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James and Grace the most popular NI baby names for births registered in 2022

Baby Names 2022 statistics published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

James and Grace were the most popular first names given to babies in Northern Ireland, for births registered in 2022.


This is one of the findings of the Baby Names 2022 statistics published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.


The statistics show Grace has held the top spot as the most popular girls’ name since 2018 and has appeared in the top three most popular names for 17 consecutive years. James has returned to number one after a six-year stretch at the top spot between 2015 and 2020, and placing third in 2021.   



In terms of boys’ names, Jack was a close second to James, after reaching the top spot last year. Noah returned to third place, where it was in 2019 and 2020, after reaching second place last year.


Oisin entered the boys’ top 10 in 2022 for the first time since the recording of first names began in 1997. Thomas re-entered the top 10 after narrowly missing in 2021. Within the boys’ top 100, the highest climbers in popularity between 2021 and 2022 were Hugo, Luca, and Hudson. Some of the less common names given to baby boys in 2022 were King, Great, and Art.



For baby girls, Grace has taken the top spot for the fourth year running, and this is the seventeenth consecutive year it has appeared in the top three.


Emily remained the second most popular girls’ name in 2022, holding this spot for the last five consecutive years, and Fiadh was in third place after entering the top 10 for the first time in 2020.


Within the girls’ top 100, the highest climbers in popularity between 2021 and 2022 were Pippa, Nevaeh, and Lucia.



As with previous years, there were a greater variety of girls’ names (2,278) than boys’ names (1,809) registered in 2022. Some of the less common names given to baby girls in 2022 were North, Angel and Pearl.


Birth registrations in 2022 included 950 baby names that had not been used before. Blockbuster movies, popular television series, current celebrities and memorable places continue to appear to be influencing factors for some parents.


Baby Names 2022 statistics published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. No

Top 10 baby names in Northern Ireland, 2022


Boys:


  1. James  – 175 Babies

  2. Jack – 169 Babies

  3. Noah  – 146 Babies

  4. Theo  – 132 Babies

  5. Charlie  – 131 Babies

  6. Oliver  – 123 Babies

  7. Oisin  – 119 Babies

  8. Harry  – 118 Babies

  9. Cillian  – 111 Babies

  10. Thomas  – 107 Babies


Girls:


  1. Grace  – 168 Babies

  2. Emily  – 152 Babies

  3. Fiadh  – 148 Babies

  4. Olivia  – 141 Babies

  5. Isla  – 118 Babies

  6. Aoife  – 113 Babies

  7. Lily  – 110 Babies

  8. Annie  – 97 Babies

  9. Evie/Freya  – 94 Babies

You can find out more about these names and others on NISRA’s interactive dashboard which facilitates name searches by rank, number of babies registered with that name, meaning and origin.



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Baby Names 2022 statistics published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

A total of 20,929 births were registered in

Northern Ireland during 2022.


There were slightly more births registered of males (10,687) than females (10,242), accounting for 51.1 per cent and 48.9 per cent of all registrations respectively.


As with previous years, a greater variety of girls' names (2,278) than boys' names (1,809) were registered in 2022. The range of names being used by parents has grown considerably over the past 40 years, with 1,179 girls' names and 668 boys' names being registered in 1982.


There were 406 new boys' names and 544 new girls' names registered in 2022 that had not been registered since the reporting of baby names began in 1997.


Some 57.3 per cent of the new names were for girls and 42.7 per cent were for boys.



Top 10 boys' names:


• James has returned to number one with 175 babies each being given this name.

This is after its six-year stretch at the top spot between 2015 and 2020, and placing third in 2021.

• After reaching the top spot in 2021, Jack was a close second with 169 babies each given this name in 2022.

• Moving from second position in 2021, Noah is once again in third place, where it was in 2019 and 2020.

• Theo remains in the top 10 for the third year running, climbing to fourth position.

• Oisin entered the top 10 for the first time, and Thomas re-entered the top 10 after narrowly missing in 2021.

• Finn and Leo fell from the top 10 most popular boys' names.


Baby Names 2022 statistics published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

Top 10 girls' names:


• For the fifth year running Grace was the most popular name for girls, with 168 girls given this name in 2022.

• This is the seventeenth consecutive year Grace has been in the top three.

• Emily remained the second most popular girls' name in 2022, holding this spot in the top 10 for the last five consecutive years.

• Fiadh followed in third position for 2022, after gaining steady popularity each year since 2008 and appearing in the top 10 for the first time in 2020.

• Annie entered the top 10 most popular girls' names for the first time in 2022.

• Evie and Freya returned to the top 10, after only appearing in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Lily returned to the top 10, after only appearing in 2011, 2016 and 2018.

• Anna, Ella, Sophia and Sophie left the top 10 most popular girls names in 2022.


Top 100 boys' names:


• Of the seven new entries to the top 100 boys' names in 2022, Hudson and Hugo made the top 100 for the first time since the reporting of baby names began in 1997.

• Aaron, Caolan and Dylan left the top 100 for the first time ever since the reporting of baby names began in 1997.

• Caoimhin, Donnacha and Sonny left the top 100 after joining for the one year in 2021.

• Carter left the top 100 for the first time since 2006.

• Within the boys' top 100, the highest climbers in popularity between 2021 and 2022 were Hugo, Luca, Hudson and Rian.


Baby Names 2022 statistics published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

Top 100 girls' names:


• Of the 14 new entries to the top 100 girls' names in 2022, Croia, Nevaeh and Nina made the top 100 for the first time since the reporting of baby names began in 1997.

