Thursday 22 August 2019

Revealed: The world’s most popular baby girls' name

Sofia is the world's most popular baby name.
Sofia is the world's most popular baby name.

Patricia Murphy

Those hoping to bless their baby with an unusual name might want to avoid ‘Sofia’ as the moniker as has been revealed to be the world’s most popular.

New research has found Sofia and its variants (Sofie, Sophie and Sophia) are the most common names in the countries analysed.

The study, conducted by naming expert Laura Wattenberg, found that Sofia was the most popular name in nine countries analysed and was the second or third most common in more than 20 additional countries including Mexico, Russia and Italy.

"It just blew me away that so many different languages and cultures would arrive at the same sound at the same time," Wattenberg told Live Science.

"I guess that really says something about the way culture is transmitted today."

Read more: Jack's still the lad as name tops baby list

The scientist revealed she cannot attribute the rise in the name’s popularity with any one celebrity or event.

"I can point to qualities that would seem to make this name desirable," she said.

"The hard part is saying why it wasn't just as desirable a generation ago."

The expert said parents around the world have moved on from religious names but Mohammed (Muhammad, Mohammad) remains the world’s most popular boys’ name.

Wattenberg admitted that modern parents’ are driven by trends and does not expect Sofia to remain the most popular name for much longer.

Read more: So, what were the most-popular baby names in Ireland last year?

"Just the fact of tracking what the top 100 baby names are makes people competitive," she said.

"Everyone is trying to avoid the number-one name, because they think that's too ordinary, so names rise and fall faster than they used to."

A variant of Sofia, Sophie, was the second most popular baby name in Ireland in 2014 trumped only by Emily. Jack, James and Daniel were Ireland’s most popular names for little boys in 2014.

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