Thursday 25 July 2019

Northern Ireland Baby Names 2018

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) has published its annual report on the most popular names given to babies whose births were registered in Northern Ireland last year.

James – the most popular name in each of the past four years and the only Top 10 2018 name to survive from the Top 10 1978 – held on to the top spot but he's having to share the top step of the podium by Noah. In third place was Jack, a name that topped the list from 2003 to 2014. In descending order of popularity, James, Noah and Jack were followed by Charlie, Daniel, Jacob, Oliver, Harry, Thomas and, making a debut appearance, Leo.

The highest climbers in the Top 100 boys names were Tommy, Theo and Hunter, while the less common names to appear in the Top 100 were Axl, Blaze, Hendrix, Phoenix and Wolf.

The name Grace leapt into the Top 10 in 2003 and has never been lower than third in the popularity stakes since. It shared the top spot with Emily in 2013, but pushed Emily into second place this year. In third place was Olivia, followed by Sophia, Ella, Amelia, Isla, Anna, Lily and Lucy.

Within the Top 100 girls names, the highest climbers in popularity between 2017 and 2018 were Rosie, Sadie and Saoirse, while some of the less common names to make their way into the list were Disney, Hermione, Moana, Storm and Zandaya (god help 'em).


Copying recent celebrity trends of choosing a baby's name by sticking a pin in the map (or something), there were a number of Northern Irish babies named after such exotic places as Rio, Paris, Vienna, India, Memphis, Adelaide and Milan. Names inspired by Nature have also caught on: River, Storm, Meadow, Misty, Forrest and Summer all feature in the lists.

Another interesting fact drawn out by the statisticians is that boys are much more likely to be named after their fathers with over 1,600 boys given Dad’s name but only 266 girls given Mum’s name.

There were a total of 22,983 births registered in Northern Ireland during the course of the year. As with previous years, a greater variety of girls' names (2,196) than boys' names (1,683) were registered. 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 registered in 1978.

You can find out more at the NISRA website or view a short NISRS video on YouTube at .