• Abigail and Holly returned to the top 100 in 2022 having only left it in 2021.

• Abbie left the top 100 girls' names for the first time since the reporting of baby names began in 1997.

• Ayla, Callie, Eireann, Evelyn, Hope and Remi left the top 100 girls' names having only joined for the first time in 2021.

• Pippa, Neveah and Lucia were the biggest climbers over the year 2021 to 2022, climbing 76, 73 and 60 places respectively.



Top 10 boys' names: 1982 versus 2022


• James is the only name from the 1982 top 10 boys' names to have made the top 10 in 2022.

• David, Christopher, Paul, John, and Stephen were the five most popular boys' names registered in 1982.

• The names David and Christopher were given on more than 500 birth registrations in 1982.

• The two most popular names in 2022 were given fewer than 200 times each.

• Three names (James, Thomas and Oliver) from the top 10 in 2022 appeared in the top 100 in 1982.


Top 10 boys' names: 2002 versus 2022


• Of the top 10 boys' names in 2002, only James and Jack appear in the top 10 in 2022.

• Jack was ranked second and James was ranked fifth in 2002.

• Matthew, Jack, Ryan, Adam and James were the five most popular boys' names in 2002.


Top 10 girls' names: 1982 versus 2022


• None of the top 10 girls' names of 1982 made the top 10 in 2022.

• Emma, Claire, Laura, Lisa and Sarah were the five most popular girls* names chosen by parents in 1982.

• Even in 1982, parents were more diverse in the range of names given to girls (1,179) as opposed to boys (668).

• The variety of girls' names has continued to expand with a total of 2,278 different girls' names registered in 2022.


Top 10 girls' names: 2002 versus 2022


• None of the most popular girls' names in 2002 appeared in the top 10 in 2022.

• Chloe, Caitlin, Katie, Megan and Sarah were the five most popular girls' names in 2002.


Baby Names 2022 statistics published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

Additional boys' names:


• 89 per cent of boys whose births were registered in 2022 were given at least one additional name.

• James, John, Patrick, Michael and Thomas were the most popular choices for additional names.

• Almost 900* boys were given James as an additional name.


Regional variations boys' names:


• James, which was the most popular boys' name in Northern Ireland in 2022, was the most popular in four of the 11 Local Government Districts (LGDs).

• Although Jack was the second most popular bovs' name in Northern Ireland in 2022, at district level it was the most popular in only one of the 11 LGDs.

• Oliver was the most popular name in three of the 11 LGDs.


Additional girls' names:


• 86 per cent of girls registered in 2022 were given one or more additional names.

• Rose, Grace, Elizabeth, Mary and Marie were the five most popular additional names for girls.

• More than 650* girls were given Rose as an additional name.


Regional variations girls' names:


• Grace, which was the most popular girls' name in Northern Ireland in 2022, was the most popular in three of the 11 LGDs, having tied for first place in two of them.

• Although Emily was the second most popular girls' name in Northern Ireland in 2022, at district council level it was most popular name in two of the 11 LGDs.

• Olivia was the most popular name in four of the 11 LGDs, having tied for first place in one of them.


Baby Names 2022 statistics published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

Mothers' country of birth - boys' names:


• Jack was the most popular boys' name choice for mothers born in Northern Ireland.

• James was the favourite for mothers born throughout the rest of the United Kingdom.

• Jack and Finn the most popular for mothers born in the Republic of Ireland

• For mothers born in the A8 countries, Alexander was the most popular choice of boys' name. Adam was the most popular among mothers born elsewhere in the world.


Variation by mothers' age - boys' names:


• For teenage mothers the most popular choice of boys' name was Theo while Noah was the most popular name given by mothers in their twenties.

• Jack was the most popular choice with mothers in their thirties and James and Luke were the most popular choice with mothers aged 40 and over.


Mothers' country of birth - girls' names:


• Grace was the favourite girls' name given by mothers born in Northern Ireland.

• Olivia was the most popular girls' name given by mothers born in the rest of the United Kingdom, while Fiadh and Grace were most popular for mothers born in the Republic of Ireland.

• Hanna was the most popular choice of first name for mothers born in the A8 countries whilst Emma was the most popular name for mothers born elsewhere in the world.


Variation by mothers' age - girls' names:


• Aria was the most popular girls' name choice for teenage mothers.

• Fiadh was the favourite name for mothers in their twenties and Grace for those in their thirties.

• Emily was the favourite name for mothers aged 40 and over.



Place names:


• Rome, Vienna, Brooklyn, Dallas and India were some of the place names given to children whose births were registered in 2022.


Names from nature:


• Some girls were given names inspired by nature. These included; Poppy, Willow, Lily, Meadow and Ocean. Boys given nature names included; Bear, River, Forest and Storm.


Fairy-tale names:


• This year saw a trend of fairy-tale inspired names. For girls, these included Aurora, Anastasia, Merida, Jasmine, and Belle. For boys, these included Sebastian, Eric, and Robin.


Less common names:


• There were 22 names in 2022 that consisted of at least 11 letters (not including those containing a hyphen).

• The longest name given was 14 letters long, Chrisovalantou.

• Some of the less common names given to baby boys in 2022 included: King, Great and Art.

• Some of the less common names given to baby girls in 2022 included: North, Angel and Pearl.


Parents' names:


• Of those registrations containing details of the father, 1,300 boys were given their father's first name as a first or additional name. Only 194 girls were given their mother's name.

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