James and Emily were the most popular names for babies born in Northern Ireland 2015.
Based on a list compiled by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, traditional names are on the rise, and there are a few Game of Thrones inspired surprises too.
This is the first year since records began that James reached the number one spot, although the name has consistently been in the top five. Emily has held the top spot three times before, the last time was 2013 when it shared the title with Grace. Emily was also the most popular girls name in the Republic of Ireland last year.
Ella was second on the list of girls’ names, perhaps inspired by Ella Henderson topping the music charts and Ella Woodward in the food world. Jack, which has been most popular in NI for the past 12 years, dropped to second place in 2015. Harry, another name rising in popularity, came in eight place, just as One Direction star Harry Styles and Prince Harry hit headlines last year.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that Rosa was the biggest climber among girls' names, up from 147th in 2014 to 53rd in 2015, while Jackson climbed the greatest number of places in the boys’ list, moving from 145th in 2014 to 75th in 2015).
Not all parents followed the traditional route, with names inspired by popular TV programs like ‘Game of Thrones’ showing up on the list. For girls, Arya was some parents’ choice, while Jon, Theon, and Tyrion appeared on the list of boy names.
The Disney movie ‘Frozen’ has given inspiration to some parents, with Elsa and even Olaf appearing on the last year’s list of registered births.
Between 2014 and 2015, many names fell out of the top 100 names lists:Sam, Ruairi, Daire, Kian, Kyle, Corey, Elijah, Rhys, Christopher, Eoghan, Jay, Connor and Robert fell out of the top 100 boys' names. Aine, Lucia, Nicole, Lara, Madison, Darcey, Darcie, Lydia, Lacey, Bethany, Eliza, Jasmine, Tilly and Laura fell out of the list of popular girls' names.
Last year, there were 1,629 different boys' names and 2,207 different girls' names registered in Northern Ireland, compared to the 1,227 boys' names and 1,795 girls' names registered in 2005.
According to the agency, the difference in figures demonstrate that parents have become more imaginative in the first names they give to their babies, with a wider variety of girls' names than boys' names being used.
The 2015 list saw 980 new names that had not been registered before. Of these, 381 were boys' names, including Aaren, Christiano and Dani, and 527 were girl's names, including Alexah, Fathima and Lolly.
10 most popular boys' names in NI:
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
10 most popular girls' names in NI:
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