Noah and Olivia, Top Names for Scotland’s Babies

a baby asleep in a handknitted shawl

For 14 years the most popular name for a boy born in Scotland was Jack, but in 2022 Noah took that number one slot with 373 baby boys given the name.

For girls the most popular choice of name was Olivia for the second year running with 309 with that name.

Orkney did not fall into line with Scotland and top spot for a boy was shared between Jack and Tommy. For girls born in Orkney , no name was chosen more than 3 times for a baby.

There was also a difference in name choice depending on the age of the mother.

For boys:

Most common name by age of mother
Aged under 25 – Noah
Aged 25 to 29 – Noah
Aged 30 to 34 – Jack
Aged 35 and over – Noah

And for girls:

Most common name by age of mother
Aged under 25 – Millie
Aged 25 to 29 – Freya
Aged 30 to 34 – Isla
Aged 35 and over- Sophie

There was a huge variation in choice of name across Scotland, for instance the most popular boy’s name in Shetland was Theo.

There were 4,408 different first names given to girls and 3,667 different first names given to boys. These statistics are based on the birth registrations of 22,698 girls and 24,255 boys.

We can see how this has changed over time through the National Records of Scotland statistics.

There were also choices made influenced by celebrities and popular figures of the day. There was a huge increase in the popularity of the name Luca (273) – possibly due to TV’s Love Island. For girls the name Tilly increased in popularity (43), possibly due to the TV show Strictly Come Dancing.

Commenting on the statistics, NRS Statistician Daniel Burns said:

“NRS is happy to welcome all the new babies of 2022. A relative flood of Noahs in the last four years has saw the name leap from 8th to 1st. 

“There are now so many more names in use, as parents aim for something more unusual, that it takes far fewer babies to share a name for it to be high up in the charts. 

“Back in the 70s when David was the most popular name there were upwards of 1,700 babies a year with the top boys name. Since then fertility has declined, meaning there are fewer births, but with more names in use Noah can claim the top spot with 373 baby boys given the name in 2022.

“Luca has climbed 20 places to land in 5th place for boys, moving into the top 10 for the first time; possibly given a boost by Luca Bish appearing on Love Island.

“The name Maeve has been used in a couple of different TV shows and has grown in popularity over the past few years. Names seen on Love Island, such as Luca, Millie, Arabella and Kai have all increased since appearing on screen. Other names apparently influenced by celebrities include Lando, Tilly, Matilda and Dua.

“The latest figures also reveal  a  rise in names relating to nature , with Violet, Daisy, Ivy, Wren, Dahlia, Primrose, Oakley and River all rising. Oakley and River rose for both boys and girls. 

baby wearing gray bottoms on person hand
Photo by Teemu R on

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