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James and Grace the most popular NI baby names for births registered in 2022

James and Grace were the most popular first names given to babies in Northern Ireland, for births registered in 2022.

This is one of the findings of the Baby Names 2022 statistics published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

The statistics show Grace has held the top spot as the most popular girls’ name since 2018 and has appeared in the top three most popular names for 17 consecutive years. James has returned to number one after a six-year stretch at the top spot between 2015 and 2020, and placing third in 2021.

In terms of boys’ names, Jack was a close second to James, after reaching the top spot last year. Noah returned to third place, where it was in 2019 and 2020, after reaching second place last year.

Oisin entered the boys’ top 10 in 2022 for the first time since the recording of first names began in 1997. Thomas re-entered the top 10 after narrowly missing in 2021. Within the boys’ top 100, the highest climbers in popularity between 2021 and 2022 were Hugo, Luca, and Hudson. Some of the less common names given to baby boys in 2022 were King, Great, and Art.

For baby girls, Grace has taken the top spot for the fourth year running, and this is the seventeenth consecutive year it has appeared in the top three. Emily remained the second most popular girls’ name in 2022, holding this spot for the last five consecutive years, and Fiadh was in third place after entering the top 10 for the first time in 2020.

Within the girls’ top 100, the highest climbers in popularity between 2021 and 2022 were Pippa, Nevaeh, and Lucia.

As with previous years, there were a greater variety of girls’ names (2,278) than boys’ names (1,809) registered in 2022. Some of the less common names given to baby girls in 2022 were North, Angel and Pearl.

Birth registrations in 2022 included 950 baby names that had not been used before. Blockbuster movies, popular television series, current celebrities and memorable places continue to appear to be influencing factors for some parents.

Top 10 baby names in Northern Ireland, 2022


  1. James  – 175 Babies
  2. Jack – 169 Babies
  3. Noah  – 146 Babies
  4. Theo  – 132 Babies
  5. Charlie  – 131 Babies
  6. Oliver  – 123 Babies
  7. Oisin  – 119 Babies
  8. Harry  – 118 Babies
  9. Cillian  – 111 Babies
  10. Thomas  – 107 Babies


  1. Grace  – 168 Babies
  2. Emily  – 152 Babies
  3. Fiadh  – 148 Babies
  4. Olivia  – 141 Babies
  5. Isla  – 118 Babies
  6. Aoife  – 113 Babies
  7. Lily  – 110 Babies
  8. Annie  – 97 Babies
  9. Evie/Freya  – 94 Babies

You can find out more about these names and others on NISRA’s interactive dashboard which facilitates name searches by rank, number of babies registered with that name, meaning and origin. The dashboard is available via a link on the main baby names web page.