Jack and Emily top the list of most popular Irish baby names

Jack and Emily remain the most popular baby names in Ireland, but 50 years ago John and Mary were the top choices for parents.

There were 3,360 baby boys named John in 1965 — the most popular boys’ name that year. It was ranked 28th in the top 100 in 2015.

In 1965 Mary was the name chosen by 3,229 parents, making it the most popular name for girls born that year.

Mary is still among the top 100 names compiled by the Central Statistic Office. It was ranked 75th last year when 91 newborn girls were named Mary.

The top five girls’ names in 1965 were Mary, Margaret, Catherine, Anne and Ann; but Mary is the only name that features in the top 100.

The top five boys’ names in 1965 were John, Patrick, Michael, James, and Thomas; but James is the only name in the top five 50 years later.

While 1,454 baby boys were named James in 1965, the number fell to 697 last year. It is the second name of choice after Jack.

There were 1,158 different girls’ names registered in 1965, compared to 4,487 last year. Over the past half-century, the number of boys’ names has increased from 744 to 4,475.

Jack has been the number-one choice for parents since 2007, according to the CSO, and Emily has retained the top slot since 2011.

The top five boys’ names — Jack, James, Daniel, Conor, and Sean — have been the top five since 2007, with slight changes to their order. Four of the names – Jack, Sean, Conor, and James — have been in the top five since 1998.

It is the fifth consecutive year that Emily has been the most popular name for girls. Emma, Ava, Sophie, and Amelia are the next most frequently chosen names.

George was the only first-time entry to the top 100 for boys rising 13 places from 103 in 2014 to 90th last year.

Three girl’s names entered the top 100 for the first time — Annabelle, Mila, and Rosie.

Mila was also the girls’ name to rise most in popularity — up 54 places from 142nd place in 2014 to 88th last year.

Mila Kunis: Mila was the girls’ name to rise most in popularit
Mila Kunis: Mila was the girls’ name to rise most in popularit

Also increasing in popularity is the boys’ name Ollie — up 21 places from 87th place in 2014 to 66 place last year.

Some of the more unusual girl’s names not included in the top 100 were Paris, Nelly, Dakota, Kim, Pixie, and Sabina. Uncommon boy’s names were Barra, Pauric, Zayn, Gus, Romeo and Otis.

Muhammad and Fatima were the top names for babies with parents from outside the EU.

Emily was the most popular name where the parents were both Irish; while British parents most often chose Isla and Chloe.

The top surname of babies registered last year was Murphy, with Kelly a close second.


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