2008 saw the highest recorded birth rate in the Irish Republic since 1896, according to the latest figutes released by the Central Statistics office. In the North West counties of Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim, 890 baby births were recorded.
Donegal saw the highest number of births with 516, Sligo had 243 while in Leitrim there were 131 new arrivals during 2008.
According to figures released by the Central Statistics Office, the majority of babies were born to married women between the age of 30 and 34.
The list of the most popular Irish babies names had Jack topping the list for boys while Ava came first for girls. Oisin was included in the top names for Donegal and Monaghan. Alex, Dylan and Matthew were the most popular in South Dublin, Limerick City and Sligo respectively, while Aoife was joint favourite in Waterford County and Leitrim. Ella, Leah, Laura and Caoimhe were among the most popular names in Wicklow, Clare, Galway City and Leitrim respectivelyIrish Boys top names in 2008 were Jack, Sean, Conor, Daniel and James. Irish Girls top names in 2008 were Ava, Katie, Sarah, Emma and Emily.
Jack and Ava were the most popular babies’ names registered in 2008. Jack retains the top position it held in 2007 while this is the first time Ava has taken the number one spot, climbing from sixth in 2007. There were 1,141 boys named Jack in 2008, 178 more than the number of boys named Sean. There were 685 girls named Ava, 22 more than the number of girls named Katie, the second most popular girls’ name.
The top five boys’ names in 2008 (Jack, Sean, Conor, Daniel and James) also made up the top five in 2007, retaining the same order. Four of the top five boys’ names (Jack, Sean, Conor and James) have been in the top five since 1998, with only their order changing from year to year. Daniel entered the top five at number four in 2007 but had been ranked sixth from 2002 to 2006. There has been more variation in the girls’ top five. While Emma and Sarah have been in the top five since 1998, Katie has only been in the top five since 2003. Emily and Ava are in the top five for the first time.There were five first time entries to the top 100 for boys: Jakub, Kacper, Filip, Billy and Patryk. Also, Hugh returned to the top 100 after a 2-year absence and Odhran and Lorcan returned after a 3-year absence. The highest new entry at number 63 was Jakub which rose from 649There were four first time entries to the top 100 for girls: Maja, Natalia, Zuzanna and Meabh. Also, Michelle returned to the top 100 after a 2-year absence. The highest new entry was Maja, which climbed from 657 in 2007 to reach 73 Natalia (up 72 places to 78), Zuzanna (up 48 places to 85) and Maja (up 37 places to 73) place in 2003 and 110th place. The biggest climbers in the year, based on rank, were Natalia (up 72 places to 78), Zuzanna (up 48 places to 85) and Maja (up 37 places to 73).
The biggest climbers in the year, based on rank, were Jakub (up 42 places to 63), Filip (up 39 places to 95) and Leon (up 31 places to 44).