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Jack and Emily are Scotland's top baby names

Published: 15 Mar 2016 09:31

Smith is the most common surname (taking Births, Marriages and Deaths together)

National Records of Scotland (NRS) today published lists of all the first forenames that were given to babies whose births were registered in 2015, and of the most common surnames in the Birth, Marriage and Death registers for 2015 (taking all the surnames in the three registers together).

The lists of baby names supersede the "Top 100s" published on 17 December (which covered births registered in the first eleven months of 2015). The top names (Jack and Emily) have not changed. Jack was the top boys' name for an eighth consecutive year, and Emily was the top girls' name for the second year running. The other names in the two Top Tens are generally in the same order as published in December, with a few minor changes in the rankings.

The NRS website includes annual lists of babies' first forenames back to 1974, and information about how the top names have changed. For example, the following names have been top in at least five of the years in that period:

  • David was the top name for boys in 1974 and in every year from then until 1992;
  • Ryan was top in every year from 1994 to 1998;
  • Jack was the top in 13 of the 17 years from 1999 to 2015;
  • Laura was the top name for girls in every year from 1979 to 1989;
  • Emma was top in 8 of the 15 years from 1990 to 2004;
  • Chloe was top in every year from 1998 to 2002; and
  • Sophie was top in every year from 2005 to 2013.

Many names which were once very popular have gone out of fashion. A table of the Top Ten names for each sex for 1975 and for every fifth year thereafter, shows that (for example):

  • for girls, none of the names that were in the Top Ten in 1975 appeared in the Top Ten in 2000 or 2015, and none of the Top Ten in 2000 survived into the Top Ten in 2015;
  • Nicola, which was the top name in 1975, had dropped out of the Top Ten by 1995 (when Nicole was in the Top Ten). Karen, which was second in 1975, had disappeared from the Top Ten by 1985; Susan, third in 1975, had gone by 1980.
  • Sophie, which had not been in the Top Ten in any of the earlier selected years, was top in 2005 and 2010, and second in 2015. Emily, which was the top name in 2014 and 2015, had entered the Top Ten after 2000.
  • for boys, David, John and Paul, which were the Top Three in 1975, did not appear anywhere in the Top Ten in 2000 or 2015. Paul had dropped out by 1990, John by 1995 and David by 2000.
  • however, James, which was fourth in 1975, was also in the Top Ten in 2000 (fifth) and 2015 (third). Indeed, James is the only boys' name which has been in the Top Ten in every one of the selected years;
  • Jack and Lewis were not in the Top Ten in 1975, but were first and second in 2000 and first and fourth in 2015. Jack had entered the Top Ten after 1990, and Lewis after 1995.

Infographics and data visualisations on the NRS website present some of the figures for baby names in a different way, including the numbers of babies with the same first forenames as some film characters, certain celebrities or their children.

The three top surnames in the Birth, Marriage and Death registers for 2015 (counting only the baby for births, both parties for marriages, and only the deceased for deaths) were Smith, Brown and Wilson. A table shows that these were the top three surnames, in that order, in 1975 and every fifth year thereafter.

Notes to editors

1. Full lists of babies' first names for 2015 are available via http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/names/babies-first-names/babies-first-names-2015/babies-first-names-2015: in alphabetical order in Table 4, and in rank order in Table 5.

NB: Tables 1 to 3, and the publication itself, which appeared in December, have not been updated.

2. Full lists of babies' first names, in rank order, for each year from 1974 are available via the "Full lists for each year" part of this page of the NRS website: http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/names/babies-first-names. Information about how the top names have changed over the years is available via http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/names/babies-first-names/how-the-top-names-have-changed.

3. The infographics and data visualisations are available via: http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/stats-at-a-glance/infographics-and-visualisations

4. The lists of most common surnames are available via: http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/names/most-common-surnames-in-birth-marriage-and-death-registers.