It’s always interesting to see what baby names parents are choosing for their newborns – and it’s great inspiration for expectant parents trying to make that big decision. Today, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the most popular baby names in Ireland of 2020, ranking the names that had been chosen by the most parents throughout the year.
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Jack has retained the top spot as the most popular baby boys’ name in 2020, a position it has held since 2007 except for 2016, when James was the most popular choice.
Grace claims the top spot for girls for the first time, followed by Fiadh, Emily, Sophie and Ava. Emily, which had previously held the top position for the girls for nine consecutive years (since 2011), dropped to third place in 2020.
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Most Popular Baby Names – Then and Now
Taking a look back to the most popular names from 50 years ago, we can see some names still remain in the favourites – while others don’t even make the top 100.
In 1970, the most popular names for baby boys were John, Michael, Patrick, David and James. In number terms, there were 2,629 newborn boys named John in 1970, compared to just 193 in 2020.
Interestingly, none of the top 10 most popular names for girls’ in 2020 appeared anywhere in the top 100 girls’ names in 1970.
In 1970, the top names were Mary, Catherine, Margaret, Ann and Sharon, with 1,896 baby girls named Mary that year. In comparison, the top name in 2020, Grace,
In 2020, there was significantly more variety of names overall, meaning that the top name (Grace) was given to 410 baby girls.
As is evident from the tables, over the years, girls are given a wider variety of names than boys with 4,624 girls’ names registered compared to 3,715 boys’ names.
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Sonny was the only new entrant into the top 100 for boys in 2020. The boys’ names with most growth in popularity in terms of rank between 2019 and 2020 were Rian, rising most in popularity, which jumped 33 places from 119th place to 86th place. Similarly, Eoghan moved 29 places from 108th place in 2019 to 79th in 2020.
There were seven new entrants to the top 100 for girls: Penny, Luna, Cora, Fíadh (with a síneadh fada), Croía, Elsie and Paige.
Croía has grown most in popularity, rising from 162nd place in 2019 to 95th in 2020, a jump of 67 places. Cora jumped in popularity from 127th place in 2019 to 90th place in 2020, a rise in 37 places.
Some less popular names for boys included Orion, Creed, Romeo, Klay and Séadna. Less popular girls’ names included Zaria, Vienna, Fódhla, Marlee and Roxie.
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Most Popular Around the Country
Some counties picked names outside the top five, or even outside the top 20.
For the boys, Charlie was ranked 10th nationally, yet was most favoured in Donegal. While Michael held 17th place nationally, it was the most popular choice for boys in Galway City. Alex was ranked 21st nationally and was the name most favoured in Limerick City.
For girls, Fiadh was the second most popular name nationally but was the top girls name in Munster. Sophia was the top name in Dublin City yet nationally it was ranked 18th. Freya ranked 24th nationally but was first choice in Waterford City. Ellie, the 13th most popular name overall, was the most chosen name in Monaghan. Hannah and Isla were top of the list in Donegal, and although Maisie ranked 57th nationally it held top spot jointly with Sophie in Longford.
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Most Popular Baby Names in Ireland 2020
Most Popular Names for Boys
Most Popular Names for Girls
You can find the full top 100 names on www.cso.ie
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Have your say! Did any of the most popular baby names in Ireland make your favourite list? Was your child’s name on the list? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!