Sunday 21 April 2019

Jack and Emily still tops when it comes to names for babies

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Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

They are old favourites and it seems that Jack and Emily are still top of our list for baby names.

The Central Statistics Office today released its statistics on baby names registered in 2018, and the two names retained the top spots for another year.

Statistician Carol Anne Hennessy revealed that Grace, Emma, Sophie and Amelia were the other girls' names to make it into the top five names of choice by parents for their newly arrived baby girls in 2018.

"Jack has retained the top spot as the most popular baby boys' name in 2018, a position it has held since 2007, except for 2016, when James was the most popular choice.

"Jack was followed by James, Noah, Conor and Daniel as the five most popular names for boys in 2018."

Girls are being given a wider variety of names than boys, with 4,779 girls' names registered, compared to 3,712 for the boys, the statistics show.

Noah was new to the top five for boys last year, moving from sixth place in 2017.

Frankie, Freddie and Theodore were new entrants into the top 100 list. Theodore, which was the name picked by Vogue Williams and her husband Spencer Matthews for their son, has seen a dramatic rise in popularity, jumping 63 places from 156th place to 93rd, between 2017 and 2018.

There were four new entrants to the top 100 for girls: Ada, Bella, Bonnie and Ivy. Ada gained 67 places, moving from 137th to 70th place. Ivy also rose from 137th place to 84th place, a jump of 53.

However, it seems there is no knocking Emily from the top spot, where it has remained for the eighth consecutive year. It has been the most popular name for baby girls since 2011.

The top three surnames for babies were Murphy (686), Kelly (584) and Ryan (498).

However, some counties picked names outside the top five. For example, Michael was ranked eighth 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.

Emily was the most chosen girls' name, or joint first, in 11 areas, including Dublin city, where it shared the first spot with Olivia.

Also rising through the ranks of girls' names was Harper, which moved three places to number 53. It's probably best associated with the seven-year-old daughter of fashion designer Victoria Beckham and her husband David.

For names registered in 2018, the síneadh fada and other diacritics - which can indicate how the name should be pronounced - were identified for the first time.

Some of the less frequently used girls' names registered in 2018 and not included in the top 100 were Elara, Fódla, Ríonach and Luisne. Meanwhile, some of the less popular boys' names were Blaise, Brádan, Cádain and Coen.

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.

Muhammad was the highest-ranked name for boys where both parents were from outside the EU. 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.

Sophia was the main choice where both parents were from outside the EU.

None of the top 10 most popular names for girls in 2018 appeared anywhere in the top 100 in 1968, when Mary was first.

Irish Independent

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