These were the most popular baby names last year in Northern Ireland - see how many names made a return in 2020

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

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 3:22 pm

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

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.

Meanwhile 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.

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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.

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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