Monday 16 January 2017

Jack and Sophie, you're top of the roll-call

Published 30/06/2011 | 05:00

ROLL-CALL for the class of 2015 will see a host of Jacks and Sophies -- and perhaps the odd Tyler or Lilly.

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While a number of new entries have broken into the Central Statistics Office's (CSO) top 100 baby names for the first time, it appears that Irish parents still prefer traditional favourites.

Jack topped the list of the most popular boys' names last year, retaining the number one spot it has held since 2007. There were 914 boys called Jack in 2010 .

Rounding out the top five boys' names last year were Sean, Daniel, James and Conor.

The top five has remained largely unchanged for more than a decade with Jack, Sean, Conor and James featuring every year since 1998, with only their order changing.

For girls, Sophie was the most popular name for the second year running, narrowly beating Emily to the top spot: 599 girls were named Sophie, just one more than those named Emily.

Third place went to Emma while Sarah came in fourth. Making a first appearance in the top five was Lucy, with 521 girls given the name last year.

A total of 37,622 boys were born in Ireland last year and 36,102 girls.

Parents appear to be more adventurous when it comes to naming girls, with them being given a wider variety of names than boys -- 4,710 girls' names were registered, compared to 3,866 boys' names.

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Almost 56pc of girls were given a name from the top 100, whereas for boys it was just over 63pc.

Some names have broken into the top 100 for the first time. For boys, these were Tyler, Sebastian, Daithi and Alfie, while for girls they were Lilly, Sofia and Lena.

The CSO also gave a breakdown of the most popular name by region and county.

Jack was the most popular boys' name for five of the eight regional authority areas. Meanwhile, Daniel was tops for parents in Dublin and the west opted for Conor as their favourite.

Sophie was the most popular girls' name in the Dublin and south-east regions while Emma took the number one spot in the border and mid-west regions. Sarah was most popular in the midlands and west and Emily topped the rankings in the south-west and mid-east.

However, there was some variation within regions with Alex topping the poll in south Dublin and Limerick city, while Ryan was the most popular in Co Louth and Adam in Co Sligo.

For girls, the eastern European name Zuzanna -- which ranked 71st overall -- was the top name in Galway city, Holly shared the top spot with Emily in Co Carlow and Chloe was most popular in Co Donegal.

Names were also classified by the nationality of the baby's parents. Where both parents were from the UK, the most popular names were Alexander and Jessica. When both parents were from the rest of Europe the top names were Liam, Jakub, Lara and Julia.

When both parents were from outside Europe, the most popular names for boys were Muhammad, and for girls, Maria and Sarah.

Meanwhile, the number of births to teenage mothers is at a 10-year low, with 2,019 teenage mothers giving birth last year, compared to 3,087 in 2001 -- a fall of 35pc.

Dr Stephanie O'Keeffe, acting director of the HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme, said the sustained decrease was a welcome trend and impressive compared to international standards.

"To sustain these decreases we must ensure that parents, in particular, communicate with their children about relationships and sex," she said.

Irish Independent

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