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Revealed: Most popular baby names in Northern Ireland – and a few unusual choices too!

Emily and James once again most common baby name in 2017

It’s official – Emily and James were the most popular first names given to baby girls and boys in Northern Ireland in 2017.

This is one of the findings of the Baby Names 2017 statistics published on Wednesday by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

Emily has been the most popular girls’ name in each of the past five years, albeit jointly with Grace in 2013, whereas James has been the most popular boys’ names in each of the past three years.

In terms of boys’ names, Jack – which held the top spot for 12 consecutive years between 2003 and 2014 –  comes a close second to James in popularity with Noah in third place.

Hunter climbed the greatest number of places to join the top 100 names for boys, rising from 207th place in 2016 to  98 in 2017.  Logan joined the boy’s top 10 for the first time in 2017.

While the popularity of boys’ names has varied over the years, James, Jack, Daniel and Thomas have all stood the test of time, featuring in both the 2017 top 10 and the top 10 a decade previously.

Zeplin, Blaise, Maverick, Ace and Jupiter on the other hand, were some of the less common names given to baby boys in 2017.

In terms of girls’ names, Grace has once again taken second place in the top 10, whilst Olivia comes a close third. Roise climbed the greatest number of places to join the top 100 names for girls, moving from rank 151 in 2016 to rank 90 in 2017.

Isla and Charlotte both joined the girl’s top 10 for the first time in 2017.

Compared with boys, a greater number of girls’ names have held the top spot since the reporting of first names began in 1997.

Some of the less common names given to baby girls in 2017 were Lady, Divine, Rio, Star and Vogue.

Almost 1,000 new baby names were registered in 2017 that had not been registered since the reporting of baby names began in 1997.

Blockbuster movies, popular television series, current celebrities and memorable places continue to appear to be influencing factors for some parents.

Of those registrations containing details of the father, almost 500 boys were given their fathers’ name as a first or additional name.

However fewer than 100 girls were given their mothers’ name.

Top 10 baby names in Northern Ireland, 2017


  1. James  – 243 Babies
  2. Jack  – 226 Babies
  3. Noah  –  189 Babies
  4. Charlie  – 185 Babies
  5. Jacob  – 180 Babies
  6. Harry  – 169 Babies
  7. Thomas  – 158 Babies
  8. Daniel  – 147 Babies
  9. Oliver  – 143 Babies
  10. Logan  – 125 Babies


  1. Emily  – 216 Babies
  2. Grace – 202 Babies
  3. Olivia  – 179 Babies
  4. Isla  – 153 Babies
  5. Anna  – 142 Babies
  6. Sophie  – 132 Babies
  7. Ella  – 128 Babies
  8. Amelia  – 127 Babies
  9. Charlotte  – 124 Babies
  10. Sophia  – 121 Babies

An interactive tool which will return the rank that any particular name has held over the period 1997 to 2017 is available at the following link

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