Emily and James most popular baby names

Date published: 01 August 2018

Emily and James were the most popular first names given to children whose births were registered in Northern Ireland in 2017. Almost 1,000 new baby names were registered, with movies, popular television series, current celebrities and memorable places appearing to be influencing factors for some parents.


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

Grace has taken second place in the top 10 for the fourth time in five years, while Olivia comes a close third. 

Top 10

  1. Emily  
  2. Grace 
  3. Olivia  
  4. Isla  
  5. Anna  
  6. Sophie  
  7. Ella  
  8. Amelia  
  9. Charlotte  
  10. Sophia  

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.

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


This is the third year in a row James has held the top spot, even though it has been in the top five since records began in 1997.

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.

Top 10

  1. James  
  2. Jack  
  3. Noah  
  4. Charlie  
  5. Jacob 
  6. Harry  
  7. Thomas  
  8. Daniel  
  9. Oliver  
  10. Logan  

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.

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

Further information

You can get detailed information about names of babies in 2017 through the following link:

If you want more statistical information, contact the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

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