James, Noah, and Grace were the most popular names given to newborns in Northern Ireland for 2018, according to data compiled by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

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According to NISRA, there were a total of 22,983 births registered in Northern Ireland in 2018 - 50.9 percent were male and 49.1 percent were female.

There was a greater variety of girls’ names (2,196) than boys’ names (1,683) registered in Northern Ireland in 2018.

NISRA has found that the range of names being used by parents has grown considerably over the past 40 years, with 1,198 girls’ names and 647 boys’ names being registered in 1978. 

There were 351 new boys’ names and 554 new girls’ names registered in 2018 that had not been registered since the reporting of baby names began in 1997. Some 61 percent of the new names were for girls and 39 percent were for boys.

(Data for the most popular baby names in Northern Ireland for 2019 was not readily available.)

The top 10 baby names registered for girls in Northern Ireland in 2018 were:

  1. Grace  – 221 Babies
  2. Emily – 203 Babies
  3. Olivia  – 178 Babies
  4. Sophie  – 155 Babies
  5. Ella  – 151 Babies
  6. Amelia  – 140 Babies
  7. Isla  – 135 Babies
  8. Anna  – 128 Babies
  9. Lily  – 125 Babies
  10. Lucy  – 124 Babies  

Here are some interesting facts about the top 10 names for girls that were registered in Northern Ireland in 2018:

  • This is the thirteenth consecutive year Grace has been in the top three. It was previously number one in 2013. 
  • Emily fell to the second most popular name for girls following five consecutive years as number one. 
  • Olivia remained the third most popular girls’ name in 2018, holding this spot in the top 10 for the last three consecutive years. 
  • Lily and Lucy replaced Charlotte and Sophia respectively for the top 10 rankings. This is the third time that Lily has made the top 10 girls’ names. Lucy left the top 10 in 2016 and 2017, having been in the top 10 continuously since 2006. 
  • Names are diversifying. In 2018, only 14 percent of babies were given one of the top 10 names

The top 10 baby names registered for boys in Northern Ireland in 2018 were:

  1. James  – 217 Babies
  2. Noah - 217 Babies
  3. Jack  –  201 Babies
  4. Charlie  – 191 Babies
  5. Daniel  – 154 Babies
  6. Jacob  – 154 Babies
  7. Oliver  – 151 Babies
  8. Harry  – 150 Babies
  9. Thomas  – 142 Babies
  10. Leo  – 137 Babies

Here are some interesting facts about the top 10 names for boys that were registered in Northern Ireland in 2018:

  • James and Noah were the equally most popular first names given to boys during 2018, with a total of 217 boys each being given these names. This is the first year that Noah has held the top spot since reporting baby names began in 1997. 
  • Noah climbed from fifth place in 2016 to third place in 2017 and has been in the top 10 since 2012. It was virtually unused in the late 1990s. 
  • This is James’ fourth consecutive time at number one. James has been ranked in the top five each year since reporting of baby names began in 1997. 
  • Logan fell from the top 10 most popular boys’ names after reaching the top ten for the first time in 2017. 
  • Leo entered the top 10 in 2018 for the first time, after coming close to the top 10 in 2016 and 2017, ranking 12 and 11 respectively.

You can see the entire lists for the top 100 names for girls and the top 100 names for boys in Northern Ireland in 2018 here.

Several Irish language names were included amongst the top 100 names in Northern Ireland in 2018, such as Oisin, Daire, Odhran, and Caolan for boys, and Fiadh, Caoimhe, Meabh, and Eimear for girls.

In 2018, the top climbers amongst the top 100 names were Tommy, Theo, and Hunter for boys, and Rosie, Sadie, and Saoirse for girls.

Here are some interesting facts about the 100 most popular baby names for girls in Northern Ireland in 2018:

  • Of the 11 new entries to the top 100 girls’ names in 2018, Ada, Fianna, Mila, Myla, Pippa, and Savannah made the top 100 for the first time since the recording of baby names began in 1997.
  • Esme, Matilda, and Rosie left the top 100 having only joined for the first time in 2017. Abbie, Aimee, and Megan also left the top 100 and did so for the first time in 2018. 
  • Within the girls’ top 100, the highest climbers in popularity between 2017 and 2018 were Rosie, Sadie, and Saoirse. 
  • Sarah (once a top 10 name) was one of the names to fall the greatest number of places between 2017 and 2018, along with Mya, Rose, and Penny. 
  • Since 2008, Ivy, Elsie, and Mila have all climbed over 700 places to reach the top 100 in 2018.

And here are some interesting facts about the 100 most popular baby names for boys in Northern Ireland in 2018:

  • Of the 11 new entries to the top 100 boys’ names in 2018, Brodie, Cohen, Frankie, and Luca made the top 100 for the first time since the recording of baby names began in 1997. 
  • These replaced names such as Arlo, Cole, Harley, Senan, and Toby, who had only joined the top 100 for the first time in 2017.
  • Within the boys’ top 100, the highest climbers in popularity between 2017 and 2018 were Tommy, Theo, and Hunter. 
  • Ben (once a top 10 name) was one of the names to fall the greatest number of places between 2017 and 2018, along with Jamie, John, and Sam. 
  • Since 2008, Brodie, Arthur, and Tommy have all climbed over 300 places to reach the top 100 in 2018.

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