Emilia and Noah have become the most popular first names for newborns in Germany, reported the Society for the German Language on Monday. For girls, Hanna(h) comes in at a close second, followed by Emma and Sophia/Sofia.
Leon and Paul are the next most popular choices for boys, and Mat(h)eo/Matt(h)eo is a surprise entry at number four, climbing nine places from 2020. The society said that “such a jump has rarely been seen in recent years”.
The remaining names in the top ten come as less of a surprise, and there has not been too much of a reshuffle over the past year.
The Society for the German language gathered data from more than 700 registry offices, where almost a million different names had been submitted. This means that almost ninety percent of all given names in Germany were recorded over the last year.
A difference can still be seen between the most popular names given to children in areas that belonged to East and West Germany respectively.
The top names in the former East generally tended to be more traditional, with Hanna, Mia and Frida topping the list of girls’ names, and Mat(h)eo, Emil and Oskar proving popular for boys.
There is more foreign influences in the west German top ten, with Emilia, Sophia and Emma coming out on top for girls, and Noah, Leon and Paul taking the top spots for boys.
Language experts also noted a trend towards what they call ‘phonetic monotony’ in girls’ names, whereby names ending with -a and having similar vowel sounds, such as Lina, Mila and Ella, have come into fashion.
The boys’ names by contrast seem to be much more dynamic and diverse, with Elias, Felix and Henri proving more popular than the simple names that have dominated the rankings in the past. Ben, which took the top spot in 2019, has continued to drop in popularity and now sits at fifth place.
The report also found that just over a third of all children were given more than one name over the past year, meaning most parents have been opting not to give their children second or third names, which in the past have often been names of relatives.