Jack and Sophie were once again the most popular first names given to children whose births were registered in Northern Ireland in 2012.
Jack has been the most popular boy’s name for the last decade, while Sophie remains the most popular girl’s name since 2010.
There were around 300 baby boys named Jack and around 250 baby girls named Sophie registered in 2012 so far.
Since 2003, Jack has been the most popular boy’s name. James has held second position for the second year running. Daniel is the third most popular name in 2012 climbing from fifth place in 2011. This year Riley and Noah have increased in popularity to reach the top 10 from ranks 18 and 13 respectively.
For girls, Sophie remains the most popular girl’s name for the third year in a row. Emily has climbed from third place in 2011 to second place in 2012 and Grace has fallen from second place in 2011 to third place in 2012. Katie, which had fallen out of the top 10 names last year has re-entered, ranked eighth. Amelia and Aoife have increased in popularity to enter the top 10 in 2012 ranked fourth and tenth, from ranks 33 and 15 respectively in 2011.
The majority of the top 10 boys’ names from a decade ago are present in the top 20 in 2012, with one exception, Ben, which has fallen from eighth in 2002 to rank 33 in 2012. Only Katie remains in the top 10 girls’ names, dropping however from third most popular in 2002 to eighth in 2012. Chloe, Emma and Sarah, all in the top 10 in 2002, are present in the top 20 in 2012.
Changes in popularity between 2011 and 2012 in boys’ names showed that Riley was the largest mover within the boy’s top 20 rising from rank 18 in 2011 to rank nine in 2012, while Jacob and Mason are the only new boys’ names to enter the top 20 in 2012. Jacob moved from rank 22 in 2011 to rank 13 in 2012 and Mason moved from rank 44 to rank 20.Jamie, Luke and Michael, which were ranked in the top 20 boys’ names in 2011, have fallen out of the top 20 in 2012.
In the top 100 boys’ names, Bobby has risen 65 places from rank 124 in 2011 to rank 59, Blake has risen from rank 111 to rank 71 and Ollyhas risen from rank 131 to rank 93 in 2012. Ruairi and Cameron which both fell from the top 100 last year have both re-entered at rank 73.
The greatest drops from the top 100 of last year were Calum, down 93 places over the year to rank 187, Padraig, down 49 places to rank 137 and Conan, down 28 places to rank 127.
In Girls’ Names, Amelia is the only new name to enter the top 20 girls’ names in 2012, rising 29 places to rank four in 2012. Aoife was the highest climber within the girl’s top 20 between 2011 and 2012 rising from rank 15 to rank 10. Chloe, Lily and Olivia, remain in the top 20 girls’ names in 2012, but have fallen out of the top 10.
In the top 100 girls’ names, Miley has risen from rank 135 in 2011 to rank 79 in 2012 and Layla has risen from rank 135 to rank 83 in 2012.
Girls’ names which dropped out of the top 100 between 2011 and 2012 include Julia, which has fallen from rank 68 to rank 116, Ciara,dropping from rank 70 to rank 123 and Victoria which has fallen by 49 places to rank 127.
)The results for 2012 are based on an analysis of the first names recorded on births registered between 1 January 2012 and 10 December 2012 with the General Register Office).
From the above trends, it suggests that more difficult names are becoming less popular as they represent difficulties for the child constantly spelling their name when asked.