Emily reigns again as the most popular name for baby girls in Ireland, ranking first for the third year in a row. For boys? It’s Jack, in the top spot since 2007.
The 2013 naming figures just released by Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that Irish parents are opting for short and simple when it comes to baby names.
For girls, the top five names of 2013, following Emily, were Emma, Sophie, Ella and Amelia. For boys, the top names after Jack were James, Daniel, Connor and Sean.
The highest-ranking Irish language name for girls was Aoife, ranked sixth and up five places from 2012. For boys, it was Oisin, ranked 14th for the second year in a row.
At the county and city level, the most popular boys names tended to mirror the top five in the country, except for Kilkenny, where Michael ranked highest; Cork City, where Alex was the top name of 2013; Waterford City, which saw the birth of many new Aarons; and Cavan, where Ryan was the most popular. In Monaghan, Charlie, James and Ryan tied for first, and in Lietrim, Mark shared the most popular boys’ name with Conor.
There was a wider range of girls’ names outside the top five that were county and city favorites, including Ava, Caoimhe, Kate, Grace, Hannah, Mia, Rachel and Sarah.
Diversity of names in Ireland has markedly increased in the last 50 years, judging by the statistics for the most popular Irish baby names from 1963.
In 1963, the totals for the top three boys and girls names were John (3,892), Patrick (2,302) and Michael (2,010); Mary (3,721), Margaret (1,526) and Catherine (1,387).
In comparison, 2013 ushered in 764 boys named Jack, 746 boys named James and 678 new Daniels. There were 625 girls named Emily, 499 new Emmas, and 497 Sophies.
The variety of names is even greater among girls, with 4,643 girls names registered. That’s over 1,000 more than the total number of boys’ names, 3,628.
For boys, names starting with the letter “K” are on the up. The year’s two first-time entries into the top 100 names were Kayden and Kai, which had the highest new entry ranking at number 85, rising from 103rd place in 2012. Kayden was also the name most quickly rising in popularity, up 44 places from 135 in 2012.
There were four first time entrants to the top 100 for girls: Sadie, Sienna, Fiadh and Poppy. Sadie scored the highest new entry at 77th, rising from 139th in 2012. The name Fiadh had the greatest increase in popularity, up 64 places from 146th in 2012.
A few patterns also emerged based on the nationality of a child’s parents. In cases where both parents were Irish nationals, Jack and Emily remained the top names. For parents of UK nationality, James was the top choice for boys, while Ava, Emily, Grace, Jessica and Willow ranked high for girls.
Parents from the European Union (not including Ireland and the UK) were partial to Noah and Emma, while top names for children born to those from the EU28 (countries that joined the EU after 2004) were Jakub and Julia. It is largely thanks to parents from outside of the EU that Daniel and Sarah are among the most popular names in Ireland for 2013.
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