Most popular baby names of 2020 in Scotland revealed


23 March 2021
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Isla and Jack were the most popular first forenames for babies whose births were registered in 2020, National Records of Scotland (NRS) announced today (24 March 2021).

National Records of Scotland has announced the most popular baby names registered in 2020, with Isla and Jack topping the list. 

Isla overtakes Olivia as the top name for baby girls for the first time, with Olivia taking the second spot and Emily now being the third most popular name, according to the full lists of 2020 baby names published by National Records of Scotland (NRS).

Jack remains the most popular boy's name, holding on to the top spot for the 13th consecutive year. Noah is now the second most popular boy's name, having jumped from 7th place last year, and meanwhile James stays in 3rd place.

The girl's name Maeve made a massive leap of 130 places from last year, up to 86th place, and Ayda, the second highest climber in the girls' top 100 list, rose 63 places to the 91st spot.

The biggest increases in the top 100 boys' list were Roman, which jumped up 68 places to 33rd, and Finley, which rose 48 places to 88th.

2020 saw the highest ever level of different names, a trend that has continued for some time now.

Of the 23,968 girls registered in Scotland last year, there were 4,347 different names, whilst more boys shared the same name. Of the 22,387 boys registered, there were only 3,375 different names. Children nowadays are much less likely to share a name with classmates than their grandparents were.

Most popular baby girl names of 2020

  1. Isla
  2. Olivia
  3. Emily
  4. Freya
  5. Ava
  6. Sophie
  7. Ella
  8. Grace
  9. Amelia
  10. Lily
  11. Sophia
  12. Charlotte
  13. Evie
  14. Millie
  15. Maisie
  16. Rosie
  17. Mia
  18. Jessica
  19. Aria
  20. Ellie

Most popular boys names of 2020

  1. Jack
  2. Noah
  3. James
  4. Leo
  5. Oliver
  6. Harris
  7. Rory
  8. Alexander
  9. Finlay
  10. Archie
  11. Lucas
  12. Charlie
  13. Alfie
  14. Theo
  15. Lewis
  16. Finn
  17. Brodie
  18. Thomas
  19. Mason
  20. Jacob

Julie Ramsay, Vital Events Statistician, said: “We can see from the 2020 names lists that different generations of parents have different preferences for naming their babies.

"Isla, the most popular name for girls in 2020, was the most popular name with mothers aged 35 and over, but it only ranked 7th with mothers aged under 25. However, Olivia, the most popular girls name of 2019, was ranked 1st by younger mothers and 6th by older mothers.

"Jack, the most popular name for boys in 2020, was the 2nd most popular name with mothers aged 35 and above, and only 17th with mothers aged under 25. James was the most popular name for boys with older mothers while Noah was ranked 1st for younger mothers.

"Popular culture often affects how people name their babies. The name Billie rose in popularity by 79% in the past two years with 34 baby girls being given this name in 2020. In the same time, Google searches in the UK for “Billie” and “Billie Eilish” spiked, with the singer having her first number one single in the UK in early 2020.

"Tommy, a name occurring in the popular TV shows Peaky Blinders and Love Island, has doubled in popularity in the last two years, with 148 boys being given this name. Our data shows it is more popular with younger mothers than with older mothers."

Explore the popularity of baby names in Scotland

You can explore the popularity of first names in Scotland over the years with NRS’s interactive app here.

The Babies' First Names, 2020 (Full List) is available on the NRS website.

QUICK LINK: Top 100 most popular baby names in Scotland - 1900 and 1950

(report and statistics courtesy of National Records of Scotland)