It’s official – Emily and James were the most popular first names given to baby boys and girls in Northern Ireland, for births registered in Northern Ireland in 2015.
This is one of the findings of the Baby Names 2015 statistics published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.
Emily has been the most popular girls’ name in each of the past three years, albeit jointly with Grace in 2013. However, this is the first time James has held the top spot, even though James has been in the top five, since records began in 1997.
In terms of boys’ names, Jack (which held the top spot for 12 consecutive years between 2003 and 2014) comes a close second to James in popularity with Noah in third place. Jackson, however, climbed the greatest number of places to join the top 100 names for boys, rising from rank 145 in 2014 to rank 75 in 2015. Jake and Matthew were new entries into the boy’s top 10, replacing Ethan and Jacob.
While the popularity of boys’ names has varied over the years, James, Jack, Daniel and Matthew have all stood the test of time featuring in both the 2015 top 10 and the top 10 a decade previously. Cruz, Jon, Olaf, Theon and Tyrion on the otherhand were some of the less common names given to baby boys in 2015.
In terms of girls’ names, Ella followed a close second to Emily, narrowly overtaking Grace, which had been ranked second highest in 2014. Rosa however climbed the greatest number of places to join the top 100 names for girls, moving from rank 147 in 2014 to rank 53 in 2015. Aoife and Ava also rose in popularity to join the girl’s top 10, replacing Eva and Sophia.
Compared with boys, a greater number of girls’ names have held the top spot since the reporting of first names began in 1997. Both Emily and Sophie each held the top position on three occasions, while Chloe and Katie each held it on six occasions. In terms of popularity, Sophie and Anna have stood the test of time featuring in both the 2015 top 10 and the top 10 a decade previously. Some of the less common names given to baby girls in 2015 were Arya, Elsa, Rita and Suri.
More generally, the statistics published today also highlight that the popularity of baby names in 2015 (both boys and girls) varied, for example, by District Council, age of mother, country of birth of mother and month of registration. Blockbuster movies, current celebrities and memorable places continue to appear to be influencing factors for some parents.
Top 10 baby names in Northern Ireland, 2015
1. James – 300 babies
2. Jack – 261 babies
3. Noah – 225 babies
4. Charlie – 213 babies
5. Daniel – 188 babies
6. Oliver – 186 babies
7. Matthew – 168 babies
8. Harry – 166 babies
9. Thomas – 157 babies
10. Jake – 141 babies
1. Emily – 233 babies
2. Ella – 197 babies
3. Grace – 192 babies
4. Sophie – 179 babies
5. Olivia – 153 babies
6. Anna – 152 babies
7. Amelia – 149 babies
8. Aoife – 147 babies
9. Lucy – 146 babies
10. Ava – 141 babies
An interactive tool which will return the rank that any particular name has held over the period 1997 to 2015 is available at: babynames