Northern Ireland

Noah and Isla take the top spots for the north’s most popular baby names

Data released by NISRA show Cillian and Fiadh also emerge as rising names for 2023

There were more unique names given to babies born in Scotland in 2023 than ever before
The most popular baby names for 2023 have been released by NISRA. (Joe Giddens/PA)

Noah and Isla were the most popular names for babies in the north last year according to newly released data.

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency released details of the top 10 baby names in 2023 for the whole of the north, and also for different areas within it.

Noah was top overall for boys, with 152 babies taking the name last year, while 147 Islas saw the name take the top spot for girls.

Jack and James were second and third most popular for boys, with Fiadh and Grace for girls.

Also in this year’s top 10 for boys was Cillian, possibly influenced by the rise in popularity of Co Cork Oscar-winning actor Cillian Murphy, while Leo and Luca for boys, and Amelia and Ella broke into their respective top 10s for the first time.

The highest climbing names that did not enter the top 10 but saw a significant increase compared to previous years were Leon, Donnacha, Albie and Seth for boys, and Rebecca, Rhea, Aurora and Reya for girls.

For mums under the age of 20, Noah was the most popular boys’ name, followed in joint second place by Jackson, Kai and Kayden. For girls in this bracket, Fiadh was the favourite, with Amelia, Freya and Ivy in joint second place.

Mothers 40 and above chose James and Ethan as the top two boys’ names and Anna and Isla for girls.

Luca was the most popular boys’ name last year in the Belfast health trust area, while in the Western trust area, Daithi took the title.

Grace was the favourite name among Belfast area mums, the statistics show, while in the Northern trust area, Emily came out on top.

Meanwhile, for middle or other additional names besides the first name and surname, James John and Patrick were first, second and third most popular for boys across the north, while for girls it was Rose, Grace and Mary.

Top 10 boys’ names in the north in 2023

1. Noah

2. Jack

3. James

4. Cillian

5. Charlie

6. Leo

7. Oisin

8. Oliver

9 (joint). Luca & Theo

Top 10 girls’ names in the north in 2023

1. Isla

2. Fiadh

3. Grace

4. Emily

5. Olivia

6. Lily

7. Ella

8. Aoife

9. Ameila

10. Freya