What Are the Most Popular Boys and Girls Names in Europe?
Marie Jamet, Euronews, March 16, 2023
Is Oliver the new Lucas? Does Isabella now outrank Hanna? Euronews Culture consults various statistical institutes to find out which are the most popular names across Europe.
The names given to newborns speak of the societies in which they will grow up, with names either reflecting deeply rooted in traditions or current trends.
Many sites specialise in guiding or inspiring parents’ choices, all often basing their choices on similar sources: national statistic offices which list the first names registered in civil registers each year.
All EU Member States publish them except Germany, where there is no national census of first names. As for Greece and Cyprus, the data dates from the 2011 population census, while Romania’s data is not dated and their statistics institute did not respond to our requests for clarification.
Euronews Culture has consulted these statistical institutes one by one in order to draw up the official map of the most popular first names in 2021* in the EU, much in the same way we did in 2017.
Most popular boy names in the EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland, England & Wales in 2021
For boys, Noah is the most given first name in the largest number of countries.
It is at the top of the list in six countries, almost all of which border each other: Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden, but also Switzerland and England and Wales combined.
Two other names lead in more than one country: Jakub in the Czech Republic, Norway (Jakob) and Slovakia, while George isthe most given name in Greece and Bulgaria with local variants (Georgi / Georgios).
Most popular girl names in the EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland, England & Wales in 2021
For girls, Maria is the top name in the most countries.
Four scattered countries – Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland and Portugal – have seen more Marias born than any other country.
To these countries we could add Greece with Maria and Romania with the compound name Ana-Maria.
Then comes Emma in Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands (and Ema in Slovakia); Mia, the most popular name in three countries – Croatia, Estonia and Switzerland; and Sofija in Latvia and Lithuania.
Expanding to the Russian city of Moscow, we find a variant of Sophia at the top of the list for girls. For boys, Alexander continues to be the most popular name for the past 30 years, with the exception of Artem in 2012.
Here is the Top 10 list for the most common boys’ names in Europe:
- Lucas – 42
- Alexander – 30
- Oliver / Olivier – 23
- Mohammed – 22
- Noah – 21
- Elias – 21
- Matteo – 20
- Gabriel – 18
- Daniel, Liam, Benjamin – 17
- Ryan, Martin, David, Leo, Adam, Theodor, Viktor – 16
Here is the Top 10 list for the most common girls’ names in Europe:
- Sofia – 56
- Hanna – 51
- Maria – 34
- Isabella – 33
- Amelia – 30
- Jasmina – 29
- Emma – 27
- Emilia – 27
- Sara – 26
- Elisabeth – 25