Blog posts at the end of the year focus on two things ... the upcoming Irish Blog Awards and reviews of the year gone by. And so it’s back to looking at the names babies have been registered with across the UK. You can still check out the full 2007 survey results.
This year, there aren’t official separate figures available for England and Wales. The South Wales-based Office of National Statistics explained to AiB:
Unfortunately the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has no firm plans for releasing this information for 2008. In previous years data was produced using information from the NHS Central Register (NHSCR). Following the Independence of ONS in April 2008, the NHSCR moved from ONS to the Information Centre for Health and Social Care. NHSCR have decided not to continue to publish this output.
ONS could use the births and deaths registration system to produce the most popular names (subject to agreement from the General Register Office (GRO)). However this source has not been used before. It would take time and resources to ensure that the output was produced to high statistical standards.
So the Bounty baby counting stats have been used instead. They are most likely to cover the whole UK, but given the disproportionate size of England and Wales in comparison with Scotland and Northern Ireland, it’s likely to be still quite accurate.
Irish baby name registrations for 2008 won’t be released until the summer of 2009, but I’ve made passing reference to the 2007 names.
Katie remain’s the most popular girl’s name in Northern Ireland. Jessica jumped from 13 in 2007 to fourth this year. Ellie, Sarah and Erin have been edged out of the top ten this year. Sarah topped the Irish list in 2007. Ella appeared in third place in the 2007 Irish list but is only nineteenth in Northern Ireland.
Sophie remained the most popular girls name in Scotland this year. Compared to 2007, there was a bit of reshuffling within the top ten, but overall, the name counts between second and tenth are all quite close together. Ava is up from fourteenth to seventh.
In England and Wales Olivia and Grace have swapped first and third places, with Olivia now the most popular name. Ruby remains second most popular, and names in fourth through to eighth place remain the same. Ella and America have been replaced with Mia and Lucy.
Last year, Sophie was the only name common across the top ten for NI, Scotland, England and Wales. This year, there’s a lot more commonality, with Sophie, Lucy, Emily and Chloe appearing on all three lists.
Jack remains the most popular boy’s name in Northern Ireland ... a record it’s held since 2003. Conor (12 → 7) and Charlie (13 → 10) are more popular than last year. Eoghan has risen from 99 up to 52. Expect a further rise in 2009!
Sean came second in Ireland in 2007, but is completely outside the top ten at twentieth in Northern Ireland in 2008.
In Scotland, Jack is back on top after it’s surprise second place last year beaten by Lewis which has dropped back down to number two. Daniel and Liam have risen above Ryan and James this year.
In England and Wales, Jack remains up at the top. Thomas drops from second to sixth place, while Alfie jumps up from tenth to fourth. No new names in the English top ten.
Across the UK, Jack, Daniel and James appear in all three top ten lists. They're also all in Ireland's 2007 list.