James beats Jack! Irish baby names revealed

James beats Jack Irish baby names revealed

Move over Jack, James reclaims the top spot for Irish boys’ names

James has usurped Jack as the most popular name for boys in Ireland, knocking the latter off the top spot for the first time in a decade.

Statistics from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that 688 babies were named James last year, compared to 684 named Jack.

The top five was completed by Daniel, Connor and Sean, while Noah was the sixth most popular boy’s name.

Emily remained the most common name for baby girls, followed by Grace, Ava, Lucy and Amelia.

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Despite a greater number of male births in 2016, there was more variety among girls’ names, with 4,526 registered in comparison to 3,456 for boys.

The fastest growing name among girls was Willow, which jumped from 121 to 72, while for boys it was Muhammad – and variations on that spelling – which entered the top one hundred for the first time.

In total, there were 63,897 births in Ireland in 2016 and the average age of first-time mothers was 30.9, up from 30.7 in 2015. One baby in three was born outside marriage.

The report also showed that the number of births to teenage mothers was 1,098 and that 20 of the mothers were under 16.

Orla McGowan, of the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme, said that the teenage birth rate was in decline.

“Research shows that delaying sexual activity until young people are 17 or 18 years old can help reduce the risk of an unplanned pregnancy and an STI,” she explained.

“It is important for parents to talk to their children about relationships and sex from an early age to help delay early sex and to make protected, safe, informed and consensual decisions about their sexual health.”

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