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CSO statistical publication, , 11am

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Jack retains top spot for the boys while Grace claims first place for the girls in 2023

The most popular name in 2023 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. Grace regains the number one spot for 2023, climbing from second place in 2022. Prior to 2023, Grace was the most popular girls' name in 2020. Grace knocked Emily from the top spot this year to 3rd place. Emily had been the most popular girls' name for 2022 and from 2011 to 2019. Fiadh holds 2nd place for 2023 but was the most popular girls' name in 2021.

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Figure 1.1 Top 5 boys' names 2023, showing the changes in popularity from 2018-2023
Figure 1.2 Top 5 girls' names 2023, showing the changes in popularity from 2018-2023

Top 5 Boys' and Girls' Names 2023

Infobyte new entrants top 100

Jack and James have been in the top five boys' names since 1998 and both have maintained their position at first and third respectively. Noah remains in the top three in 2023, maintaining its position at 2nd. Rían, who was a new entrant to the top five in 2021 maintains its place at 4th in 2023. Oisín enters the top five for the first time, rising from 6th in 2022 to 5th in 2023. Charlie leaves the top five this year, falling from 5th in 2022 to 12th in 2023.

This year Grace has been the most popular name chosen for girls, rising from 2nd in 2022 to 1st in 2023. Fiadh rises one place, from 3rd in 2022 to 2nd in 2023. Emily drops two places from the top spot in 2022 to 3rd in 2023. Sophie is the 4th most popular name for the sixth year in a row while Lily retains 5th place in 2023 for the 2nd year in a row. See table 2.1.

There were five new entrants to the top 100 for boys: Caelan, Jude, Paddy, Éanna and Dáithí. Caelan was the name rising most in popularity, jumping from 108th place to 50th between 2022 and 2023.  See tables 2.1 and 2.3. 

There were three new entrants to the top 100 for girls: Lucia, Cadhla and Síofra. Síofra has grown most in popularity, rising from 157th place in 2022 to 100th in 2023, a jump of 57 places in rank. See tables 2.1 and 2.3. 

There is a wider variety in the names registered for girls, with 4,991 girls' names in 2023 compared with 4,181 for boys. See tables 2.1 and 2.2.

In most areas of the country one of the top five boys’ names took the number one spot. 

Infobyte fastest riser

Jack was the most popular name for baby boys in all provinces in 2023. Noah was the second most favoured name for boys in 2023 and held the top spot in 6 locations including Sligo and Laois. Some counties picked names outside the top five. Tom was ranked 39th nationally yet was most favoured in Roscommon. Patrick was the most popular boys’ names in Longford yet ranked 19th on a national basis. See table 2.5. 

Grace was the most chosen girls' name or joint-first in eleven areas including Meath and Offaly. Fiadh was the second most popular name nationally but was the top girls' name in Connacht. Fiadh also held the top or joint top name in four counties and shared first place with Sophie in Galway County. Names outside the top five were chosen for girls in several counties. Ellie was the most or joint most popular girls' name in five counties, namely, Carlow, Louth, Cork City, Kerry and Waterford County while ranking 6th nationally. Annie was joint first choice in Donegal, with Grace, while ranking 48th on a national basis. See table 2.6.

Some of the less frequently used girls' names registered in 2023 and not included in the top 100 names were Bláithín, Lena, Tillie, Ceola, Líadan, Demi, Miroslava and Fíbí.

Some of the less popular boys' names registered in 2023 were Idris, Ultán, Marcos, Kobie, Denzel and Ibraheem.

Jack was the most popular boys name where both parents were Irish nationals. Where both parents were from the EU14 (excluding Ireland) Liam was the most favoured boys' name. David was the name chosen most often by parents from the EU15 to EU27. Muhammad was the highest ranked name of baby boys born where both parents were from outside the EU and UK. There was no singular popular name of 3+ occurrence for boys chosen by parents of UK nationality. See table 2.7.

Grace was the most popular girls' name where both parents were Irish nationals. Olivia ranked first with parents from the EU14 (excluding Ireland), and Sofia took the top spot with parents from the EU15 to EU27. Amelia was the main choice where both parents were from outside the EU and UK. There was no singular popular name of 3+ occurrence for girls chosen by parents of UK nationality. See table 2.7.

Banner nationality of parents

Surname

For Irish Babies' Names 2023, the CSO has expanded its surname analysis to provide a further breakdown of the most common surnames associated with babies born in 2023. Murphy, Kelly, O'Brien, Ryan and Walsh were the most common surnames for 2023 births. Of the 57,373 live births in 2023, 20,105 had unique surnames. The top ten surnames accounted for 6.6% (or 3,762) of the 57,373 live births in 2023. The top three surnames for babies were Murphy at 578 (1.0%), Kelly at 511 (0.9%) and O’Brien at 392 (0.7%). See table 2.9.

John and Mary the most popular names in 1973

1973 top names

In 1973, the most popular name for boys was John. Fifty years later, John ranked 31st in popularity in 2023 for baby boys. See tables 2.1 and 2.10. 

The top five boys’ names in 1973 were John, Michael, Patrick, David and Paul. The only name in the top ten which was still in the top ten by 2023 was James. See table 2.1 and 2.10. 

None of the top 10 most popular names for girls in 2023 appeared anywhere in the top 100 girls' names in 1973.

Mary was the most popular girls' name in 1973. In 2023, Mary was 130th in popularity for girls’ names, dropping from the top 100 for the 2nd time since 1964. None of the top 10 most popular names for girls in 2023 appeared in the top girls' names in 1973. The first name to appear in both top 100’s was Niamh who ranked 26th in 1973 and 73rd in 2023. See tables 2.2 and 2.11.

 

The most popular baby names in the U.K.

Noah was the name chosen most often for baby boys in England and Wales in 2021, the most recent year for which data is available, while Olivia was the top name for girls. Parents in Northern Ireland in 2022 chose James as their most popular boys' name with Grace as the most popular girls' name. Scotland in 2022 chose Noah and Olivia as the most popular names. See table 2.8.

Information note

The CSO’s Irish Babies' Names 2023 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 14 while Sean has fallen to rank 124 in 2023.