Emily and James were most popular baby names in 2017

Emily and James were the most popular first names given to baby girls and baby boys in Northern Ireland, for births registered in 2017.

Wednesday, 1st August 2018, 10:59 am
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:04 pm
Jack and Emily were the most popular baby names in Northern Ireland in 2017.

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

James and jointly Emily and Grace, were the most popular names in the Derry and Strabane Locla Government District.

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 rank 207 in 2016 to rank 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.

More generally, the statistics published highlight that the popularity of baby names in 2017 (both boys and girls) varied, for example, by District Council, age of mother, country of birth of mother and month of registration.

Top 10 baby names in Northern Ireland, 2017


James – 243 Babies

Jack – 226 Babies

Noah – 189 Babies

Charlie – 185 Babies

Jacob – 180 Babies

Harry – 169 Babies

Thomas – 158 Babies

Daniel – 147 Babies

Oliver – 143 Babies

Logan – 125 Babies


Emily – 216 Babies

Grace – 202 Babies

Olivia – 179 Babies

Isla – 153 Babies

Anna – 142 Babies

Sophie – 132 Babies

Ella – 128 Babies

Amelia – 127 Babies

Charlotte – 124 Babies

Sophia – 121 Babies