrences is available on PxStat tables. VSA50 and VSA60 refer - classifying all boys and girls' names respectively with 3 or more occurrences, by year, number and rank.

For Irish Babies' Names 2023, The CSO expanded its surname analysis to provide a further breakdown of the most common surnames associated with babies born in 2023. Table 2.9 illustrates the surnames of babies' with 10 or more occurrences for confidentiality reasons. Surname data is also illustrated on PxStat table VSA110. 

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 78 boys named Eoin, another 49 had the alternate spelling Eoghan. Similarly, in 2023, if you combine the number of girls' named Hanna (13) and Hannah (226) then it would fall into 10th place, replacing Ella. Variants of names and abbreviations have also been treated as separate names. For example, Jack, Seán, John and Sean account for 999 boys. These were counted as separate names and rank 1st, 14th, 31st and 124th 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.

NUTS2 and NUTS3 Regional Authority areas - January 2018

From 01 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.  

Northern & Western NUTS2 Region Southern NUTS2 Region Eastern & Midland NUTS2 Region
Border Cavan
Mid-West Clare
Dublin Dublin City
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown
South Dublin
South-East Carlow
Mid-East Kildare
West Galway
South-West Cork
Midland Laois

Nationality groups

The category EU14 excl. Ireland consists of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.

The category EU15 to EU27 consists of: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.