22 May 2022

New report reveals the most popular boys and girls names for babies born in Northern Ireland last year

Among the more unusual names are Bono, Bowie and Rocky

REVEALED: Most popular baby names in Louth

James and Grace were the most popular first names given to babies in Northern Ireland, for births registered in 2020.

This is one of the findings of the Baby Names 2020 statistics published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

The Agency will also launch a new interactive baby names search tool later today which can be used to find out more information about the names registered.

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 15 consecutive years.

James has been the most popular boys’ name for the past six years, and has ranked in the top five each year since reporting of baby names began in 1997. 

In terms of boys’ names, Jack (which held the top spot for 12 consecutive years between 2003 and 2014) comes second to James’ popularity, closely followed by Noah, which actually shared the top spot with James in 2018 before falling to 3rd place in 2019.  

Cillian and Finn joined the boys’ top 10 for the first time in 2020.

Within the boys’ top 100, the highest climbers in popularity between 2019 and 2020 were Senan, Kai and Brody.

Some of the less common names given to baby boys in 2020 were Bono, Bowie, Denzel, Jagger, Maverick, River, Rocky, Triumph and Wolfe.

For baby girls, Grace has taken the top spot for the third year running, and this is the 15th consecutive year it has appeared in the top three.

Emily remained the second most popular girls’ name in 2020, holding this spot for the last three consecutive years, and Isla was in 3rd place.

In 2020, Fiadh entered the top 10 for the first time since the reporting of baby names began in 1997.

Within the girls’ top 100, the highest climbers in popularity between 2019 and 2020 were Arabella, Aoibheann, and Matilda.

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 2020 were Dior, Divine, Ever, Harley-Quinn, Honor, Liberty, Nirvana, Porsche and Vogue.

Birth registrations in 2020 included 866 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.

Top 10 baby names in Northern Ireland, 2020


James  – 190 Babies
Jack – 175 Babies
Noah  – 174 Babies
Charlie  – 169 Babies
Oliver  – 134Babies
Thomas  – 119 Babies
Finn  – 112 Babies
Theo  – 112 Babies
Cillian  – 111 Babies
Harry  – 111 Babies


Grace  – 176 Babies
Emily  – 146 Babies
Isla  – 144 Babies
Fiadh  – 138 Babies
Olivia  – 133 Babies
Sophia  – 125 Babies
Sophie  – 123 Babies
Amelia  – 115 Babies
Lucy  – 112 Babies
Ella  – 101 Babies and Freya  - 101 Babies

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