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what's in a name?

Here's what the most popular baby names were in Ireland last year

Jack and Emily are on top again.

THE TOP 100 baby names for boys and girls in 2019 have been revealed by the Central Statistics Office, with Jack and Emily retaining the top spots. 

The top five names for boys were Jack, James, Noah, Conor and Daniel, while the top five for girls were Emily, Grace, Fiadh, Sophie and Hannah. 

Jack has held the top spot since 2007 with the exception of 2016 when James was the most popular name. Jack, Conor and James have been in the top five since 1998. Noah appeared in the top five in 2018 and remained there in 2019. 

Emily has been the most popular name for Irish girls since 2011. New entrants to the top five girls names in 2019 were Fiadh and Sophie while Amelia dropped out after being there since 2015. 

New entrants to the top 100 boys names this year were Eli, Joey, Odhrán and Ruiarí. Odhrán (with a síneadh fada) was also the boy’s name that increased most in popularity since 2018, moving from 138th to 97th last year, CSO figures show.  

For girls, Doireann and Méabh entered the top 100 in 2019. The girls’ names growing most in popularity according to CSO figures are Heidi, Hollie and Alexandra. 

CSO figures also show that girls are given a wider variety of names than boys as 4,814 girls’ names were registered in 2019 compared with 3,725 for boys.

Comparing the baby names of 1969, CSO statistician Carol Anne Hennessy outlined how not one of the top five names for girls appeared in the top 100 names a half-century earlier.

Mary, Catherine, Margaret, Ann and Elizabeth were the most popular names for baby daughters in 1969, with 2,182 baby girls named Mary in that year. In 2019, there were 452 baby girls named Emily, 20.7% of the number of girls given the name Mary in 1969. 

“Back in 1969, John, Patrick, Michael, James and Thomas were the names most favoured by parents of new-born baby boys. There were 209 male new-borns named John in 2019, just over 7% of the number of boys given the name John in 1969,” Hennessy said. 

The top 100 baby names for 2019

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The CSO has also published a map of Ireland showing the most popular baby names across different counties.


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