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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 25 October, 2014

Jack and Emily: Ireland’s most popular baby names

Mason and Lexi were new entries in the top 100 list from 2011 as the popularity of traditional Irish names continues to wane.

Little Donnachas: Donnacha was one of the new entries in the top 100. Not sure if this has anything to do with the perma-tan O'Callaghan pictured here.
Little Donnachas: Donnacha was one of the new entries in the top 100. Not sure if this has anything to do with the perma-tan O'Callaghan pictured here.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images

JACK AND EMILY…they may sound like the characters from an early 20th-century romance but they were actually the most popular baby names in Ireland during 2011.

Overall, there were 38,223 boys and 36,427 girls born in 2011. Officials data from the CSO have revealed that 840 of those newborns were called Jack, while 596 girls were given the name Emily. Jack has been the most popular name in the country since 2007.

Emily has overtaken Sophie to take the top spot on the girls list for the first time.

The top five boys’ names have remained unchanged since 2007. They are Jack, James, Sean, Daniel and Conor.

Lily is a new entry in the girl’s top five, which also includes Emma and Grace. Sarah, who had been in the top five since 1998, dropped to sixth place this year.

Mason and Lexi

The highest new entrants were Mason and Lexi, who climbed to 70th and 96th places respectively. Although Donnacha was also among the new entries and other traditional Irish names are still dotted throughout the list, the shift towards less Gaelic names continues.

Tommy and Zach were the other new entries on the boys’ list and the name climbing the most places in the year was Michaela, which jumped 86 rungs to sit in 78th.

In general, the tables show that girls are given a wider variety of names than boys are, with 4,810 girls’ names registered compared to only 3,801 boys’ names.

Dylan dropped out of the top 10 for the first time since 2009, and was replaced by Harry and Michael. This is Harry’s first time in the top 10. Aoife was the only name to lose a top 10 place on the girls’ list.

Top boys’ names in 2011:

  • Jack (number 1 since 2007)
  • James (number 4 in 2010)
  • Sean (number 2 in 2010)
  • Daniel (number 3 in 2010)
  • Conor (number 5 in 2010)
  • Ryan (number since since 2008)
  • Adam (number 7 since 2008)
  • Harry (number 20 in 2010)
  • Michael (number 12 in 2010)
  • Alex (number 8 in 2010)

Top girls’ names in 2011:

  • Emily (number 2 in 2010)
  • Sophie (number 1 in 2010)
  • Emma (number 3 since 2009)
  • Grace (number 7 in 2010)
  • Lily (number 14 in 2010)
  • Sarah (number 5 in 2010)
  • Lucy (number 4 in 2010)
  • Ava (number 6 in 2010)
  • Chloe (number 9 in 2010)
  • Katie (number 8 in 2010)

While the top five names for boys and girls topped the rankings within a number of different areas, names outside the top five were also county and city favourites. For boys, Ryan took the number one spot in South Dublin, as well as in Laois, Louth, Wicklow, Sligo, Cavan and Donegal. Alex was the most popular name in Cork City and Jamie topped the rankings in County Monaghan.

For girls, there was a wider range of names, outside the top five, that were county and city favourites. These included Aoife, Ava, Caoimhe, Chloe, Ella, Katie, Lucy, Mia, Roisin and Sarah.

For boys where both parents were stated as being Irish nationals, Conor, Jack and James ranked joint first. Ryan was the most popular choice with parents of UK nationality. Aaron, Leon, Louis, Luca and Samuel were the top ranking boys’ names for parents of the EU15 (excluding Ireland and UK). Jakub was highest ranked for parents of the Accession states, while for parents of nationalities outside the EU, Muhammad was the highest ranked name of baby boys registered in Ireland.

For girls where both parents were Irish nationals, Emma were the most popular name. Ruby was the most popular girls’ name with parents from the UK. Rebecca ranked first for parents of the EU 15 (excluding Ireland and UK), while Julia was most popular fro parents from the Accession states. Outside of parents of EU nationality, Sarah was the name that ranked highest of baby girls registered in Ireland.

See if your name is in the Top 100.

More: Sophia and Jacob are top US baby names>

2010: Looking more like Alfie: Top baby names of 2010>

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